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Darien Artist Captures the Moment

Darien resident Nancy Sutera wanted to be an artist when she was young. But she ended up studying business at the University of North Carolina and working on Wall Street. While at UNC, however, she took electives in subjects such as photojournalism, which taught her how to capture a moment in time. Now she’s using that skill and once again concentrating on art.

"I like painting people when they're not looking right at you and smiling," she said. "I like it when it looks like they're up to something. I think it captures them more as a person and is more narrative."

Sutera started out doing a lot of photography, but when that medium turned digital, she decided she didn't want to sit in front of a computer all day. So she began painting from photos, both those she took herself and those she has found in newspapers and magazines.

"It's actually easier to paint from black and white photos than from color, because the lights and darks are already there," she said. She also likes the freedom that comes with adding her own colors.

She does, however, work with live subjects at the Silvermine Arts Center , where she takes classes and exhibits some of her paintings. "It's good to be able to look at and see a three-dimensional model when you paint them. But you can't do that with kids. They can't sit still."

She used to use her two sons as models, but no longer now that they’re older. She has also dabbled in portrayals that do not involve people, things like flowers or buildings. But "it didn't take,” she said. “It didn't excite me."

Instead, she wants to stick to paintings that capture people's character and to try to tell some sort of narrative. An exhibit of her work is now on view at Upper Crust Bakery & Café .

Do you know any interesting Darien artists? Tell us about them in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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