I relate the action of painting to the geological process of formation and erosion found in mountain and desert landscapes.
I am fascinated by the environmental factors that shape the natural world and seek to imitate their destructive and constructive qualities in an artistic technique.
My landscape imagery is inspired by ridge lines and rock formations that I see in the West and Southwest. I translate my experience and research of these locations into a process of painting that relates to the geological story. For example, when I paint sandstone layers, I created a technique I call Flooded Evaporation Pooling in which I suspend paint in a bath of Rocky Mountain ground water and let it evaporate on the panel over time to create a texture that simulates the banded red rocks and a process that mimics the water erosion of soft red rock sandstone. In each painting their are often 8-15 different geological paint textural areas created in a similar experimental manner. Within each of these areas are layers of paint applied in thin transparent washes that builds the luminosity and rich textures over time. The paint materials I use are often mixed with natural minerals such as marble, mica and iron oxide, cementing the narrative connection of the works to their subject.
The paintings are often described as “dreamy” as they evoke sensations of fantasy or partial reality. I intended the imagery to be at once familiar, but to carry an air of play and curiosity about the natural world as if your discovering a place for the first time.
SARAH WINKLER / Painter