12.13.2011

My Sister the Mural Artist


In the past, I have mentioned that my sister is an artist. She now has on online portfolio showcasing some of her work on Crevado: you can find her portfolio through this link.


One of the things that she has enjoyed greatly is creating murals and wall art in a variety of settings.

In this first example, she traveled with a team on a mission trip to a Deaf School in Honduras. One aim of the trip was to assist with a needed addition to the existing school. My sister was given the general plan and guidelines for the wall spaces to paint, and collaborated with another artist on the work required to create a colorful and cheerful atmosphere for the school children.

Here are some pictures of the work they did:






This mural was painted in the bathroom area in the new addition.







Here is a view down the main hallway of the new addition.






Next, when her church was preparing a performance of 'The Last Supper,' she created the backdrop based on that famous work of art of the same name by Leonardo da Vinci.





She has also painted murals for children's rooms.


This one is a fun 'nouveau barnyard' look, with brightly painted animal spots on the walls.

Here is another mural with a fun ocean theme:







I will be posting more of her pictures as she completes more work! 
 
If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, and would like a mural painted for your home or office or church, etc.,  Heather may be contacted through heathersmurals@gmail.com.

12.06.2011

Interview With Artist Robert Foster


Storm Watcher


The woman stands in shadowy silhouette and gazes heavenward. Is she worried about a turbulent storm on its way, or is she relieved to see rain? The grass is blowing wildly around her, and even her dress and her hair are being affected by the blustery weather. What is going to happen next? Will she calmly embrace the opportunity for much-needed rain, or will she run somewhere else and take shelter from an ominous cloud?

These are some of the thoughts I had when viewing this work by artist Robert Foster. In this particular series of paintings, mentioned below, I think for me part of the attraction is the mysterious quality in the image. There is this sense that time is fleeting, and what can be observed at this time cannot be observed for very long. It appears to me that soon what can be seen will be obscured by darkness. There is something about the sky in the evening as well, that has a color all of its own and an intensity lacking in other hours of day or night.

Many of Robert Foster's works evoke a feeling of tranquility and quiet repose. For me, viewing them is in some way like a beautiful antidote for the stress of living in our fast-paced modern world.





Robert Foster




Much of your work tends to be very serene.


Preen

Window Cat
Does that perspective come naturally, or do you have to fix your environment to get that effect? Is it difficult to keep the serene focus when you paint?

My main theme in my work is one of serene moment. I love to capture the perfect moment when the light and the form and subject come together to make a serene impression. I also love to paint humor with animals which can also be found here and there in the body of my work. A serene appreciation is something that I think can be found in most people. I love to play music when I paint as it helps me to set the mood and concentration that I need.


Night View
Some of your pictures have sort of a lingering, haunting quality about them. Would you mind discussing what inspired your black and white series of 'Ladies in Solitude' images in terms of your inspiration and creative process?

I did paint a series I titled Ladies in solitude. They are mostly done in a black and white rendition as there is no color to distract from the message of the work. It began with a mental impression of a young lady paused and focused on the natural beauty of the moment and this vision produced the series. As is most of my work, the series is very simple with no hidden message other than what speaks to the viewer.

Some of your work also ventures into the abstract. Is abstract art more about form or meaning? Is it the line and color that should be appreciated over the interpreted meaning, or the other way around? How do you think a person viewing abstract art should best approach the work in terms of appreciating it?

I have done abstract work and I've always felt that the abstraction of natural shape and color is also simple and shouldn't be given hidden meaning. Each person viewing the art can interpret the feelings they receive from it.



Bear Mountain


Tree Shaft Lane

 
Seaswell
What inspires your ideas for your work? Do ideas come to you fairly readily, or do you have to go through a concerted process of determining your projects?

My scenes and ideas are mostly spontaneous with a few driven by commercial need as I am making a modest living with my art for the past 40 years.



Beachcomber


Maude

How important is beauty to an image?
Beauty is literally everywhere. It is around us in the trees and grass and blue sky, and with people and animals. All it takes is a discerning eye to bring it out and another eye of appreciation to soak it in.


Can an image ever be too perfect?


I believe it can. The natural world is full of imperfections and the imperfections are what make it appear perfect.


Pink Beauty
The floral works that you paint seem three-dimensional. The viewer could almost expect to experience a floral aroma to accompany the viewing of the work. Is it difficult to create an image that appears to have form to it in that way?

Of course, the beauty of flowers is evident to all of us. The colors and folding of petals is marvelous and has a strong appeal for artists everywhere. I love to do the floral work that you can find in my work, mainly with a closeup of the natural shape of the blossom rather than an arrangement sitting in a vase or pot.

On your website, I noticed the colorful lion image that you associate with your name. Would you mind talking about that image and the inspiration behind it?

Golden King

The Golden King lion that is associated with my website is a work that I've had a fondness for from the beginning of its creation. I love the muted fierceness of the lion into the almost angelic final interpretation. The king is wrapped in a golden light with his mane softly spread around his head.

Technology is prevalent in our modern world; it seems to be part of our everyday lives in so many ways. Arguably, technology can both complicate and simplify our lives. How do you believe technology has affected the creation of art?

When I attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco the mediums were gouache watercolors and oil, acrylic charcoal and pencil. Gouache was the medium of the illustrator in the early 1960's and I studied using this medium for my illustration class. I learned to love it and still use it in my work to this day. I also have used oil charcoal pencil and now work in some format with digital art. I have found that by combining digital art with gouache I can achieve some very pleasing results. I also have some pure digital works including many of my ladies in solitude series.

Mother Nature


Flight to Paradise

Within the category of fantasy, you have created a range of subject matter in your works. What do you find intriguing about fantasy as subject matter for your work?

My fantasy art is a joy for me to create. We all have an imagination and with all the possibilities of color and shapes defined by fantasy there is no limit on artistic possibilities.



Thank you, Bob! It was a pleasure learning more about you and your work!

To see more of Robert Foster's work, visit his website at RobertLFoster.com

All images in this interview are used by permission, are property of Robert Foster, and are copyright protected.

11.16.2011

Interview with Art Doll Sculptor Kim Matheny

The following interview is serendipitously related to two topics of great interest to me personally: literature and art.

These wee little ones created by Kim Matheny -- a combination of elves, pixies, goblins, and other legendary creatures -- seem to me to have stepped straight out of a story book. How appropriate, since fantasy literature is one of the inspirations behind their creation.

I will start with letting Kim explain some of her background for herself: " I have always had a vivid imagination and created art in some form. My family remembers me doing so as child, drawing, painting, etc. I collected dolls when I was younger, it took me 38 years to create them. I love to read young adult paranormal fiction. I was the excited adult standing in line for hours to get the newest Harry Potter book then taking it home and devouring it."

It isn't just their interesting facial structure and expressions or imaginative style of dress in Kim Matheny's works that is so captivating. The descriptions she creates for each individual character, told in entertaining story form, provide each character's name and corresponding (impish) behaviors. The reader is drawn into this Fae world and into Kim's vision for what makes each character special, an essential member of Elftown.




Kim Matheny


Darbin the Goblin Time Thief

How did you get started in your craft? How did Homespun Dolls begin?

In May 2010 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, because my father is disabled I was her primary care-taker. I found I needed something to de-stress and get my mind off of what I could not control.

Reading was not doing that, I could not concentrate. I started trying to crochet toys and found out pretty quick that I can't crochet. While searching for tips on how to crochet I found a video of a woman needle-felting a pumpkin. I decided to try it and made a very poor rabbit, then a very poor mole, then a really ugly pig.

That pig was turned into a old ugly troll woman. And that was it, goblins, trolls, elves all from wool but the fingers were not turning out like I wanted. So I started making them from clay, then decided in October 2010 if I could make fingers I might be able to make faces.

The first clay dolls I made were larger, over a foot high. I wanted to make Fae dolls like I seen them in my mind. Small enough to hide behind a book or in a cup. I wanted to look at them and think they weren't moving because I had looked at them. Like if I just turned my head they would go back to digging around in the cupboards or stealing buttons from the sewing basket to use as tires on their carts.

My mother enjoyed hearing the stories the I made up about the little ones, and seeing the newest come alive. She did not get to see the little dolls I do now, she passed away in November 2010. But I'm sure she would love them.


Many of your art dolls are pixies, goblins, or elves – legendary creatures. What was the appeal for you in choosing them as your subject matter?

Their magic, their mischief, their little pointy ears and ugly cute little faces. What's not to love about a goblin who steals buttons or a pixie who keeps the bugs off the lettuce by eating them? Escaping reality is very appealing, especially in a town where you can tell stories for your supper and a warm bed. Or where you can have fresh berries brought to your door for a bit of honey.

Beedle A Woodland Pixie




Raven the Little Elf Poet

I was thinking about the concept of elves. There is that often retold story of ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker.’ There is the Keebler Elf. Of course, the upcoming Christmas season brings images of Santa's elves to mind.

Berry the Woodland Christmas Elf


So often it seems we seem to think of elves primarily as little helpers with exceptional creative ability.

I was trying to research the defining qualities of elves, goblins, and pixies. In my efforts, I found that these three creatures have in common the possession of a mischievous nature. Your art dolls, through their facial expressions and through your descriptions, emphasize this impish side.


Piggen the Pine Berry Stealing Goblin

Your description: “I caught this little goblin in the Pine berry bush eating his way through this year's crop. After his capture I asked him what his name was since I was feeding him. He announced Piggen pronounced Pigeon, I have to disagree - surely it is pronounced Pig In. Because that is what he was doing in the middle of the berries -- Pigging In!”

Pickwin the Gobling Pick-Pocket

Your description: ” Look here who I met today, this dandy with all his ruffles and feathers -- doesn't he look fancy. But beware of all his dashing good looks! This little goblin is a well known for his pick-pocket skills. I believe that button on Pickwin's hat came from the cuff on my sleeve. Very sly little goblin indeed.”

It could be argued that impishness can also be a lovable quality. What do you think is the appeal of these mythical creatures?


They mean no harm, no hate, even getting into things they shouldn't, they do it for a very good reason. They make you believe there might really and truly be magic. That there just might be a real reason behind the fairy tales.

Do you have a favorite art doll you have created? What made it your favorite?

I have had a few favorites, my first of course was Jasper the Candle-Lighter



then Twig




[and] Darbin and just last week I created a little red-haired pixie girl named Olive.



She had me laughing out loud as she told me her story. I could picture her in my head running around getting ready for a Christmas ball. It is very hard to part with the ones who come alive so easy.


Your creations are dolls-as-art, which seems to imply they are meant to be displayed rather than held. I have a suspicion that even so, children tend to fall in love with them as deeply and as often as adults do. Do you get a lot of commentary from children about your dolls?

When children come over with their parents to see the dolls they always want to hear their stories. They usually pick a favorite and that's the story they like the best. I have two youngsters wanting to learn how to make the dolls and that tickles me. I hope to teach them how so they can also bring their imagination to life. Encourage the imagination in a child.

Old Troll Elf Woman

Some of your dolls are felted. Many are made of Polymer Clay. Do you have a preference as far as technique or end result?

I prefer clay, the wool has a nice texture but for those detailed faces clay is my favorite.

I read in your descriptions that when you use polymer clay for the faces, you do not use molds. Did it take a long time to get that process down to a science?

No molds, I want them to have their own personality and face. It felt like it took forever to get the faces like I wanted them. And I still look back at each one and think "Oh I should have done this or that". I haven't taken any classes but have found good advice and techniques given online in blogs and videos. I'm still learning but I'm getting there.

Are you ever surprised by the expressions that result?

Every time, unless it is a commission I have no idea what I will get. If I plan to do a certain doll looking a certain way you can bet it will change. They have a story that is told while I make them, it doesn't always go with what I intended it to.

What do you think makes your dolls radiate so much character?

I put their story into their face, I don't want them to look fake. I want them to look angry, happy, ornery, sweet whatever they are feeling during the story. I think a lot of their character comes from the little story I tell that goes with them.

Felix the Dancing Goblin
How do you decide how to dress each one? Is it challenging to find items of clothing that match your idea for a doll’s character?

When their story is being told while I sculpt them I am seeing them dressed running around. It is challenging to find the right material that will drape well on a 6 inch doll. I've been known to cut up perfectly good clothing to get that certain look.

How long does a project typically take for completion?

It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week. If they are impatient to come alive they will not let me rest. I have started on several who woke me early and other than eating I didn't stop until they were completed. I will be exhausted but those dolls are the ones that I don't want to part with. They just feel more alive to me when they are bursting to become.

Rumplestiltskin

Your descriptions on Etsy are in engaging story form. Are there particular books that inspire your work?

Harry Potter of course, Holly Blacks books, Amanda Hockings Trylled trilogy, and many more of the young adult paranormal books.

Have you thought about writing a book based upon your creations?

I think someday when I feel Elftown has told me enough I will put a bit of their story into a book. For now they are still wanting to be made and not willing to let me take the time for that.

What do you like the most about creating your art dolls?

Being able to make what I imagine come alive for others to see.



Thank you, Kim! It was great fun to learn more about you and the Fae world of your creation. I hope there will be a story book (or two) about these cute little creatures one day with your name on it!

Kim creates her art doll sculptures in a studio in Northeast Arkansas. To learn more about her and see more of her work, stop by her blog, her Etsy Shop, or her Facebook page. A note from Kim: "I normally upload pictures of my newest little ones on my Facebook pages before they are listed in my Etsy store." Additionally, Kim can be found on Twitter @homespundolls.



All images in this interview are used by permission, are the property of Kim Matheny, and are copyright protected.


This interview can also be read with commentary on the blog: Handmadeology : The Science of Handmade.

10.15.2011

Interview With Visual Artist Sarah Rauner

There are two Texas towns on my 'favorites' list of places we can drive to in a reasonable amount of time on a Saturday. One town is McKinney, and the other is Waxahachie. Why do I consider them favorites?

They have preserved a large number of houses built in a bygone era. The beauty and grandeur of those homes still stand for eyes to behold. I have driven through the neighborhoods and I have walked through them.

For me, the sense of a connection to the past is soothing. Not everything about the past, of course. The good things. The sense of family gathered and drinking lemonade on the wrap-around porch. Taking time to just be.

The first thing I noticed about Sarah Rauner's work is her use of homes and buildings from the past in her pictures. However, what really got my attention was the way they are distorted in some ways, leaning heavily, or somehow twisting to my eyes. To my interpretation, the houses are sturdy. Hearty. Survivors.

There is more to Sarah Rauner's work than older homes. There is a sense of community and place. However, as you will see, she is a versatile artist who draws from a number of influences and genres to create an eclectic collection of work.




Sarah Rauner



The Last Bearing

In your Etsy profile, you make several statements I think are very interesting. To start with, you write “I am organized chaos” and “I am an artist in my mind, still trying to deliver it from my mind...” Could you explain these statements and how they color what you do?

I diagnosed myself as organized chaos about three years ago when asked to do a self portrait for a challenge. We were to create a photo describing ourselves and after several days I came to the conclusion that I am “organized chaos“. Chaos is where I live. Everything I do is chaotic, it's just the way my brain works. And that carries over into my artwork.

I’ve tried to do clean minimal work because I love that kind of art, but my mind just doesn’t see it that way. If you were to open a window and take a peek into my brain, first you would probably be scared, then you would find it exhausting, I find it exhausting. But definitely don’t try to fix me because then I would be lost. There is a method to my madness. My house and mind may be chaos but I know the where and why of every random object and thought there. Which leads to the delivering it from my mind.

I constantly see pictures in my mind. I have always felt I had the heart of an artist. I started drawing and writing poetry at a very young age. I received my first camera at the age of five and took art classes in school. But I’ve always struggled with the feeling of mediocre. I couldn’t produce the intensity I saw in my mind. But the digital world has allowed me to start doing so.

How does what you do affect your state of mind?

Creating has been the best therapy for my mind. It's kind of a release for me, gets out some of the clutter and makes room for more. Sometimes I have such random thoughts and images go through my mind that I feel they will make me crazy. My art calms my thinking. It helps me not feel confined.

How does a sense of chaos help you create your work?

I think the chaos helps to keep me creative. I have so many things going through my mind at one time that they overlap and pile up and that, a lot of the time, is what  inspires a vision. I am able to process many thoughts at one time.


Glyndon Hotel


If I Could



Late Again


When viewing your work, I thought I saw influences of realism, surrealism, and abstract art. Would you say that is true? What would you say are your influences and inspirations?

That is definitely true. My first love is abstract, which seems ,for me, to be the hardest to create. But most of my work I would describe as surrealism. I love to create whimsical or fantasy images. I like to create a scene that almost looks normal but is definitely not. I want my viewer to get a glimpse into my imagination.

Some of my influences are Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dali….yes two different worlds, but I love the everyday people in NR stuff, but love the chaos and sickness of Dali. Call me weird, oh yeah most people already do.
  
 
How did you get started in your craft?

About 7 years ago I started working with a friend of mine as a photographer, mostly portraits and such. It was my first digital camera and my first experience with Photoshop. I started with Photoshop 7 and she and I together, one day at a time, figured it out. At the time I was also working as a nail tech and did photography part time. Two years ago I went full time into photography and digital art. And in the two years I have been full time,  I have acquired Photoshop CS2. And with the help of tutorials online have spent hours learning as much as I can to help in this process of creating "Art".

Dreams Do Come True



Paint This Town



The Rising Sun Cafe

Some of your pictures have a vibrant, heightened-color type feel, such as 'Dreams Do Come True,' while others feel as though the final effect is watercolor or is muted in some way, such as 'Paint This Town.' Some subjects within your images are proportionally in tact, while others have obvious distortions, such as in the proportions of the buildings in 'Rising Sun Cafe'. Many times these elements seem to be mixed within one picture.

How would you describe your art?


I often don’t even realize I am mixing distortions with realistic objects, it just happens. I guess this comes from a little personality quirk I have. I hate perfection in the sense of perfectly neat and straight. Objects in my home are never centered or even. My furniture, if I can get away with it, is slightly crooked. Nothing ever matches perfectly, my photography is always a little off from what is considered technically correct. Although I try to do “normal”, my brain isn’t wired that way. So my art is almost never “perfect”, it is always, in some form I guess, flawed. So I guess there it is – “Flawed”.

But we’ll just call it photo manipulation/digital painting or digital collage.

I think it is fair to say that many of your pictures utilize a heightened imagination, even fantasy. Do you see the images in your minds' eye before you begin, or do ideas come to you as you manipulate the images?

I have been asked this many times and the answer is both. Some come to me as images, some in words, some even in dreams, some never take on a recognizable form, just a feeling.  But sometimes I have no idea what to do until I start manipulating and throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the image. But some are truly inspired and those are my favorites. Like “The Last Bearing” or “Freedom Dancer”.


Little Cowboys


The distortions in the houses in many of your images got my attention first. In the case of “Little Cowboys”, the juxtaposition of the house makes it seem as though the house is climbing skyward to my eyes. What inspired you to use distortions in that way?

Again the dislike of perfect form I guess. And I like to evoke "unrestricted thought" and create distractions from reality. Normal is highly overrated.

You mention in your Etsy profile, “ I need to photograph.” However, your work goes beyond the photograph. Most if not all are additionally manipulated in some way, with varying degrees of departure from photo to painting in effect depending on the image. What drives your need to photograph? What drives your art thereafter?

I once started asking people around me if they could have 3 superpowers what would they be, and mine were to take pictures with my eyes (for obvious reasons), to be invisible ( I could take pics anywhere of anything/anyone without compromising the scene) and to be able to teleport (so I could go anywhere I wanted in the world and take photos).

Everything I do is motivated by photography. Everything I see is a potential photo op. If I don’t carry a camera with me everywhere and take photos, I am haunted by moments I missed, you can't get them back, you can try to recreate them, but its not the same as catching that untainted moment.

When I upload photos onto my computer I immediately start to imagine these captured scenes or objects combined. Some photos are perfect left alone, but most can be better. I always imagine the six million dollar man theme song…Gentlemen I can rebuild it, I have the technology, I have the capability…lol.

I often wondered why my photography was so odd now I know it was meant for something different.


Taking 'Bville 3' as an example, would you mind describing your creative process of photo manipulation?


Bville 3 was a commission piece, two of the homes included belong to my customer and her sister and she wanted to create a Brooksville scene including their homes and surprise her sister with it. This piece was one of the easiest for me because the sisters' home has Halloween-like decorations on it year round, so I immediately was drawn to a somewhat eerie feel.

Every piece is inspired by a thought, a statement, a request, a dream, a fear…etc. The manipulations just sort of follow how I am feeling at the moment. Some days they are more extreme. It is actually quite a process that can take hours to days to weeks to complete. Some pieces can include a hundred different photos, some only a few.

The hardest thing for me creatively is sometimes I can spend days on a piece and trash it because I don’t want empty images. I have to feel some emotion when I look at it, even if it just makes me laugh, or say to myself “what is wrong with you?”


What tools are essential to you for what you do?

Well first of course is my Nikon. Then, obviously a computer, in my case a [1-terabyte] laptop.

I use several different programs, but the main one being Photoshop. Then the greatest invention ever the Wacom tablet. The tablet and pen has changed my world. Not only does it make my work much more precise, I can draw and paint digitally to create original pieces.


There are a series of images in your work from your hometown of Brooksville, Florida. Would you mind describing Brooksville?

I have lived in Brooksville for about 16 years now, most people have been here their whole lives. It’s a small town where everybody either knows you are someone related to you. We are about 50-60 miles north of Tampa. My family and I moved here from Tampa. We wanted to move our children out of the city and give them a different lifestyle than we had experienced.

Parts of our little town have hills, believe or not, in Florida, which is what attracted us to this area in the first place. The downtown area is small but has a beautiful courthouse and the old homes are amazing.

There are two homes you see in several of my pieces, one is referred to as “The Lemon House” sometimes (the house in “The Parsonage” and the other is sometimes referred to as “The Saxon Home” (the house in “If I could”) . The Saxon home is literally falling apart, which makes it that more interesting, but sad…It is my dream home, although I will never own it. Another home in some of my pieces is actually a museum and is haunted if you like that sort of thing. There are still many homes I have yet to photograph that are beautiful old homes. I just love the Victorian era and I guess that is the style of a lot of these homes.

I really love this town, I feel like it is “home”.


Welcome to Bville



Christmas on Main



Bville 3



How did you become interested in using Brooksville as a subject for your work?

It all started with “The Saxon Home” , I was so in love with it, I just had to photograph it. Then of course I knew the resident of “The Lemon House” and asked if I could photograph it. Then as I was admiring the photos one day my daughter walked up behind me and said, “You should make a cityscape of our little town of Brooksville.” My mind started reeling. A few weeks later “Welcome to B-ville” was unveiled, just in time for my first art show ever. Art in the Park in Brooksville .

It was such a huge hit that I have just continued with the theme. The Brooksville pieces are one of the biggest sellers in our little café downtown “The Rising Sun Café” ,which is the focus in the second of the Brooksville series.

I do love this town, we are struggling (businesses) but we have hope. Our biggest attraction to the town of Brooksville was The Christmas House which closed a few years ago, it was sad, and it has hurt our community. But we try to support each other. The Rising Sun Café has done a great job of supporting the local artists and farmers by displaying many different talents in their café , they rotate artists to display, and have been a big part of our Brooksville market every Saturday for local vendors to set up and offer their products to the community.


When I viewed, “Lyrical Beauty,” I felt there were so many possible interpretations to the picture.  Was that intentional?  If you had a specific meaning in mind, does it bother you if the viewer has a different interpretation?


Absolutely not, that is my greatest joy to create something that can have so many different meanings. I have had people in tears telling me what a certain piece means to them, while others just shake their head. Its just like poetry, the many interpretations is what makes you want to read it over and over….makes it more interesting to talk about.

But don't worry if you don't get it....you are not always supposed to, that is what makes it fun, the "Why?"

I just recently had a customer ask to be put into the “Zooscape” piece. This piece was a request from my oldest daughter who had just finished college with a zoo animal technology degree, so it was just a silly, fun creation. But this customer saw it as a representation of his life….he said he feels like he lives in a zoo most of the time, and it showed the chaos of his kids, grandkids, work, etc. So I incorporated him and his family into the piece and it hangs in his office. I found this funny, but interesting that such a silly piece still spoke to someone in someway.


Would you mind telling about 'Freedom Dancer'? How did you create this image?

Freedom Dancer

Well I was hired to take photos of the child and later requested permission to use her in the piece. The field is actually is a field in Brooksville, but the barn and road leading to the barn are from Kentucky. I added a sky and texture, an owl in the tree and there it was.

This barn was one of my first distortions, it just fit. The tricycle in the piece actually sits on my porch and was added later to add the sense of play. It started out much more muted but I wasn’t happy until it was brightened up and more texture added. I painted over the grass quite a bit to get the color and depth right. It came together fairly easy because it was so inspired.


In terms of visual perspective, the viewer sees the girl at a distance, as if being removed from her emotions might be part of the point of the image. Was that intended?

I tend to put objects in the forefront of most of my pieces, but this one was different. I felt putting her in the distance portrayed the illusion of being completely unaware of onlookers or even caring if they were there. I wanted the viewer to almost feel as if looking through a window and accidentally coming across a private moment, and then finding themselves so captivated that they want to be a part of it.

Would you mind telling about what is going on in this image?

“Freedom Dancer” is one of my favorites and always attracts attention at shows. Its one of my more simple pieces that came about after a photo shoot with a little girl and her horse. A customer had adopted this little girl from China when she was 9 months old. Her head was shaved, her motor skills not developed well, speech not where it should be….but you would never know any of that now. She came dressed in a tutu and boots and I asked her if she could dance….and she did. It just struck me how free a child is, not only innocent and naïve but uninhibited. What is going on here is freedom. Freedom from the worry of judgment.


What appeals to you most about what you do?

I love that my photography is still the main ingredient in my artwork. If I don’t take the picture first I can not manipulate it into a piece of art. And when using the wacom tablet and pen I can draw and paint digitally as well.  And with digital technology, the more I learn, the more I realize the possibilities are endless.



Thank you, Sarah! I appreciate the opportunity to get to know more about you and your work!

To see more of Sarah's work, stop by Sarah Jane Images or her Facebook page. Additionally, you can see her work on Flickr or visit her Etsy shop.

All images in this interview are used by permission, are the property of Sarah Rauner, and are copyright protected.

This interview can also be read on the blog Scoop.it!: All About Arts curated by Karen Steffensen. Her blog states "“This collection is dedicated to learning in and through the arts- (drama, dance, music, visual arts).”


Post Script:

I was intrigued by Sarah's descriptions of the Saxon House. Sarah graciously provided me with some links for more information about it. Additionally, I found some photos online by various photographers, sort of cataloging this house. I have an interest in preservation so this topic appeals to me. It helps me to see why Sarah felt a strong connection to it.

I am including this one since it also shows the state of the inside of the house. Then there is this one, and finally this one.

I want to add my sentiments to all who hope it will be rehabilitated and restored. The mind reels at the splendor that this house, no doubt, once was.