Sarah Wilkins « Back to Studio Artists

Painter and writer

Location: Suite 3-108

My work is ambiguous, intended to trigger associations.  As with a poem or song, viewers must synthesize fragments, deal with disjunction, activate imaginations.  In a single painting, traditional languages of abstraction may coexist or argue, space may be flat or 3D, texture may be rough or refined, contradictions may vie for attention. Such aggregations of elements refer to concepts or experience that I want to encapsulate.

Eclectic Abstraction is a convenient tag for what I do. The style is reductive, but the visual situations tend to be maximal, eclectic in imagery and form, far from purist. Predictable spatial situations are made to coincide with more destabilized areas, as often occurs in reality.  Pictorial space is never empty no matter how minimalist. What happens in an inch of space matters.  Cinematic colors irresistibly attract humans and bees.  Drawn to high-key, stimulating hues, color junkies like me can also become obsessed with fifteen shades of muted grey-green. But I am not a classic color-field painter, as there is more complexity and implication in my work.

As an undergrad at William & Mary in VA I studied art and art history, writing and English literature, then earned an MFA in painting at UNC Chapel Hill in 1989. Printmaking and photography have been influential pursuits.  I have written articles about art and artists for publication, along with poems and stories.  My “more is more” brain has an ongoing tug-of-war between right and left spheres, but words are still my second language.  Sometimes I say to people, “Please be quiet so I can see.”


Shanghai Sunrise

Still Life with Unknown Fruit