Saturday, 14 May 2011

Off The Wall

Movin on Up with Sarah Folkman

Sarah's new collaborative show starts at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culvar City, California at the end of May. We thought that it was best to grab a chat now before she gets far too busy to sit down for a coffee and a break...

RD: Hey Sarah, tell us where your from please?

Los Angeles, California native.

RD: What media do you use and why?

I was drawn to oil paint rather than acrylic or watercolor because it immediately made sense to me - the silky feel and ease of creating transparent glazes. As for surfaces, I’m currently painting on exotic woods that I’ve not used before: Zebrawood, Rosewood, Wenge, Lacewood, Sapele. I paint on the raw wood, which makes each one an entirely new experience in repulsion and attraction between the grain and the paint. That can be frustrating, but there’s something about the wood that grounds me, gives me a feeling of parameters, which I don’t feel with canvas or linen – with those surfaces I tend to go emotionally darker and slightly out of control.

RD: Could you tell us what/who inspired you to become an artist and are you self taught?

I am self taught. I started painting when I was 18. I had so many images and stories in my head that weren’t given an outlet through any other means, so I bought the supplies and started. It was a way for me to grapple with things I couldn’t put words to.

RD: Have you tried any tagging or street stuff at all?

I have not. Painting is a very private activity for me. Worry about being disturbed, especially by law enforcement... I don’t know if I could survive the adrenaline spikes that would cause.

RD: We noticed in 2008 you did mainly bird paintings and in 2009 onwards you started an interaction between strong female figures and nature. Can you explain how this transition came about and what you are trying to put across in some of your art please?

2008 was a big bird year, though I hadn’t painted them much prior to that. I take refuge in my relationships with animals, birds, and insects - helps me not to be overcome by the confusing sadness and blurry motivations I find in other areas of life. And birds have such dramatic personalities if you take the time to know them, which translates nicely into a painting.
Starting with the 2009 show at CHG I felt a craving to move more into the human realm and incorporate the birds. It fits particularly well as an expression of the emotions that have most consumed me this past year. And then, painting skin and what can be seen just under the surface is incredibly fun.

RD: Can of cola or mug of coffee?

Coffee, thanks.

RD: Where would you like to be in 10 yrs time?

Right now I’m working full time and painting, which leaves little room for actual living. In ten years I’d love it if I could be supporting myself as an artist and then have the time to get back to volunteering a couple days a week at wildlife centers.


RD: Looking at your self-portrait(1990's) in which you are looking at yourself in a mirror. Could you explain what's going on with your face in that painting?

That was painted at a time in my life when EVERYTHING was changing: relationship, job, where I lived, what I was doing artistically - and I felt crowded with all the different people in my head, wondering who on earth I was and why it didn’t match with the person those around me seemed to think I was.

RD: What shows have you got coming up Sarah?

May 21, 2011 at the Corey Helford Gallery. Runs through June 8th.

RD: Would you like to thank anyone?

My amazing girlfriend, Alissa, who understands all the time and energy I have to put into work, and Jan Corey and Bruce Helford, who have been wonderfully encouraging and supportive of my painting since the opening of their gallery.

Well it's been great to meet up Sarah and "all the best" for the Corey Helford Show from the peeps at The Collective...Thanks.

Go to Sarah's weby...Here.
Go to Corey Helford Gallery weby...Here

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