The otherworldly mixed media paintings of Sarah Stone draw their themes from nature, folklore, myths and dreams. Please visit her website to see more of her art.
I get my inspirations for paintings from nature, folklore, myths and dreams, joining archetypal themes from many cultures to reveal fundamental roots that connect all tribes of people and the environments we share.
Ideas come to me in the space between dreaming and waking. I keep a sketchbook next to the bed to grab them, using these impressions to explore different renderings and color palettes throughout the day.
After I have a sketch I’m happy with, I research the mythic and folkloric aspects of my idea. This might seem backwards, you would think an artist would start with the story they want to tell and then arrive at the sketch, but I want to see what my subconscious pulls up from the deep before I start engaging linear thought processes. This research often adds new dimensions to the composition.
I start with chaos and work towards order. Each painting begins by splattering acrylic colors randomly onto the surface of a cradled board or canvas, allowing the pigments to drip and flow back and forth until they arrive at a pleasing pattern. I then apply my drawing with Contécrayon, allowing for sketchy corrections around the main image that often remain visible in the finished pieces.
After this I cover the surface with a thin, gradient wash of oil color, allowing the background to show through. I build up layers of complementary oil colors, letting each layer peek into the next. Sometimes I rub or sand areas to reveal more of what is underneath. This communication between layers creates a bouncy visual harmonic giving the finished paintings a lot of energy.
My studio is indoor/outdoor, which really affects my work. Nature is all around me when I paint, and always becomes part of my subject matter. This is one reason I paint with (Holbein’s) water miscible oils. These versatile oil paints clean up with soap and water keeping toxic vapors and solvents from escaping into the environment.
Though each of my artworks have their own distinct personalities, they all contain similar DNA: bright colors for life energy, yin and yang elements representing balancing dualities, and roots, veins or flow patterns to evoke connections, passages or transitions.
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