There are times, of course, when paintings can be arresting because of their color and drama; there are also times when paintings can be striking because of their subtleties.
The refined, intimate still life paintings of Sara Lamb are a case in point.
Lamb uses a muted palette, carefully controlled value contrasts and deft variation in edges to evoke a sense of stillness and contemplation that invites you to stop, slow down and linger over her compositions.
I particularly enjoy the feeling of texture she creates, something that does not show in the small sample images I’ve shown above. Fortunately the images on her website are large enough for you to see some of the textural element in her surfaces.
To my eye, her still life paintings evidence an admiration for the work of Jean-Siméon Chardin and Emil Carlsen, as well as seventeenth century Dutch still life masters. (I also see in her portrayal of a dusty bottle — above, bottom — an interesting nod to a similar subject as handled by N. C. Wyeth.)
In addition to her formal studies at Brenau Women’s College, Lamb had an early mentor in wildlife artist Sarah Brown, and had the later opportunity to study with both Ted Seth Jacobs and his protégé Jacob Collins.
Lamb’s website has galleries divided into Still life, Trompe L’oeil & Game, Landscapes and Commissions. In her landscapes, Lamb is a bit looser and more painterly, most likely painting on location, but still brings her skill with controlled value and color contrasts into play.
Lamb’s work can currently be seen in a solo show at the Spanierman Gallery in New York that runs until August 2, 2013.
You can also see numerous examples of her work in her Spanierman Gallery portfolio, as well as the websites of the other galleries I’ve listed below.