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 three 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 twenty years of dedicated painting, I am as intrigued by the capabilities of art as I was as a wide-eyed fourteen year old.
I work with a variety of tools 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 another. There are many materials and mediums I enjoy working with, and everyday brings on new ideas with which to use my materials. 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.
Conceptually, my painting process aims to grasp obscure, fleeting feelings turning them into something physical; a painting that is emotionally revealing and visually stimulating. 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 anything less than an authentic representation of myself. The act of painting has a way of making me mindful of what is true giving me a unique perspective and a vivid realization of all that is deeply planted in my heart.
To learn more about Sarah's conceptual approach, visit the blog and scroll through.