Sarah Brenneman


Artist Statement:

My most recent paintings are all works on paper that utilize collage and watercolor techniques such as using salt to dispel pigment and painting wet paint into wet paint to create soft fluid marks. I have been using watercolor as my main medium since moving to New York in 2000. Watercolor allows me a fluid immediacy and a direct mark that I find fitting for painting natural shapes as well as for patterning. I use watercolor in a contemporary way adding to its rich history.

The inspiration for my most recent paintings varies from Tibetan paintings from the 14th century to early 20th century book cover design to forms found in nature and man-made patterning.

In addition to these influences, a desire to explore botanical shapes is the impetus for many of these paintings. In “Island,” red and pink buds float in front of a jagged section of stripes. In “Gettin’ Down With Medusa,” tentacle-like, leaved branches sprout from a checkered arch.

Collage is an essential element in many of the paintings. Collage can provide a sort of otherness or visual break from the surface of the painting. These collaged paper pieces are sometimes cut out from older works as in “The Wide Net.” In other pieces they are made as separate objects that are kept until they seem to have a proper place in a painting as in “The Pearl.” These paper circles were created many months ago and seemed to be made to sit atop the fluid like pattern in this painting. In “Blue Days at Sea,” the “eye” shapes were made and kept and tried in various paintings until they found their home in the sky of this strange seascape.

Sarah Brenneman’s Website

Sarah Brenneman at Jeff Bailey Gallery