Meet Sarah Thornton.

I am an oil painter with a background in biology and a love for color theory. Dogs interest me because of my college studies of vertebrate biology and the joy they bring to people’s lives.

My style is inspired by marquetry, the woodworking technique that uses pieces of veneer to form patterns, designs or pictures. My first step when exploring this style was gray scale but by adding color, I have found another dimension of communicating characteristics of the subject’s mood, personality, history, and setting.

I’m inspired by Franz Marc’s color choices and slight exaggeration in shapes, Chuck Close’s blocking of an image creating an abstraction when viewed up- close, and the movement created in local artist Megan Bell’s large scale abstractions.

My technique is to sketch a realistic portrait, then use paint to destroy that realism with swaths of color. Some colors are spontaneous and others are well planned. I am occasionally asked if I use a computer program to create my images – My approach is very low-tech: Lots of practice, a dash of obsession, and access to art materials.

MY TECHNIQUE IS TO SKETCH A REALISTIC PORTRAIT, THEN USE PAINT TO DESTROY THAT REALISM WITH SWATHS OF COLOR.

Sarah Thornton