My Art Journey:
Sarah’s Art Journey is about my journey through the discovery of art and a way of personally documenting the art that I have produced over the years. My work falls into a number of prominent categories: Mosaic, Linocutting, Textile and Pen and Ink
The Central Theme to My Art Practice:
All which are ‘slow art‘ forms. Slow Art is defined by a style of looking and perceiving, one that involves heightened attention to the experience of the passing of time. All requiring a considerable degree of time, attention and thought. Slow art touches on “fundamental relations of stillness and motion, flatness and depth, art and life, art and death, and art and perception in modernity.” It is the antithesis of the sort of modern art produced by digital media.
I am fascinated by the slowness of the process and the myriad of decisions that have to be made in order to get a mosaic to its final resting place. I like the notion of fragments making a whole. The other aspect of mosaic-ing that very much appeals to me is the fact that there is plenty of scope for using recycled material. It is not a ‘wasteful’ art form and the works that I produce have the ability to stand the test of time. My imagination is the only limiting factor- broken china, old buttons, seeds, rocks, old glass washed up on the beach. Other people’s discards can become the most beautiful reinventions. In this medium I favor large over small pieces. I studied mosaics in Ravenna and in Venice and have a Master in Mosaics.
Linocut is also a ‘slow art’ form. Everything takes time. My work tends to be fine and detailed. It can take weeks of work to carve out the design and careful concentration is required. It is a meditative art form which I thoroughly enjoy. Linocuts require a block of linoleum, originally used in flooring and made of linseed oil. It is then cut using special sharp tools. Once cut to my design, ink is spread evenly on the surface of the linoleum, creating a surface ideal for printing. One slip and you can destroy the piece or your hand, even before its inked.
I use the technique of scratching into plexi-glass or paper or metal. These lines create a burr that holds ink, meaning that the print reveals the drawing. Intaglio printmaking is the opposite of relief printmaking as it is the sunken areas of the plate that print rather than the raised areas. The process is like using a pen without ink – literally, drawing with a dry point – to create an impression of a drawing that, when inked, can be printed from again and again. Think of it as an etching without the acid, or engraving with an etching needle. Whistler and Picasso are two artists that used this method. The soft, feathery lines of dry point lend themselves to playful illustrations or expressive sketches, which then produce an edition of prints.
Pen and Ink:
This is a relatively new medium for me. I love the delicacy of touch of ink on paper and the ability to convey an image through only a few strokes in one direction and then another. I have begun to experiment more with color and envisage my work changing going forward. I’m still enjoying the ability to wander round beautiful cities like Amersfoort and Taline, capturing life in this simple but effective manner. I also love the contrast of black and white.
I have always loved fabric, embroidery, felt and anything that glitters. For me, textile work is a celebration of the gentle female arts. My feeling is that these art forms have long been undervalued by society. They areften get thrown into the ‘craft’ category as though they were somehow of less value. I am always moved by the old embroidered samplers, tatting, lace-making and fine embroideries of years gone by. The hours of labor and care that went into the creation of each piece, often to be totally taken fore-granted. When I’m creating textiles that’s what I am reminded of – days long ago sitting round the fire with only a small amount of lamp light, darning and stitching for the family.
Art, for me, is always a journey of new discovery. So I look forward to seeing what comes next…