Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sarah Hinckley

"I approach painting intuitively, constantly adjusting as clarity comes."

And the Wind Whispers, 2012, oil on canvas, 35 x 24 inches
(c) Sarah Hinckley

About the Work

My work is inspired from growing up on Cape Cod surrounded by color fields of water, marsh, beach and sky, and Rothko, Agnes Martin, 60’s formalist color field painting and the method of Monet’s late paintings. 

Recent inspirations come from walks taken behind my parents house in Barnstable, on Chapin Beach in Dennis at low tide, riding the subway in New York, seeing the color someone’s jacket, while out in nature or falling asleep at night thinking about all the projects I am working on in my studio.

I approach painting intuitively, constantly adjusting as clarity comes; most of the work takes a few months to complete and some remains in conversation for a year or more.  Certain elements can remain unresolved for extended periods of time and then the process slows, reminding me of the virtue of patience.  I incorporate two approaches while working; one, editing; the second, writing out ideas and inspiration in a painting journal.  The journal is important because I am not always able to work on an idea right away because oil paint needs to dry or other life commitments arise.  I develop the color fields by putting down marks and editing them in or out depending on how I see it.  This process of editing allows me the opportunity to continually be searching, whether it a new direction or idea or a new color relationship.

Mapping out ideas and inspirations from my world, bringing it all into the studio challenges me to remain present, aware, and open to all the possibilities that are happening with materials before me.

Just Holding Back, 2014, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches
(c) Sarah Hinckley

Reflecting on Cape Cod

I was born and raised on Cape Cod.  My family has a long history.  My Dad's family immigrated first to Plymouth/Boston during the early stages of the great migration. They quickly decided to move south and settled in Barnstable village in the early 1640's.   My Mom's family started spending summers in Harwich Port when she was a child in the early 1930's.
While growing up on the Cape the seasons seemed long.  We spent as much time outside as the weather and light allowed.  My parents were very enthusiastic about picnics at the beach, cookouts in backyards, clamming on Sandy Neck, raking leaves and just playing.  Once we were old enough to ride a bike we roamed the neighborhood... that neighborhood consisted of a few houses but mostly fields, marsh, beach and this expansive sky hanging over us.   When inside my Mom was big on "quiet time spent in our rooms alone" it was there that I found myself drawing and painting... I realized later in life that is where I first discovered the visual impact of my surroundings and the need to let it out.

As I got older I couldn't wait to get off of the Cape and that presented an intense struggle within.  I went out in the world only to come back.  I tried this many time until I found a path in art school first California and Boston and later graduate school in New York. 

I am always brought back to my first encounters with painting when in my studio now.  I paint intuitively with deep influence from the landscape of my childhood.  No matter how hard I try to separate myself from Cape Cod some sense of it always appears.

Something Got a Hold on Me, 2013, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches
(c) Sarah Hinckley