Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition of paintings by Sara MacCulloch. New Landscapes was inspired by the artist’s home of Halifax, Nova Scotia and the surrounding areas of the Minas Basin. The fourteen new paintings in this exhibition range in scale from intimate to encompassing, certainly painterly with simple but lush surfaces. These are beautiful landscape paintings with all the concepts and concerns pertaining to a strictly abstract painter.
Titles such as Kingsport Dusk, Kingsport Evening, Fields Autumn, Fields After Rain indicate a return to place. These are in fact places of significance; places around Nova Scotia that the artist dreamed of when she lived away, beaches visited every summer, cottages rented in the Annapolis Valley – places that signify home. But Sara MacCulloch’s work is equally concerned with the experience of painting. She explains, “The challenge for me is always to capture what a place looks like and feels like but also to have a relationship with the painting as I am making it. To be open to what may happen in the studio. I don’t start with an exact idea of what the painting will be when I am finished. All I know is what I want it to feel like- and I never really know how that will come about.”
Over the past six to seven years MacCulloch has refined her process such that she spends one season of each year visiting the places of significance from her childhood and collecting images, then the other three seasons recapturing them. Although painting from reference photographs, the immediacy and intuitiveness of paint and painting remains intact by virtue of her process. MacCulloch almost always finishes her paintings in one session in the studio. If the painting is not resolved by the end of the day she scrapes the day’s work off and begins anew the next. The frustration in each attempt is also the process that brings about clarity of purpose – a connection to the landscape and to the painting. With little time to be overthought and overworked, each stroke and dab is therefore concise, direct and fluid.
Sara MacCulloch received her BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She exhibits extensively throughout Canada in Halifax, Toronto and Edmonton. Her work is in the collections of the Nova Scotia and Canada Council Art Banks, the Gotsland Kunstmuseum in Gotsland, Sweden, and various public and private collections. MacCulloch is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Culture to complete New Landscapes.