ARTISTS STATEMENT

I am a watercolor artist living in Sebastopol, California.  I received my B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and my secondary teaching credential from the University of Southern California.  I taught fine arts at the high school level for 34 years.

Artist’s statements, like their art, evolve over time.  So it is with me.  As I reflect on my work, I inevitably come to certain conclusions.  My early work spoke of my affinity with the high desert.  I felt passionate about adobe structures.  I was fascinated with the intensity of the soft desert colors.  I was also drawn to the intense shadows cast because of the special light quality of the desert atmosphere.   A recent trip to New Mexico inspired me to revisit adobe structures and I fell in love all over again.  Although my work continues to focus on strong shadow shapes, I would have to say that my love of color has dominated my more current work.  I love to use very saturated pigments while still allowing the light of the paper to shine through. 

For years I have been drawn to painting persimmons. They have a magical and spiritual quality for me.  Just as we are heading into the darkness of winter, they seem to illuminate the path forward with light, color, and luminosity.

The past year and a half I have been exploring the effects of light through transparent objects.  Observing  refraction  through glass has been an exciting challenge, and I  love the abstraction created by seeing things through that prism.

My travels over the years have profoundly influenced my choices of subject matter.  I have explored themes that include Asian and Italian pottery as well as fabrics from Japan and Hawaii.  I am probably best known for my still life series that focuses on Asian artifacts, kimonos and bamboo.  I have always been drawn to the Asian aesthetic and it seems to suit my style.  I would describe my work as sharp focused with emphasis on strong shadow shapes that capture a specific moment in time. The use of luscious colors is integral to my work.  I feel that I am choosing and “rescuing moments” that otherwise would never be seen again.  It is my hope that the viewer will be engaged, visually enter the picture, slow down, and visit for awhile.

My work can be seen at The Graton Gallery in Graton, California, and Splash 14 - "The Best of Watercolor".  I am also a signature member of Watercolor West.

Copyright Sally Baker Watercolors 2015