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A Journey Through Time

Alice Sudmeyer is an artist with many facets. Whether she is sketching in pen or painting with oils, she finds a way to show the world what she sees hidden within each canvas, paper or cloth.

At age 72 Sudmeyer said she wants to do everything. Her work includes watercolor, pastel, photo collage, acrylic, oil, spray paint, pen and anything she can get her hands on. The collection currently on display at the Fredericktown Branch of the Ozark Regional Library has a variety of Sudmeyer’s styles and includes pieces on cardboard, magazines, canvas and cloth.

Sudmeyer said art has been a way for her to express herself and work through feeling ever since she was a soldier in the Persian Gulf War.

“I was very sick when I came back, and it took a very long time to get better,” Sudmeyer said. “Without drugs, without psychiatric support anymore everything is just gone. This helped me.”

Sudmeyer explained one of her pieces made of clocks and padlocks saying she thought she was running out of time. The piece was made from magazine cutouts of clocks pieced together.

Even in times of struggle, Sudmeyer would find ways to create her art.

“It’s amazing the things you can find anywhere,” Sudmeyer said. “At the Goodwill I would buy stacks of magazines for a nickel.”

Sudmeyer said she would cut out photographs, catalogs, magazines and even use old calendars as pallets and tools to make her art.

Artist Alice Sudmeyer looks at some of her work on display at the Ozark Regional Library branch in Fredericktown.

Artist Alice Sudmeyer looks at some of her work on display at the Ozark Regional Library branch in Fredericktown.

“If you don’t have nothing, you use what you’ve got,” Sudmeyer said. “Pens are cheap. I love working with pens.”

Sudmeyer said she very seldom ends up with what she started with. She said she looks at the paper until what is inside of it comes out.

“I tried to do blind work, close my eyes and I’d hold the page,” Sudmeyer said. “I did the beginning without sight and then I embellished after words.”

Sudmeyer said she has one drawing she did with her eyes closed.

After her stint in the United States Army, Sudmeyer came home and attended Florida Junior College, Mount Hood Community College in Oregon and University of New Mexico in Albuquerque studying art in some form at each institute.

Sudmeyer said teachers can show the equipment, tools, medium and process, but they can not teach how to create.

Sudmeyer said several of her pieces were inspired by the irregular patterns found in the dyes of the fabric.

“I bought it because it was irregular dyes so I stretched it out and I looked at it and thought hmmm,” Submeyer said. “The wonderous part of my work is this piece, if you turn it upside down it’s a whole other piece. It’s very interesting. Of course when I am doing my artwork I don’t think about that. I amaze myself.”

Sudmeyer walked through her exhibit pointing out objects within her art.

“This one is a crash of a UFO,” Sudmeyer said. “This is my feelings about the military and the war… Christ showed up in this painting… This is my 24 carat gold fish…”

Sudmeyer’s innovative styles have led to many different varieties including one which uses the elimination of words.

“I have several pieces of work that are in my portfolio where I eliminate words for commercials and you would not believe what you can find in them,” Sudmeyer said. “The other one I am thinking about has a dove on it and its talking about love and the last words are ‘couldn’t we use a little more of that.’ It was all there I just eliminated the other words.”

Sudmeyer said when she was preparing for the library exhibit one particular piece made it to the show because of her husband’s love for it.

“When I was preparing for the show this picture I put to the side, and I was in the studio with my husband and he asked ‘Who did this’ and I said ‘I did’ and he said ‘Why aren’t you putting it in the show,’” Sudmeyer said. “I said ‘Because it’s ugly’ and he said ‘It’s fantastic.’”

Sudmeyer changed her mind and decided to add the piece to the show. It can be seen hanging in the back right corner of the library.

The show titled “Journey Through Time” can be seen at the Fredericktown branch of the Ozark Regional Library until September.

Alice Sudmeyer shows some of her work which is on display at the Ozark Regional Library in Fredericktown.

Alice Sudmeyer shows some of her work which is on display at the Ozark Regional Library in Fredericktown.

Alice uses several different media for artwork.

Alice uses several different media for artwork.

Alice Sudmeyer uses several different media to create her artwork.

Alice Sudmeyer uses several different media to create her artwork.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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