Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sarah Wimperis

Sarah WimperisFor the past year and a half, I’ve been following the “painting-a-day” phenomenon, in which painters do one small (usually postcard-sized) painting a day, post them on a blog and offer them for sale directly to the public, most often through the means of an eBay auction. When I started covering the practice only two or three painters were following it. Since then, numerous painters have jumped on the bandwagon and the numbers are still increasing.

Sarah Wimperis, a UK artist living in France that I mentioned in my “Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 4) post last July, has jumped off the bandwagon and no longer bills herself as a daily painter.

She says this is not due to the demands of the discipline, she still paints daily (but often devotes her painting time to larger works), posts her work on her blog(s) and offers it for sale to the public directly. Her disenchantment with the “painting a day” label stems from her feeling that the spirit of the practice has been watered down.

Wimperis has also changed many aspects of her approach, transitioned from watercolor to oils, become established in galleries in the UK and the US, and is getting additional galleries interested. Unlike many of the other painter/bloggers she doesn’t like the eBay auction process and prefers to to offer her work at a simply stated price, balancing her time and effort with a desire to keep her work accessible and affordable. So far, it looks like her new path is serving her well.

Wimperis’ oils are colorful and still reflect much of the immediacy of the painting a day regimen in her choice of subjects, often everyday scenes and simple objects that happen to catch her eye. She usually accompanies her posted images with a brief paragraph describing the approach, subject or other thoughts related to the painting. She seems to be developing a style that leans toward broken color, particularly where chunks of color can represent patches of light or reflections. She has posted a video of one of her small paintings in progress here.

Her internet presence is a bit spread out and a little confusing. She apparently has three blogs. The Red Shoes, which features posts of her smaller, daily painting style work, The Red Shoe Box, showcasing her larger works, and Muddy Red Shoes, which chronicles her day to day thoughts and sketches (and, for reasons that escape me, throws music at you, unbidden, when you open it, forcing you to leave quickly — hopefully a temporary lapse in judgement). Confusingly, The Red Shoes blog is at muddyredshoes.blogspot.com while The Muddy Red Shoes is at sarahwimperis.blogspot.com. This is further complicated by her actual web site, a Flickr gallery, her presence online on the site of the Gillian Jones Gallery in Ohio, and the lack of a consistent and clearly defined navigation between them.

Personally, I think artists who spread themselves thinly would benefit from a more concentrated, or coordinated, web presence. (I’m a fine one to talk, but my various sites are aimed at very different audiences.) This is one of the many interesting challenges facing artists like Wimperis who are finding their way through this new world in which the net allows artists to connect directly with those interested in their work.

 

7 thoughts on “Sarah Wimperis

  1. sarah

    Thanks for this, and, sincerely, thank you for the crit ref the web confusion. At the moment I am building a new web site which, I hope will iron out some of that. As for the music, well that was a little experiment which I dont like much either, so off it comes!
    Thank you again.

  2. Charley Parker Post author

    I should emphasize that I mention these points not to criticize Sarah’s site, but to illustrate some of the many challenges facing artists when they use the web to interact with those who enjoy their work.

    The traditional gallery structure isn’t in place, and artists must find their own way in establishing a process that works. Most painters aren’t trained in information design or web site design, and often aren’t in a position to hire a professional, and will come up against these issues by surprise and have to work through them.

  3. andrea

    I am a fan of Sarah’s ‘web presence’, too, though I find it’s easiest/less confusing to just stay tuned into one blog. Her work is unpretentious, her web personality no-nonsense and full of humour.

  4. Barbara from BC

    I just discovered Sarah’s work today by chance: the way she captures reflections at night and sun dazzling light by day is fascinating. The way she renders these subtle effects with paint is wonderful.

  5. Werner Pfarr

    I like Sarah’s work a lot as well – she has a great feeling for light, she has a perfect balace between details and ‘fuzzy’ parts, between distinctive signs and amorphous forms – all of her paintings have a lot of depth, they are like sculptures of light … and she changes her subjects reguarly, it’s always interesting to return to her blog. Thanks Sarah, keep up the great work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>