Sarah Baptist Artist Statement
Growing up with a college art history Professor I was exposed to great art, museums and encouraged to play and draw. When it was time to pick a career I chose set design for theater because I loved creating the illusion of another world on the stage. That morphed into painting scenery for theater, opera and specialty events for 20+ years.
When I suddenly lost my job in December 2013 I took it as a sign to return to my roots and what I loved most. Art. More specifically drawing and painting. In some sense it is still about illusion and creating worlds. One moment there is a blank piece of paper or canvas, and then with a few marks there appears a figure or a place. We recognize something in that image as innately human; we all see the lines on the paper or brushstrokes on canvas but it coalesces into a familiar image and evokes a feeling, an affinity…something. How amazing is that!
The subjects that inspire me the most are the human figure and urban landscapes. I have been drawing the figure for 20+ years and never get bored. My figurative drawing is gestural, intuitive and expressive.
The urban landscape done en plein air is a recent discovery and this new direction is exhilarating. I respond strongly to the structures of the urban landscape that I see all around me. The impact of the vertical and horizontal structures…how they conflict and contrast with each other and yet seem to morph into their own composed design fascinates me. Add to that the immediacy of painting plein air with the changing conditions, the need to act fast, get the mark down, and concentrate on the essence of the scene not necessarily the details. There is nothing like it.