Sarah Elliott’s work spans a range of approaches, subject matter, sizes and media: mainly charcoal, watercolor and oil paint. The link between these is not always evident but is something that she hopes can be felt. In everything she does, whatever its characteristics, she finds and values opportunities for learning and enjoyment that enrich her feelings and understandings about life.
Although Sarah has been impacted by her time living and working in many other countries, the projects shared on this website focus largely on figurative works based on subject matter found in and around her home in S.W. France. In most cases her artworks evolve from a series of interrelated sketches and studies that act as stepping-stones to more fully realized productions. Always she paints with a level of engagement and attention to detail that help her to see and feel dynamics that are available to everyone but are not always noticed or sensed. She is likely to be attracted to commonplace scenes that some might pass by without a glance.
While the close link to appearances remains a key element in her figurative drawings and paintings, almost all of them are completed without direct reference to the original subject matter. It is only by means of long sessions in the studio that the paintings take on a life of their own. During these, the focus shifts toward the visual dynamics of what is happening on the picture surface and how these feed the overall content of the work. Always important is the sense of space and the quality of light.
The knowledge and feelings that Sarah absorbs when working from observation feeds into her non-figurative work, which has for a long time played an important role in the overall evolution of her practice. In turn, what she internalizes suggests new possibilities and challenges when she reengages with figuration. This cyclical dialogue is also true when working with multiple versions of the same subject matter. Even when works look outwardly similar, comparison between them always reveal unexpected dimensions that encourage Sarah to delve ever deeper.