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Sara Barnes

Posted by Kate Singleton on


Where are you from originally and where do you live now? 
I hail from Kansas City, Missouri, but I moved to Baltimore for college in 2004 and have been here ever since. I love it!

Tell us a bit about this series. 
I'm a nosy person, and love looking at how people choose to adorn their space. Studies have been done about much insight about a person can be done by simply looking at the contents of their bedroom. This series is a reflection of that interest, and also my love of art/illustration/media that is "slice of life," which could be touted as cliche and overwrought, but I find fascinating all aspects that are beneath the surface. 

What is your process? 
I am most comfortable with, and enjoy working in collage. I use both hand-painted and conventional papers such as kraft and construction when I work. For my hand-painted papers, I use acrylic paint and sumi-ink to paint the colors that I want to use. I will then take all of those papers and cut them out to create my image. After I've created my image, if I have chosen to do some embroidery, I will use embroidery thread to sew into the paper. 

How do you create the appearance of texture on flat surface such as the leaves of the plants? 
Texture comes (mostly) from painting. Often times, I will start by painting a ground of sumi ink, using the wet-on-wet technique that looks uneven. From there, I mostly employ glazing, which is slow, but gradually builds up texture. I've always liked brush strokes that are very gestural, so to create more visual interest I vary the stroke. I've recently started using a hole punch as well. I will either use the punches or the paper I've punched to paste on top of other papers. 

There is a sense of surrealism in the way you play with dimension and perspective. Is that something you set out to do? 
Yeah, definitely. I used to think I was pretty good at drawing. One semester at art school made me realize that I wasn't that great of a draftsman, so I looked to cubism, surrealism, and especially Matisse's cut outs to understand that they are not governed by the normal conventions.

I had a teacher tell me that in collage, you make up the rules! I've always liked that and tried to keep it in mind as I work. I make up the rules that exist in the world of my collages.

Three critics (Rod, Meredith, and Barnaby)

Do you have many house plants yourself? 
I have 10. I live in a one bedroom apartment. Two cats, ten plants. Is that endearing or kind of crazy? I don't know. 

What else are you working on these days? Any exciting projects? 
I am in the last year of my MFA, so I've started on my thesis! It is in the very much in the early stages, but I'll be researching and writing critically about comics as well as curating illustration. I've also started an endeavor with my cohort Lisa Perrin, Píccolo, which is focusing on illustrated products. That sounds sort of ambiguous, so here's something a bit more concrete: I'll be at the Mix2012 Comics Symposium on a panel about gender and sexuality in comics on October 6. If you are at the Columbus College of Art and Design, you'll probably see me around!

Sara's website.

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1 comment

  • LOVE’EM! especially I SPY

    Kim Reedich on

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