We are so excited to introduce another talented artist to our line up today – Sarah Trundle! After beginning her career as an artist skewing towards more representational paintings – Sarah’s works have evolved to be more abstract ranging in style from bold and geometric to monochromatic and minimalistic. Holding a bachelors degree in psychology from Dartmouth as well as a Masters in Social work from Virginia Commonwealth University Sarah worked as a mental health counselor and after many years Sarah transformed her hobby and passion from “dabbling” to a full-time career. Each of Sarah’s multi-layered paintings represents a unique end result of a constantly shifting process of obscuring and defining, of complicating and simplifying, and of using the surprises that emerge to inform each subsequent step. Sarah sees this push-pull process as an integral part of the finished painting. She strives to give the viewer a window into this struggle by leaving early marks, shifted shapes, and under-layers still visible to the viewer. We are thrilled to introduce Sarah as a Well +Wonder artist. Get to know her a little bit better by reading our latest blog post Pardon Me, Sarah Trundle!
What is currently on your nightstand?
My college friend Jake Tapper’s new novel The Hellfire Club! And a few recent issues of The New Yorker with dog-eared pages of articles that I would like to get to. And a couple of historical books that I am aspiring to read but will probably just gather dust for all eternity while I fall asleep at 9pm.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
There are so many, but if I can only say one, I’d say Richard Diebenkorn. I love his layering of paint, his consolidation, simplification, and ordering of any underlying chaos. I’ve moved away a little bit from tighter shapes and linearity, but that is where I started and I still consider him one of my main muses. I could stare at his art all day…
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I have the best memories forever etched in my heart of summer vacations at the Jersey shore with my whole extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents. Even though I have lived in Virginia for 20 years now, with closer beaches available to us, we still trek back there for vacation there with my own nuclear family most summers.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Definitely a toss up between white paint and black paint, but I think I have to go with black paint. It is decisive and commanding; it just takes charge and makes things happen.
What is your favorite room in your house?
Describe it. My 13 year old son’s room. It’s slightly cluttered, but in a cozy and organized way, colorful, clearly “lived in”, and full of memorabilia, kid art, sports pennants, and interesting things on the walls almost in an eclectic gallery style. There is nothing matchy-matchy or too perfect, pristine, or untouchable about it. Its real and you can tell a 13 year old boy inhabits it. And he has the most comfortable bed in the house, so that helps.
What is your biggest score online?
Well interestingly enough, it is a very recent score. It’s a moroccan style shag 9 x 12 rug, that I got for about $220 and free shipping from rugsusa.com. I stalked that particular style for almost a year, read reviews, waited for sales, and finally took the plunge. And I couldn’t be happier with it. I’m so proud of my bargain hunting on that one!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
Collectives are excellent places to start (and stay!). They provide a well-curated, affordable, selection of artworks, usually from emerging or mid-career artists whose work has been vetted, and approved. It’s a great way to support artists and the staff who run the collectives, who are always dedicated professionals committed to finding beautiful unique, and affordable art and bringing it to the consumer in the most cost-effective way.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
The National Gallery in Washington DC. It’s huge and has everything. Every time I go there, I’m on a tight time schedule, with never enough time to see it all, and I tend to kind of blitz my the older art and just spend my time drooling over the contemporary wing. So, if I had a whole day, I would love to really immerse myself in the works of the old masters and all of the renaissance art and sculpture.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Definitely clear. I’m all about transparency. I love the concept of layering, and seeing visible under-layers through some degree of sheerness on top, whether it be with paint, clothing, or lipstick!
I can never get on a plane without….
A sweater or a sweatshirt. Planes are always so cold!!
How did you get into the world of art?
I’ve always considered myself creative and artistic. I drew a lot as a kid, took some art classes in college, and as an adult was always painting things like furniture, flower pots, or taking ceramics courses. I was game for any creative project I could get my hands on. However, I didn’t really start to explore painting in a serious way until about I started taking some oil painting classes about 12 years ago. I just fell in love with it, with the way it focused my brain, and with what I was able to create. I continued taking classes for years, and still do occasionally, but my heart was always in abstraction. I grew up in a family that appreciated, supported, collected contemporary art. So as I became more confident in my painting skills, I developed the courage to start exploring my real passion.
What do you do to relax?
Painting is pretty high on my list of relaxing activities. Even if I’m really struggling with a painting, there is a mental laser focus that occurs for me. It’s almost like a meditative mantra. But honestly, not much beats lazing around on a good comfy couch with a pile of books, your phone, a remote, and nothing pressing to do.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I think most of my inspirational light bulb moments come from what I consider “accidents” or just incidental by-products of my painting process. For instance I might put down two colors somewhat randomly, or haphazardly use a certain kind of brushstroke, or wipe or scrape off paint that I don’t like, and all of a sudden I’m smitten with what I see. Those two colors side by side, or those marks, or that “technique” might then change the course of that particular painting or give me ideas for future paintings.
Prediction for the Color of 2019?
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Definitely dinner and movie. Good food, good wine, good conversation, a little cinematic mental stimulation and escapism, and bed by 10!
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
Thats like saying which child is your favorite! So, since there, really isn’t any one answer, I’ll go with the what is currently hanging above my mantel, a piece called “Pleasantville”. It’s a colorful geometric that is the culmination of a long and shifting process, which typifies how I paint. Since it’s hanging in plain view, I have plenty of time to stare at it, and every time I do I see something new that makes me think “wow, how and why did i do that??”. It evokes a great sense of mystery and intrigue, even in me, the person who created it.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
A few things come to mind. The first one is to buy what speaks to you and stops you in your tracks, even if you can’t really say why. Do it rather impulsively. Act on that initial emotional response. Don’t wait. Don’t shop around too much. The second is something a friend told me once, which is to try to buy things that will evoke memories and meaning for you, such as something from your travels, something that a friend painted, something with a story behind it. And finally, don’t worry about trying to match the sofa!
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