hidell brooks is so excited for the opening of until the light comes a solo exhibition of new paintings by sarah helser. it is hard to believe we first met sarah over a decade ago when she came by the gallery with a fellow artist. we have watched her artwork mature over the years with lots of hard work in the studio and she is currently at the top of her game. one tends to forget all the physical labor an artist endures when viewing a finished painting. all the rigors are forgotten and what is left is a group of stunningly powerful paintings hanging on the gellery walls.
sarah helser uses an extensive multilayer process to create her mixed media paintings on wood panel. she starts by drawing out the subject on the wood panel. sarah then moves to painting the image with oil paint followed by a layer of encaustic over the entire painting. after the encaustic she uses a variety of mediums including gold leaf, enamel, and tar. the final layer of resin gives the paintings a sense of fluid dimension.
each time i create a painting it is in the hope to reshape the familiar into the numinous and magical essence of what it carries. it is the brief glimmering speck of a dream, made permanently tangible before it is lost in the waking hours. joining the realistic with the imagined breathes harmony in the contrast and reshapes and impacts the way we see. in every piece there is a certain gravity combined with playfulness and whimsy, reflecting the seldom caught occasions of marvel in our ordinary lives. seized for a moment, the paradise of childlike imaginings are not lost but remembered, hoped for, realized and resurrected in the mind.
i paint as a way to make definite the combination of both experience and the deeply personal reflections of the imagination. i approach each painting with an openness, letting it become fully changed from any initial concept. completely understanding a narrative while i create is not important. instead i allow the imagery to lead me, a conversation that illuminates and pulls at the hidden longings and beauty of the heart. using layering and multiple mediums, each painting forms and reforms until it comes into its own organic completion. i myself am often surprised by its outcome. i cannot capture all of the world around me, so for a brief moment i marvel in the mystery that it has captured me. they are meant to stand as physical reminders, a moment to reflect that beauty is not lost, that the dreamer and the child still exist within. they are the embodiment of these things, combined with the bittersweet gravity that years and life bring. the hope though, is that the pulse of these works would soften the weight, standing as a strip of gold hiding in the crease of a grey morning.
--sarah helser, 2014
the exhibition opens friday november 7th from 6-8 pm and sarah helser will be present at the opening. all of sarah's new paintings are on the website under her artist page. please call the gallery if you have any questions concerning the new show. there will also be a group exhibtion of new work by gallery artists including selena beaudry, sally king benedict, tony hernandez, windy o'connor, virginia scotchie, amanda talley and scott upton.