For two decades I've been painting the iconic Western landscape. Drawn to its high key colors and textures of rock formations, stacked ridge lines and endless horizons. I see a complex history to this desert and mountainous landscape especially in terms of its geological past; evaporated ocean beds, deserts with marine fossils, forests where there were glaciers and mountains uplifting flat plains. In many of my paintings I create a horizon line to split the picture plane into what we see above ground and how it might relate to the geology hidden below ground.

I've developed a style of painting that mimics the geological process of landscape formation and erosion. Each work is comprised of layers of paint applied in sections. I use natural "resists" found in landscapes such as salt, water, wind and temperature change to interact with the painted surface and partially remove it to build texture over time. The matte acrylic paint materials I use are often mixed with minerals such as marble, gold 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