Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Inspired by the tranquility of North Carolina's mountains... Artist Sarah Faulkner

As a kid raised in Florida, (with parental roots in North Carolina) I spent every summer trapesing through the forrests and creeks of the mountains. The beauty and peace of it all, made such an impression, that as an adult, I go back at least once a year. It was about a year or so ago, I stumbled upon numerous artist local to the area with a new style and fresh approach to their art. It was nothing I had seen done over and over, as much of the art in South Florida is. One that really grabbed my eye was Sarah Faulkner.

Sarah Faulkner was raised on a farm in Virginia. It was during this time she lived with ultimate freedom, simplicity and imagination. The "barefoot" years. These qualities are reflected in each of her creative endeavors. After a number of years on the farm, Sarah then moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she began to develop her talent as an artist. She attended Northeastern University, where she studied art history, architecture and visual arts. Sarah’s first artistic love was woodworking. So much so, her kitchen table was also her table saw (I'll leave the details of this up to your imagination).

In 1991, Sarah’s spirit became restless and with two bags and a Super 8 V.I.P. card, she moved to Northern California. The West breathed new life into her creative process. Abrupt landscapes, wide expanses and rich culture, cast its spell. Sarah became involved in the Bay Area arts community, and took a position as Director of a Cooperative Gallery. During this time, she expanded her artistic medium from woodworking to welded steel, with a concentration on kinetic sculpture and architectural commissioned work.
With a never ending curiosity, Sarah, once again, went exploring, and found herself living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She became the Director of a Gallery and Sculpture Garden, and began her exploration of two-dimensional work.

In 2006, Sarah moved to Western North Carolina. Since this time, she has applied her artistic experience toward a new body of work; acrylic and wax painting. The spirit and tranquility of the mountains continues to inspire and infuse her works. Sarah seeks to capture in her work, the important relationships, humans have with trees, flowers, animals and all things in the natural world. These relationships offer a sense of peace, grounding and calm which is so essential to the quality of one's life.

Growth is reflected consistently throughout her work. She experiments with different materials in order to capture the mysterious and atmospheric qualities found in nature. Most recently, she has been working with beeswax as a finish coat to her paintings. This translucent and misty material blends and softens the undercoat colors to give the work depth and light. In addition to
beeswax, Sarah also uses a combination of wood putty and glue to build up the surface of the paintings.

This gives the work a three dimensional quality. Once these materials adhere, multiple layers of paint are applied. First dark colors, then lighter and lighter colors emerge. Over ten layers of paint are applied, to reach its final state. This application of color is deliberate in its attempt to pull the light from the darkness. To combat the dark times, in which we are living, the artist paints to bring joy and hope to her work. In addition to this positive force, Sarah embraces the importance of simplicity.

She works to simplify her environment to create space and time both mentally and physically. These efforts are clearly expressed
 in her paintings. She truly believes staying connected to our natural environment will help us all to stay connected to our human environment. Plant something today, and watch it grow into something beautiful tomorrow!



You can check out more of her work in local galleries throughout North Carolina or online at

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