Sarah Janece Garcia’s oil paintings: smooth movement and hyper nature

I used to love painting. I stopped after I left for uni due to a lack of space and time, and those restraints have followed me into gradhood; but I suppose there’s always a reason not to do something until you do it. Who knows, I might get back into it when I get my jobless *ss back to London in January (if you’re a first-timer at Arts End of Nowhere, I’m on the eve of quitting my job in order to spend the winter sniffing out the finest in creative travel across East Asia– eee! Exciting).

One of the ways I used oil paint was to map out my composition, paint a thickish layer of Titanium White in a section and then add really bright colours with a thick brush so it would seep into the white and give off a glowing effect. It worked really nicely for skin (I was 17 and a huge fan of the self-portrait nude; much to the joy of the GCSE students who snuck into the art rooms at lunch time to take a peek at the photography in my sketchbook… Ah, teenage boys). I also used this technique on a project where I was painting a lot of lotus flowers, and hadn’t thought about it for years – until I came across the work of Sarah Janece Garcia.

Depth+of+the+Ocean+-+oil+on+canvas+-+36%22+x+24%22

Similarly, her palette evolves on the canvas and her colour mixing is as natural as her subjects. Her smooth, intensely colourful petals and leaves made me feel such a sense of nostalgia, I couldn’t not drop her a line to find out more about her stunning works…

I love the smooth movement in your oil paintings. They’re so energetic that it seems you could achieve the effects by chance! Is there a strategy behind it, or do you let the paintings take form themselves?

Colour, light, movement, and the brief spaces of silent moments are all dynamic elements I find in nature. Therefore, I work to incorporate each of those components on canvas in a way that appears as if we have arrived at a moment where all the elements have come together and time has stood still.

Amethyst+Unveiled

My hope, with each of my paintings, is that the work can convey a unity between realism and abstraction. I want to capture natural elements accurately, but with energy and movement, I arrive at abstraction. In my artistic process, I never pre-plan where the abstraction will lead me and I believe that this allows me to capture the freedom and vitality of nature in unexpected ways.

There’s a quickness to your work, but it all seems so perfectly finished. Is it a fast, energetic process; or do you take a lot of time over – and pay meticulous attention to – the little details?

While fast and energetic, my process is also time-consuming in developing and fine-tuning each detail. Often, my abstractions are inspired by the movements of wind and water, which allows me to guide my brush in a quick, loose, and lively way. As I paint, my story unfolds, the colour palette builds, and the movements become more deliberate and thought-out.

From the beginning to the end of the painting, I am able to explore nature in both a literal and abstract way. To me, this process fulfils my artistic need to express my vision while still being relatable to others who have a soulful love for nature.

Nature+Unrivaled

You clearly spend a lot of time out in nature gathering inspiration – I’d love to know a bit more about your inspiration process.

I find inspiration from all of nature’s wonders, what grows from this earth and what takes flight above me in the sky. The delicate mix of strength and gentleness that can be found in nature fascinates me and I enjoy exploring this balance in my work. I feel very strongly that when I show love and respect for nature, nature always returns the favour.

What other artists do you rate at the moment? 

As an artist, I feel it is so important to surround yourself with a community of fellow creative minds. I get most inspired when I come across artists who use mediums and even paint in a practice that is totally different from my own.

Two, of the many artists, who I find to be very unique and inspirational are contemporary artist Emanuel De Sousa and tattoo artist Justine Nordine. Both evoke the feeling of life in their pieces. De Sousa has a fantastic composition, perspective, and quality of line in each piece of art he creates. Nordine is able to combine fantasy with reality, along with colour and movement in such a unique way, all while tattooing the piece on someone’s skin. I find both artists work to be very impressive.

I’d love to go and see your paintings in the flesh. Where are your upcoming exhibitions? 

I have had the wonderful opportunity to showcase my work in many places throughout the United States. My art has been part of various exhibitions in California, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Texas. Currently, a large New York based company has picked up some of my work to offer to their customers and I am also able to be a part of the exciting Texas art scene in my hometown of San Antonio.

Waking+the+Muse

You can keep up with Sarah Janece’s work on her website, Instagram and Facebook – I know I will be. For more interviews with artists I love, see my chats with Sian Storey, Rob Braybrooks, Tristram Aver and Wildcat Will


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