Local Artists Brings Local Landscapes, Beloved Dogs to Canvas

Posted 8/4/22

If you have been to the marshes of the Lowcountry and smelled the pluff mud, or traveled by boat to any of the many small islands on Lake Murray, you probably have certain landscapes in your memories.

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Local Artists Brings Local Landscapes, Beloved Dogs to Canvas

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If you have been to the marshes of the Lowcountry and smelled the pluff mud, or traveled by boat to any of the many small islands on Lake Murray, you probably have certain landscapes in your memories.

Artist Sonya Diimmler’s work touches on these iconic local landscapes in vaguely abstract ways that still manage to capture the essence of a scene. Her upcoming August show at the Rob Shaw Gallery in West Columbia opens this week.

“When I first saw Sonya’s work in person, I was amazed at the boldness of color,” said gallery owner Rob Shaw. “They really make a bold impression in person.”

Indeed, the deep hues of a Lake Murray sunset, or the interspersed dashes of color in a green intracoastal marsh scene, don’t so much jump out at you as they pull you in, inviting interpretation with an abstract nature style that’s more about how a scene makes you feel rather than how accurately it is portrayed. And yet, even in her loose, abstract way, Diimmler has captured some of the magic of these landscapes, in deeper ways that a simple photograph may not be able to duplicate.

“I think that people will connect with these paintings,” Shaw added. “Scenes like Lake Murray and the Lowcountry are dear to many people’s hearts.”

The other main subjects of Diimmler’s work are more personal: her bulldog Smedley and her Boston Terrier Mattie. In those portraits, she manages to convey her own love and joy in connecting with man’s best friends, without making the scenes rote illustrations.

Diimmler’s work has earned awards from the S.C. State Fair, the Union County Arts Council, and the Crooked Creek Art League, where she serves as the workshop coordinator and is a past president. Her body of work “Seeking Solace” was featured in a solo show at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in 2021.

In an artist statement about the new show, Diimmler says she’s not interested in the details, preferring to paint what she’s feeling as an “emotional and physical response to the world.”

“Line and gesture,” she says of what’s most important, adding that she paints “large and loose, without regard for the details of realism.”

“‘Her goal is “to convey energy and joy to the viewer,’” the statement concludes.

gallery opening west columbia, lexington county art, artist Sonya Diimmler, rob shaw gallery

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