I (Lisa) had the privilege of meeting today's featured artist, Sarah Gil, when she curated a show I was involved in at Seattle's Sockshop University. Anyone can see she has talent and passion for the arts, and I was shocked to learn she did not study fine art. I had to tell Alexa about the gifted, kind, all around awesome curator of the exhibit, and it was evident we had to include her in Pretty Girls Making Cool Shit!
Sarah Gil has always been inspired by the challenge of capturing a person or animal's personality in her paintings. With a self-taught background in pencil, ink, acrylic, and watercolor, in 2015 she began to focus her craft on oil painting. And has dove head first into creating large-scale oil and mixed media portraits ever since.
Sarah works out of her home/studio in Tacoma's Lincoln district. She moved there March 2017 from San Francisco's Bay Area and is happy to become part of such a supportive artist community.
Sarah is motivated by the challenge to capture each subject's personality and energy so she is constantly pursuing higher quality work and building momentum, stating "For me the key is to keep pursuing higher goals. It's a bit less about the end result, I love the process."
Her drive and dedication is apparent when viewing her work. Even more so when chatting about finding inspiration, she says "I'm inspired by renaissance era portraits, street art, tattoo art (specifically traditional American and Japanese designs), and all things juxtaposed! I love breaking down subjects that were once sacred or taboo and mashing it up with modern culture. When I find a magical moment to add a twist, that's the extra level that makes it interesting as a lasting piece representing me.
When I met Sarah at an opening reception, everyone had to ask her about her massive piece, Alter De Frida. Here is her insight into the process:
I constantly collect materials I like, it's a joyful hobby to visit swap meets, salvage yards, free piles and more to see what treasures I can find. It wasn't until I started using oil paints and studying Frida Kahlo that it all came together and I knew what these collected materials would be used for. It was a very organic progress.
Materials were collected over a 10 year period. Recycled materials include: Metal and glass window box, lace from grandma's scraps, glass bottles, scrap wood, found tin box, used cigarettes, vintage chewing tobacco tins, paper doilies, used paint brushes, deconstructed picture frames and more.