By Randi Bjornstad
Sarah Sedwick calls her new show simply “New Work,” because all but a handful of the still-life pieces have been painted during the last three months — a couple as recently as last week.
The 15 works of art are on display at Tim Boyden’s Out on a Limb Gallery in downtown Eugene, where an opening reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. during the First Friday ArtWalk on Nov. 4.
On Nov. 5, Boyden will host a celebration at Out on the Limb to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the gallery’s opening at 191 E. Broadway.
Through the past couple of years, Sedwick’s paintings have achieved a new level of dimensionality as well as a seemingly internally generated light source often associated with 17th-century Dutch master painters.
Sedwick attributes the change in her work to working regularly with students who take classes with her at Oregon Art Supply in downtown Eugene, as well as a still life studio she hosts in the Whiteaker Printmakers space — aka WhitPrint — in the artsy Whiteaker neighborhood west of downtown and an art mentorship program she offers online.
“Working with students forces me to go back and continually re-evaluate the fundamental values of painting — basic color, drawing every day, painting in black and white and having to explain what I’m doing,” Sedwick said. “It has definitely had a positive effect on my own work.”
The work in this show reflects an aesthetic theme that Sedwick has gravitated toward lately, featuring arrangements of squash, persimmons and cantaloupe that reflect an affinity with color as much a time of year, the artist said.
“It is somewhat seasonal, but I’ve just been taken lately with yellows and oranges, and these are objects that lend themselves well to this exploration,” Sedwick said. “I was painting one day at a farm stand, and I came home with a whole load of interesting pumpkins — I really need to start cooking some of these pumpkins instead of painting them.”
Perhaps because of her heavier emphasis on teaching, Sedwick has concentrated most of this year on still life works, rather than the portraiture and nude figures that she also considers staples of her repertoire.
However, she does plan to do a figure-painting demonstration on Dec. 2 in conjunction with a workshop she will teach on Dec. 3 and 4 at Whiteaker Printmakers.
While Sedwick’s “New Work” exhibit is the featured show at the Out on a Limb Gallery in November, Boyden also has work on display by more than a half-dozen area artists, starting with his own handmade furniture that features a unique combination of fine woodworking with rustic visual elements.
Other artwork he’s showing includes Linda Lu’s quilts; wooden wall assemblages by Michael Whitenack; Heidi Good’s woodburning pieces; whimsical but high-fashion metal sculptures of high-heeled women’s shoes by an artist who goes simply by Micki; miniature painted mandalas by Barry LaVoie; rocks painted with Turkish marbling painted by Shel Neal; ceramic heart ornaments by Patricia Montoya Donahue; and Dave Imus’s fine-design maps.
CONTACT SARAH SEDWICK
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