Longtime Easton resident Cleo Sonneborn’s watercolor paintings are on exhibit in the conference room at the Easton Public Library. No opening reception was possible due to Covid-19 safety considerations, but her work will be on view until May 15.
Sonneborn agreed to a show somewhat reluctantly at first but was urged on by Dolly Curtis, who has overseen art shows at the library for more than 33 years.
“I knew she was ready,” Curtis said, having admired the dreamy quality of Sonneborn’s paintings. “The results are stunning.”
Sonneborn never thought of herself as an artist. “Artists were people who grew up and went to art school, who built careers as artists,” she said. “I never considered such a course. Over the last dozen years, though, I have rediscovered the joy I felt as a child doing art.”
“Doing art” consisted of using all 64 Crayola Crayons in her coloring books and coloring her own creations, she recalled about her childhood.
Creating watercolors is a passion and also a form of therapy. “With just paper, brush and watercolor paint, I am, on a good day, able to find those hours when time and everyday concerns recede and I can ‘get away from it all’ and paint,” Sonneborn said.
Born into a family that moved around a lot — from South Dakota to Western Australia — her 40 years in Easton has grounded her.
“Today, I cherish rootedness,” she said. “As a child and young adult, it was the changing environment — of culture, but especially landscape and wildlife, that made me aware of the vast differences — and yet similarities — among trees and other natural features. The contrasts and universal beauty of nature I have observed most influence my art. I am guided by stored inner images and the emotions they evoke.”
Fortunately, these images are now at the library for everyone to see.
As an active member of the Easton Arts Council, Sonneborn has supported other artists for many years. You can read more about her art and her writing at the links below.