SARAH BRENNEMAN

In my work, I am most interested in delving into the power that painting has to give my daily experiences a voice. With a consistently repeated process, a painting develops for me in steps. Within those steps, I find space to explore, expand and develop my own language of abstraction. Whether I’m working with watercolor, collage, or oil, my idiosyncratic approach involves an organic combination of listening, intuition, and conceptualizing.
Before I follow the urge to get down a mark, listening and watching play an important and primary role. The paintings are drawn not from my imagination but from a source once removed; such as TS Eliot, spam emails, or sporting events. I am currently working on a series where I sketch while watching live hockey and those forms become final works in the studio. Treating the ice of the rink as the picture plane, I draw the puck as it is whacked, skipped and fought over, and follow the movements of the athletes. In other works, I begin by quoting found language and writing directly on the paper, then erasing the words, and then painting in the space that remained. In all cases, the marks made form a fluid conversation, a pool of color or a dry line where patterns emerge and point me toward a final image. At times a central iconic image emerges, or an expansive pattern in a vibrating, shallow space.
In the end, I am studying difference between how I intuitively draw – those natural patterns and shapes that I’m drawn to - and the concept of using a source to make a painting. Whether that source is sports or a calendar of a rock star, I am attempting to make paintings from a place outside myself and to learn from this conversation. At this point, the paintings inform my drawings and the relationship between the two is blurred. The drawings now mimic the fluidity of the hockey paintings and figures or heads now appear in my doodles. In the way that traveling could change your perspective on food, culture, and visual culture these paintings are gradually changing my natural way of drawing. With the two becoming in such close contact, I am then able to further explore.