Scrolling through Jed Sutter’s Instagram page, it’s easy to mistake his realistic paintings for photographs. Drawn to the seaside of his youth, as well as to urban landscapes, bridges, and the local, aging trolley cars that rumble behind his house, Sutter’s depiction of Boston, Massachusetts, is very much on point.
“I’ve never tried to make a painting look like a photograph, but time and again, when I feel I have finished, the work looks quite realistic,” he admitted in a piece he shared with Artsy Shark. Primarily self-taught, Sutter discovered an aptitude for composition, value, and hue in his mid 50’s, having not picked up a paintbrush in decades and never shown any of his work before.
Nowadays, his work is well recognized, having gained a few awards in the process, as well as memberships in the prestigious Copley Society of Art in Boston and the North Shore Arts Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Working mostly from source photos that either he or his clients have taken, and sometimes combining aspects of multiple photos, his work captures the very heart of Boston city life.
As for his toolbox, Sutter mainly works with acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. “I’ll be drawn to a set of colors or an interesting shape or to a scene I’d like to capture, but one that’s a bit off the bell curve for other artists,” he explains his creative instinct.
Here are some highlights from his Instagram page: