Author: Carmen Smith


Sara Stites Works interpreted by Carmen Smith

as an artist i am curious to know when she finds her work to be finished. In reading about her artwork it's pretty clear how she starts her process. She she first primes her yupo paper and then lets the shapes that come from that process inform the beginning of the composition. Then she layers sketches from her sketchbook into it and she keeps going. To me it's interesting because she knows when to finish the work.

In the painting there are so many different layers and different modes of creating the art. You can see a little bit of figurative work. You see her use of value scale and shading. Some of the work looks like it has three-dimensional form. She layers on top of those elements and puts a line around other shapes and forms around it. It's kind of undulating between the surface and the background and the middle ground and the foreground. She experiments with gradient scales. The work in some places to me seems almost graffiti style and then in some of the other paintings you can see a traditional looking model, possibly from a figure drawing.

Some of it looks tribal with a lot of geometric shapes reminiscent of African art. Which piece would that be, any specific ones?

I see the i see something tribal looking about this piece in the top center that looks like eyes and a nose and there's a what is a hexagon around the left eye and the stripes. To me that looks very african. That may not have been her attention at all, it has the characteristics common to african masks and african art.

This is another example of the different layers like there's almost a cartoonish looking figure here. And then there's a figure that has three dimensional qualities. Then there's a flat masked face in the in the at first you think it's in the background but then it actually sits on top of that kneeling figure. So there's a lot going on a lot of things coming forward there are drawings that are both protruding and receding.

It really keeps your eye moving a lot and then the use of color, that's not easy to do. That's not easy to accomplish to pull all of that together and make it work

This one on the left you see what looks like a male figure and again she's she's rendering it in a realistic looking way using value scale, light and dark, shade and shadow. Right next to it is what looks like a dripping paintbrush and then another cartoon style flat character with the black outline. Then when we get to the right edge of the painting there are a variety of feet, some of them look flat and some of them look realistic

I love how she covers a lot of bases in her work it's not it's not limited to just representational work or cartoon style work or outlined drawing shapes and patterns it's all there so she has a lot of freedom in each piece


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