Sydney McQuade Otto

Sydney McQuade Otto

Sydney’s relationship with the arts began with a gift of oil paints at the age of seven. Largely self-taught, Sydney has developed a style as unique as she is. Although her paintings follow no particular conventions, her work can be recognized by the soft melding of color. Texture, the use of light and paintings that emanate emotion are all elements threaded throughout her body of work. Sydney was first introduced to abstract art through her uncle, Justin Snow, a noted abstract painter. His paintings hung on the walls of her childhood home and he continues to be an important influence in Sydney’s painterly world. Workshops with Dublin painter Timothy Hawksworth encouraged exploration and opened doors to abstract expressionism. 

In 1992, Sydney met and studied with renowned stone sculptor, Jane B. Armstrong. Countless sketchbooks were filled with renderings waiting to find life as bronze portraits rich with emotion. This work in sculpture is reflected not only in her bronzes but also in the sculptural surfaces that are applied to her paintings.

Sydney exhibited in New York and New England prior to returning home to Indiana where she has continued the passionate pursuit of her abstract expressionist work. Sydney currently works in her home studio in Indianapolis with her furry friends, Larry and Moe, by her side.

As a Painter of acrylic & mixed media   

I am moved by anything old, worn, wrinkled or frayed; weathered walls, old paint and uninhabitable spaces that suggest the passage of time. I am inspirited by the texture, flow and artistry to be discovered in yards of natural linen, silk or tulle fashioned into cascades of skirting. These are the images that inspire my abstract acrylic & mixed media paintings. Watered, penciled, textured-layer upon layer-ultimately creating a tactile experience. The beauty of imperfection, the suggestion of an idea; this is what sparks my creativity and will hopefully move you, the viewer, and evoke an emotional response. 

As a Sculptor of bronze renderings & interpretation

Never knowing what will inspire or where the impulse will strike, pencil and paper are my constant companions. Each piece begins slowly…a  gesture, a graceful hand, the drape of a cloth. The initial sketch is the seed for each new piece. My sketchbooks are filled with these renderings, many of which have been or will be translated into clay and subsequent bronze “portraits”. These portraits are my interpretation of life. Weeks, months or even years are spent studying and refining each piece.  My goal is to achieve a grace, flow and warmth that will touch the viewer. I am a minimalist, in my life and my work. I find details distracting and therefore prefer to eliminate detail not contributing to the overall feeling of a piece.