Cheryl Pettigrew’s landscapes are some of the most innovative and modern examples of the genre today. Pettigrew starts with traditional basics: she works in oil on canvas and depicts pristine mountain scenery. The sun can be seen at moments of peak drama, often dawn or dusk. Despite her more traditional subject matter, Pettigrew’s techniques are far from familiar: she paints on black canvases and accordingly uses extremely vivid, saturated colors in thick strokes. By painting over her first layer with new colors while leaving patches of the original visible, she creates highly dynamic highlights.
Pettigrew's materials are explored for their physical aspects as well as their visual properties. Her portrayals are, if anything, even more unorthodox. She paints almost the same composition over and over, often revisiting craggy cliffs and dramatic skies and changes minute details, choosing to play mainly with light, shadow, and color. By painting series of the same view, Pettigrew creates echoes and narratives that bring the audience deeper into the work.
Pettigrew was born in Michigan and currently lives in Gunnison, Colorado. Her work has been featured in several art magazines.