Pansy Stockton US, 1895-1972


"Pansy Stockton created three-dimensional art assemblages using hundreds of varieties of items from nature such as bark, moss, grass, and weeds. She called them her "sun paintings" because the botanical materials she used get their colors from the sun and, when the art pieces are finished, they resemble paintings."


- Aaron Payne

Born in El Dorado Springer, Colorado, Pansy Stockton spent time in Durango and Silverton, and later moved to Denver where she studied at the Cory School. As an artist in Colorado, she was known for her sun paintings, depictions of the Mount of Holy Cross, and the Gateway to the Garden of the Gods.


In 1941 Stockton became a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied with Robert Graham and Eliot O’Hara. Her subject matter became oriented to the Southwest, in scenes depicting Indian Figures, Old Tesuque Plaza and Mission at Los Ranchos de Taos. She is best known for her assemblage of botanic depictions, using hundreds of varieties of vegetation as mediums in her work. Some of her pictures had as many as 10,000 components, elements like bark, leaves and twigs, and during her career worked with 250 kinds of vegetation from all over the world. Prior to vegetation, she worked in oils, watercolors and tempera.


Stockton developed a method of making art she called “Sun Painting” in which Stockton built up pictures like mosaics from the things she found in nature. Her process relied on an understanding of the ecosystem in which she lived, and what it produced. Though she began this process in Colorado, she believed her paintings would be better accepted in Santa Fe. In addition to her career as an artist, Stockton engaged in activist work, interceding with the government on behalf of the Sioux Indians of South Dakota to preserve their land.