Sarah Bird

Artist’s Statement

Originally motivated to express the simplicity and fullness of my childhood landscape in New England, I developed a reverence for the skills of the Hudson River School painters who brought oil painting into the outdoors, conveying unparalleled quantities of space on canvas. This admiration drew me to study traditional oil painting techniques at the Grand Central Academy, where for four years I studied full-time with a group of contemporary realist painters led by Jacob Collins. Now I am exploring the more intimate landscapes of still life, a poetic genre. I am influenced by realist painters like Claudio Bravo and Antonio Lopez Garcia, but am even more affected by older artists like Adrian Coorte, Jan van Eyck, and Giovanni Bellini. Currently my work takes two general forms, either traditional, altaresque still lives of natural objects on cloth, or “foliage paintings”: wilder still lives of plants, leaves, and branches on a dark background, which I see as a cross-pollination between landscape and still life. I am glad to have arrived in inspiring Idaho where the natural world is everything.

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