We need the shadow to feel the light

  20.01.2022 Arts & Culture

“Good afternoon, I am the artist”, Huck Scarry greeted the guests in the purest German on the opening day of his exhibition at the Museum der Landschaft Saanen. On display are exclusively watercolours of the Saanen mountains, which are shown off to special advantage in the high-contrast glass-floored room.

Huck Scarry was born in the USA in 1953. He is the son of the great children’s book author and illustrator Richard Scarry. Huck came to Switzerland with his parents as a teenager, where his parents bought a chalet in Gstaad. He studied graphic arts in Lausanne and Paris. As an author, he continues to develop his late father’s work, but as a watercolourist, painting teacher and with travel guides of various Italian cities, he has made a name for himself.

Scarry explained that he only works on location, not in his studio. He goes out into nature on foot, by ski or by car, and when something strikes his fancy, he unfolds his chair, takes the paint box out of his rucksack and starts painting. Of course, he has a blanket and a thermos bottle with him in winter, he says.

Asked about the blue-violet hue that dominates his watercolours, he says that he doesn’t actually like it that much. “But it occurs everywhere in nature because it is the colour of shade. Especially in southern countries like Italy or Greece, where I have been teaching watercolour painting for 15 years. It’s the same in the mountains.” And that’s where he begins with his watercolours: with the shadows. Only then does he fill in the light-filled areas and details, he says, because only through the shadows can you feel the light as it really is.


The exhibition Mit dem Malkasten im Rucksack at the Museum der Landschaft Saanen lasts until 26 February 2022. Open from Monday to Saturday (entrance Heimatwerk) and from Thursday to Sunday from 2 to 5 pm (entrance Museum).

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