Shedding light on the subject
This story was featured in the April 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art April 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art April 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Sarah Freeman was 15 years old when her high school art teacher suggested that she take a life-drawing class at the California Art Institute in Thousand Oaks, CA. “It was the most convenient option, and it turned out to be a great one,” Freeman says. She soon enrolled in a class with a relatively unknown 24-year-old painter named Jeremy Lipking. As Freeman recalls, Lipking, now a prominent figurative artist, had yet to have his first show. As a teenager, she had to get permission from her parents to take the class because the sessions featured nude models.
From Lipking, Freeman learned the importance of working from life, among other things. A few years later, at 18, she became the youngest member of the California Art Club, and eventually she went on to earn a fine-arts degree from New Mexico’s College of Santa Fe (now the Santa Fe University of Art and Design).
As this story was going to press, Freeman had just completed four paintings for a March group show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery, a new Los Angeles-area gallery. These days Freeman is currently focusing her creative eye on still lifes, often using minimalist compositions that incorporate everyday, practical objects. But in paintings such as STILL LIFE WITH TEAPOT, LEMONS, AND EUCALYPTUS, the real star isn’t the objects. “As usual, the real subject in my painting is the light,” she says. “The light in this painting is coming from a skylight in my studio. The subtleties of light are what often inspire me. In this case, I was fascinated with the way the light produced warm shadows and tinges of purple.”
When it comes to composition, her goal in this particular series of paintings is to focus on creating harmony and balance in a peaceful arrangement. “What I enjoy about painting still life is that it causes me to look at everyday reality in a new way. I hope that it does that for my viewers as well,” Freeman says. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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