Painting is something I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. I began selling my art as a teenager and maintained commission work throughout college. In 2007, I graduated from The University of Mississippi where I attained a BFA in painting. Anxious to continue working towards a career in art, I chose to move back to my hometown, Mobile, AL, where I had begun establishing myself as a working artist. I opened a studio in a high traffic area and taught art lessons in addition to painting. Years later but just up the road, my home studio in Mobile is where I am working as a full time artist. My husband and I have two young children who became an unpredictable influence on my art. I am in the throes of motherhood while holding on to an embedded fixation of painting. The balance of these two worlds is the basis for my current art, both aesthetically and conceptually.
I have found a fulfilling way to let my two most impassioned roles coexist and thrive from each other. Doing what I love wholeheartedly with a presence of mind gives me material for art. Whether I am painting or spending time with my family, I am keeping tabs on emotions and experiences that can influence my work later. While motherhood has changed my daily routine and studio time, I am finding myself working more than ever before with a deeper love and appreciation for my time spent painting and a stronger commitment to make the most of every minute with paint on my hands. What had become work is now a lucid retreat for clarity in a hectic and competitive world, but what hasn’t changed is my ambitious notion that there will always be endless ways to create and express. After almost twenty years of dedicated painting, I am as intrigued by the capabilities of art as I was as a wide-eyed fourteen year.
My process involves a variety of tools used to make gestural, reactive and impulsive marks encouraging me to create without inhibitions. In addition to energetic line work, I focus on building layers to establish rich depth and dynamic fluctuations between tonal value, color and texture. With paint and concept, I refer to the delicate balance between contrasting elements. I seek out unpredictable combinations, but create ways for one element to enhance the other. There are many materials and mediums I enjoy working with, and everyday brings a new idea and use for yet another medium. Layering various textures intrigues me and gives me a unique result. I want the viewer to be unsure of the process leaving him or her in wonder.
I look to my own heart to source distinct work that connects with the truth of who I am. Essentially, my process comes down to letting my hand and heart work together, avoiding the restrictions of analysis and fear. I make a strong effort to create art that is free of wrongful influences, false pretenses or anything less than an authentic representation of myself. My paintings reflect what is behind my consciousness and reproduce the emotions that my mind cannot articulate. Understanding who I am and what makes me unique starts with being totally honest. That honesty allows me to grasp obscure, fleeting feelings and turn them into something physical; a painting that is emotionally revealing and visually stimulating.
To learn more about Sarah's conceptual approach, visit the blog and scroll through.