Sarah Siltala was raised in Santa Fe, NM, in a family of professional artists. She was raised in a very creative environment, both parents had art studios at home and creating was center of family life. She remembers going to shows, galleries and fairs at a very young age. Now Sarah has her own studio and has spent nearly two decades practicing and researching the painting techniques of the past. She paints with a classical indirect layering technique in which transparent colors are thinly built upon each other like layers of stained glass. This method produces a myriad of rich gemlike tones and a depth unattainable compared to the more common technique of direct, or alla prima, style painting. To paint in this manner requires the utmost patience, as each layer must dry completely before the next can be applied. She also creates her own oil paints from dry pigment and handmade linseed oil in the tradition of the old masters, which creates a beautiful paint quality due to the unique property of each pigment. The result is an artwork with vibrant, luminous color, subtle texture, and a meditative quality that evokes a sense of serenity and peace. Sarah’s paintings have an old-world elegance, yet the colors and compositions are quite contemporary.
“I am an avid birder and photographer, and often use my own material for inspiration in my artwork. I work from life in my painting studio, choosing antiques and handmade objects that I’ve collected over the years for still life material. I also gather bird’s nests, butterflies, fruit, leaves and branches that I find during my nature outings and from my garden. Once I see a particular bird that captures my fancy, I find appropriate objects for the bird to perch on from my collection. Working from life, and utilizing handmade maquettes and photographs for reference, I compose the painting.”
Her award winning paintings have been included in museum shows and in national art publications including Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector, and Southwest Art Magazine. Her landscape paintings were featured on AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad, and still life featured in The Book of the Bird, Birds in Art by Angus Hyland and Kendra Wilson.
“I enjoy the juxtaposition of man-made objects contrasted with live birds and butterflies, showcasing the fragility of nature in our ever expanding world.”“…..Sarah Siltala
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