Saturday, April 02, 2011

Skye Sutherland paints, tours in 21-ft travel trailer

Fine artist Skye Sutherland and her rescue pooch, Zackary.
New England artist Skye Sutherland and her 85-pound rescue dog, Zackary, are planning an extended cross-country road trip this year.

"I paint camping pets' portraits, and teach art workshops to adults and children," says Skye.

Skye and Zack spend the spring and summer in her RV in Connecticut. Come August she will head to northern Maine and Canada for an art exhibit featuring her paintings and a huge family reunion. "Then," she says, "my dog and I leave Maine in September to head west."

Type of RV: 2008 21-ft. Flagstaff Micro Lite travel trailer. Pulled with a 2001 Dodge Durango RT.

Travel pet companion: Zackary, an eight-year-old Doberman/Shepherd mix. "I got him from Protectors of Animals in Connecticut almost seven years ago. He was a scared, abused one-year old. I worked with him and gave him a lot of love. Now he's a big gentle buddy, but a good protector also, which is nice to have when traveling."

Personal background: "Growing up, we camped in tents, trailers and motorhomes," recalls Skye. "As an adult, I camped mainly in tents and cabins. So owning my own RV, and learning how to tow it and all that comes with it, is interesting. I'm still learning."

A couple of those things Skye has been learning are how to live and work in a tiny space with a big dog.

"Poor Zack, he can't turn around in the hallway of the camper and must back up if he is facing the wrong direction," says Skye.

"I went from a 500-sq-ft art studio--with space for a library, office and large sink--to a trailer with a few feet of working space," she says.

"I am limited to the size I can paint--16 x 20 inches is maximum, and that's pushing it. I try to paint outside, but that has its challenges due to rain, wind, and bugs. But, I love setting up all my stuff on my little kitchen table, and just painting. Sure, it's tight, but it's fun."

Best thing so far about RVing: Knowing that "I can up and move whenever I want.”

Type of art: Realistic painting of animals and nature, mostly done in pastel or acrylic.

Contact: Skye Sutherland
P O Box 885
Portland, CT 06480
(860) 538-8831

To see more of her work: and

Read more by Julianne Crane at

Photos: (Click on photos for larger views.) Top: Skye Sutherland and Zackary; middle: Zack outside Skye's RV; and Skye's work area inside her travel trailer. Photographs courtesy of Skye Sutherland.

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