Artist Statement

Sarah Jacobs
Artist Statement

I am interested in patterns for what they represent metaphorically, and for what they can do aesthetically. In my paintings these patterns, which are either designed by me, taken from nature, or gathered from around the globe, collide or change one another in dramatic, often swirling compositions. 

I play with flatness and volume using design principals. In the Depth Series patterns, which normally flatten an image, are manipulated to appear to have volume. The result of this can look dramatic and confusing. Currently I am making a series called, The Cave. I paint these works with varying degrees of realism within each. Human-designed repeating patterns exist against much more realistically rendered subjects, such as ivy, flowers, or animal bodies. 

I see visual patterns as representing modes of thought or patterns of living. We each categorize and frame the mystery of existence in unique ways. We tell ourselves stories, but our paradigms usually do not easily accommodate those of others. These painted interactions speak of the complexity and beauty in discovering, navigating, and adapting to new philosophies. The paintings hope to illustrate the possibility of creating something fresh by combining or adapting extant ideas. The visual complexity of the paintings can be a lot to take in, but the artwork is ultimately optimistic.

The process of creating my work is obsessive and very time-consuming. I cherish the slow, devotional aspect of my paintings’ creation. I am drawn to Medieval illuminated manuscripts and reliquaries because of the total attention that was put into their creation. They seem elevated by that care. I produce my work with a similar spirit.