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Sassafrass Creations

Sarah Carlson

Abstract Mixed Media


Artist's Statement:
I strive to create vibrant, organic landscapes that bring an unexpected visual surprise to the viewer. Nature and vibrant colors are my main sources of inspiration. I take artistic influences from the swirling abstract forms of Miro, the cutout paper shapes of Matisse, and the iridescent gold and ornate detail of Klimt. I also have a love for the retro shapes found in the 1940s and 50s.

The foundation of most of my work is mixed media; an abstract watercolor background, with any combination of cutout pieces, iridescent acrylic paint, and/or pen & ink. My earlier work was based on glass objects that tell a story to the audience. I put a twist on martini and wine glasses by placing them in multi-panel paintings that tell a little humorous story. Capturing light and using vivid color is all part of my process. Over the past five years, I’ve been combining the watercolor patterns of my backgrounds with organic shapes and lines. I play with cutouts of shapes and add in elements of gold or silver paint, and/or pen and ink. I name each piece according to its personality.

My process begins with a sketch and color planning. The background of all my paintings starts with a thick coat of watercolor and while it’s wet I crumple up plastic wrap and place it on top. After 24 hours, I remove the plastic and voila, the result is the pattern you see. It’s a surprise every time as no two are ever alike. Next, I decide on iridescent paint, shapes, and color. If there are cutout pieces, I lay those on top and rearrange them for several days or sometimes even weeks. I then glue the pieces on top and step away from the painting to allow it to ‘marinate’ for a few days until the piece tells me what the finishing touches will be. The paintings usually “tell” me what they need through the process. We fight, we break up, and then finally we get back together and the result is the finished piece.

I’d like people to escape reality when they experience my art. To be transported to an alternative dimension that makes the viewer forget the stress and fast pace of our world.


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Shananigans
Watercolor, mixed media



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Tree of Life
Watercolor, mixed media




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