Sarah Bell is a painter who lives and works from Balnarring on the Mornington Peninsula,Victoria. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma of Education from Monash University. Bell has held four solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions. More recently, she has been a finalist in the St. Kevin’s Art Award and Omnia Art Prize and is one of five artists in the forthcoming group show 'Scape' at the beautiful & Gallery, Federation Square, Melbourne. (16th September -11th October)
My painting is framed by feelings of omnipotence in natural forces, atmospheric changes and poetic landscapes. Generally devoid of the human form, the pictures mine subject matter in the landscape and imagery from my walks around the wetlands near my home and Westernport Bay. I grew up in Sydney's North Shore where I wandered and explored local creeks and bushland, free of constraints. Sitting atop a tree full of rainbow birds as a small child, appealed to my mystical wonderings and sensibilities. I am aware of the transformative qualities of a beautiful landscape and this is how I need to express myself.
Working from observation, plein air and memory through chalk drawings and oil studies, I build the surface in gradual layers, feeling into a ‘slow painting’ process using a limited palette. Tapping into the kinaesthetic process of painting, I still both myself and my focus to embody the landscape’s space and light as it unfolds in the painting. The work is largely seeking to capture the atmosphere, light, shape and forms affected by the weather and seasons through the sensuous act of painting.I want to provoke the viewer to dream and imagine, or be transported via the senses, into gentle feeling states.