Sydney McKenna Gallery & Studio

Florida painting by Sydney McKennaFlorida Paintings by
Sydney McKenna

Artist Statement

"My work explores the humid atmosphere that is one of the key elements that define life in Florida. I am fascinated with evaporation. Over the years of painting clouds I have grown to see quite a bit of symbolism in the water cycle. The fact that it can transform itself, rise into the heavens and move around the world through the skies, is somewhat miraculous; as if the clouds are the ‘spirit form’ of water. They have come to remind me of the spark of life; a lifting of the physical, into the spiritual. I find that in studying clouds and striving to paint their ephemeral nature, I connect more to my own spirituality. I am also intrigued by how the many transformations of water tie us to other places, physically and metaphorically. Scientifically they are fascinating; through evaporation and rainfall, water spreads throughout the world, spreading life in its wake. I was recently intrigued by an article describing life systems in cloud formations. This thought makes me aware that the world we experience is really a collision of a multitude of worlds."

Sydney McKenna’s Florida landscape paintings express the state’s atmosphere in a unique and poignant way. Especially sensitive to the subtle color shifts that occur in the vaporous skies of the South, these original oil paintings are created in the classic technique of the Old World; using thin layers of oil paint to build up a subtle luminosity, unifying classical style with contemporary themes.

Sydney was the poster artist for the Anna Maria Festival of Fine Arts in 1989, and has been featured on the cover of numerous magazines, including “Florida Living Magazine” July, 1992 issue. Four of her paintings were recently included in Florida’s American Heritage River-Images from the St. Johns Region, written by Mallory O’Connor, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Santa Fe College) and Gary Monroe, Professor of Fine Arts and Photography at Daytona State College.

Sydney’s Florida paintings are found in corporate, public and private collections, including Capital One’s corporate collection of American art, (McLean, VA), The Museum of Florida Art, (Deland, Florida), Admiral Kevin Delaney (ret.), The Contrarian Group and the private collection of Patrice Munsel, retired opera star (Schroon Lake, NY).

She holds a Visual Arts degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg Florida, and attended graduate studies in Corona Italy through the University of Georgia. Winner of many awards for her classic, yet contemporary painting, she has been a Floridian since 1964. Sydney opened her art gallery in St. Augustine in 1997, after a period of graduate studies in Cortona, Italy.