Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goddess Auction

My newest painting went up for auction this weekend. I'm super happy with this painting and she's already making quite a good impression at her debut!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Goddesses Galore

Are you thinking, I've seen that before? Hasn't Sara painted this already? Well, you'd be partly right...
and I'm beginning to feel the same way!

A little background is in order I think. It always begins with a chalk mural. Since I began participating in chalk festivals, aka street painting, some 15 years ago, I would break from tradition and create an original image. Street artists historically depict a famous painting, paying homage to a Master artist. I have always done my own work.

Chalk on pavement is a wonderful medium and is part fine art, part circus, part performance-piece. Always it ends the same though, with the artwork gone. Most festivals have the Fire Department come out at the end of the weekend and hose off the artwork. Visitors to festivals always ask "aren't you sad that it's not permanent" or "they wash it off! can't you preserve it?" 

Actually, I find the impermanence to be freeing. You don't fret over every little mark, you can experiment and play and not worry that a client won't like it or that it will be forever in print to haunt you ;)

My solution has been to re-create my chalk murals in my studio. I think of my street paintings as GIANT comps and after the events, I paint my original image in oils. Often they are purchased before even being painted, and I like this very much.

That's how this Goddess series began. But her journey has been slightly different.

In 2008, I was asked to be the featured artist at the iMadonnari Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael. My 'square' was 12'x12'

For my original image, I wanted to include the Mission San Rafael as well as the uniqueness of Marin. My concept was the iconic Mt. Tamalpais (which in some translations means sleeping maiden/woman) which I made into a Goddess. Her knees were Mt. Tam. In her hands she holds the moon, a vessel filled with stars that she pours over the Mission. In the foreground is another icon, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay, the entrance to Marin.

The festival was a great success and I was super happy with my mural. I didn't realize it would take me 5 years before I'd have a chance to paint her again!

I had the canvas, I transfered the drawing, I'd blocked in some big shapes... and she sat. In the studio. While I worked on other paintings of past chalk murals. She waited patiently.

Skip forward to 2013. I was selected to participate in the San Jose Utility Box Mural program. I submitted examples of my past work, including the chalk mural of the Goddess. As it turns out, San Jose loved this image too. Would I be willing to create her for a Utility Box but make it a Goddess of San Jose? Of course! So I changed Mt. Tam to Mt. Hamilton and added Lick Observatory to the peak. I took out the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay and Mission and added the iconic architecture from San Jose and Willow Glen: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, Hotel DeAnza, The Tech Museum of Innovation, St. Joseph's Cathedral Basilica, San Jose Museum of Art, Willow Glen's Garden Theatre and of course the palm trees of The Palms neighborhood. 

Meanwhile, San Rafael's iMadonnari festival was put on hold. This was a fabulous tradition and beloved event, it was so sad and inconceivable that it was gone.

But not for long!

2013 would be the return of street painting to San Rafael! The organizers of the new event,, contacted me and asked if they could use my 2008 Goddess mural image for the theme this year: the 'Sleeping Lady Awakens.' I said yes of course, I am honored they asked and very excited to see the image on the festival posters and collateral. I was also asked if I would be one of the featured muralists this year and would I please recreate the 2008 Goddess mural. Which I will, soon... June 29-30!

Soon after I agreed to recreate the Goddess I was back in my studio finishing up a commission and realized I still had my partly painted Goddess patiently waiting. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we celebrated and honored the return of the festival with an auction of the Goddess as an oil painting?! I knew I could finish her in time and a deadline is still the best motivation, so I contacted the organizer (the amazing Sue Carlomango!) and now it was their turn to say yes and be honored and excited.

As it is now, you can see the Goddesses so far... and soon there will be a completed painting and another large street mural.