Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is thrilled to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Sara MacCulloch. This will be her fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Titled Summer, the exhibition consists of paintings made of views from cottages she rents with her daughter every year in Nova Scotia, and works made from a week spent in Maine last June.
Sara MacCulloch’s painting practice exists in and out of the studio. It involves the discipline of paying attention to her surroundings, looking for moments that “spark a desire to paint it.” MacCulloch records these moments with photographs, which then translate to watercolors and oil paintings as a way to explore what she saw more deeply. The work continues intuitively, driven “to communicate the quality of a moment, something transient, intangible- and turn it into something solid,” she explains.
The immediacy or slowness of a moment guides her decisions. Though she adheres to the composition and elements of the photo, much is eliminated. What remains tells us what was essential, in the moment and to the painting. MacCulloch paints with an equally minimal touch. The elements are captured with as few strokes as possible. It is evident that her brushes do not linger, instead her strokes are certain, fluid, and rhythmic.
“I want the paint to be allowed to be paint” MacCulloch explains, “I try to capture the character or the feel of it through as much or as little detail feels right to each subject. I often get there by trial and error. Sometimes that means wiping down all the work of a day and starting over.”
A day’s work has no correlation to the finishedness of a painting. Finishing a painting is contingent on it feeling right, and that feeling comes about differently each time she paints. MacCulloch’s travels to Maine were spent in the family home of Eliot and Fairfield Porter at the invitation of their niece, Anina Fuller. “As I explored that landscape, I kept seeing what they saw, the light, the spruce trees… flowers on a table, views through old paned windows… I can see echoes of them in some of my paintings of there,” she says.
She approached each painting without planning - allowing her surroundings to inform the size, duration, and even the support of each painting, whether, paper, canvas, board or linen. The exhibition consists of the oil paintings from that time and reflects the temporal loop of what a summer day feels like, and how fleeting that feeling is. Sara MacCulloch would like to express her gratitude to Anina Fuller- who generously shared her family home with Sara and 11 other artists on Great Spruce Head Island.
Sara MacCulloch earned her BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She exhibits extensively throughout Canada in Halifax, Toronto, and Edmonton. Her work is in the collections of the Nova Scotia and Canada Council Art Banks, the Gotsland Kunstmuseum in Gotsland, Sweden, and various public and private collections. MacCulloch is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including four individual grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture and a Research and Creation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada.