April 27, 2012


This is a bit from the piece I just finished, Promise. It sits on the recycled, gessoed journal pages pictured in the previous post. I will be showing this with other new pieces in September at Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, North Carolina.


April 22, 2012



There is a curious phenomenon that often occurs in the creative process. Sometimes there are pieces that I can’t begin, because I don’t know what they are about. But I can’t know what they are about until I begin. So there is nothing to do but stumble along… and pay attention. Creativity can be messy and uncomfortable. I often think that I would like to be comfortable in my work and feel as though I know what I am doing, but the truth is, I think it is even more frightening to imagine that I might ever reach that place!

I am currently working on some three dimensional pieces in preparation for a group show in September. When I began this work, I slammed into that curious conundrum of beginning. This image is a bit from the first piece that has put itself together. One layer that you see here is a stack of old journal pages that I “rehabbed” by gessoing both sides. I like the white, imperfect surface that results as well as the idea of writing that can’t  be read (something which occurs in another part of this piece). I will post more bits as I can along the way.

And if you are interested in thoughts on creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert gives a great TED talk on the subject.

Stay Cool

June 22, 2011

It is officially summer in Richmond, and the days are warming up accordingly.  What better way to cool off than to spend some time looking at new art in local galleries.  Two group shows will open this Friday, June 24 offering cool space for a hot time.  Check out the [work] 2011 show at the Visual Arts Center for a look at new work by faculty, staff, and board members with an opening reception 6-8 PM.  Then move on to artspace with a gallery talk and reception 6-10 PM for the juried show radius 250 featuring work by artists living within a 250 mile radius of Richmond.  And, yes, this is clearly self-promotion, since I am happy to be included in both shows!

Events at Quirk

March 15, 2011

The Ways I See It  • Sarah Masters

March 3 – 26












Saturday, March 19, 10:30 – 12:30

Coffee in the gallery

Saturday, March 26, 2:00 PM

Closing day artist’s talk

Please join us for these upcoming events!

Regular hours: M – F 10-6, Sat. 11-4, or by appointment

The Ne(we)st

March 1, 2011

This is the newest drawing from my studio.  It is also the oldest.  I began working on this image about eleven years ago and have worked on it on and off over the years with long spans (years!) in between. Twice before I tried to finish it for shows but was unable to make the image come together as a whole. Recently, I decided to give it one last go before permanently retiring it, and it seems the time was right.  The drawing is now hanging at Quirk, waiting to be seen at the opening this Thursday night.  It is the largest piece in the show, over one hundred times larger than the smallest pieces which are tiny collages like this one:

Clearly there is a range of work in the show, so stop by and see how it all fits together!


February 26, 2011












The show at Quirk will open next Thursday, March 3 with a preview reception 5:00-7:00.  The First Friday reception will be March 4, 7:00-10:00.  Please stop in if you can!  The show will include mixed media sculpture, assemblage, and collage as well as drawings and clay work.  It will be up through March 26.  See more details below.



February 10, 2011

At the end of last year I took a clay class at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to learn more about the possibilities that clay has to offer.  In one class we learned how to make clay whistles, and I immediately became enchanted by them.  The shape reminded me of pods, spores, and organelles, and I pulled out my old botany book for inspiration.  I love the way these feel in my hand as I shape and carve them and the way each develops into its own particular form.  But most of all, I love that these little sculptural objects have a secret life: they make a sound, a beautiful note – hollow like the hoot of an owl.  It is really silly how much I enjoy working with these little chunks of clay (an addiction really),  but I see no reason to pass up delight!

I expect to have a small bunch of these in the March show at Quirk, so come by and take a look.

Last Minute

December 21, 2010

Where does the time go?  I imagine there are many asking this question about now as Advent rushes quickly towards Christmas Day.  Given that today is a mere 4 days before Christmas, it is safe to say we are in the “last minute” phase of the time for preparations.  And I am definitely last minute in posting information about new work and two shows.  For those interested in nest drawings or mixed media work, stop by the Christmas show at Astra Design at 3110 W. Marshall Street.  Louise and Tom have put together a nice collection of treats to dazzle and delight.

For more of an excursion, take the short trip to Powhatan Village Arts Show to see the show and  learn more about Powhatan’s offerings.  I have a few landscapes up along with work by several Powhatan artists.  Check the site for more information and special offerings.

Finally,  my studio is always open by appointment to anyone interested in drawings (including newer work) or mixed media work.  Contact me here or give a call if you already know the number!

To any who might come across this page, I wish you a quiet moment in the midst of holiday frenzy, a moment to sit and be still as we prepare and wait.

The opening for the current show at Rivermont Studio in Lynchburg will be held tomorrow evening, February 12 at 6:00.  All are welcome!  I am showing new three-dimensional work – mixed media sculpture and assemblages – that I have been writing about here.  Here are some of the pieces in the show: Air and Light, Lost Bearings, Shelter It won’t float, but you’ll be safe,  Everyday Miracle: Attachment, Homage to Lenore Tawney, Oryoki,  and Hundreds of Ways.

This piece, called Germinal, is also in the show.  I have included its various parts in earlier posts including the Weber grill firing of the clay parts.  The base is cast glass, and the stand is a found hand loom.  Other  materials include wire, fabric, thread, seed silk, and fiberglass.

This is my statement for the show:


The work in this show has provided an opportunity for me to explore some three- dimensional ideas that have been germinating, in one form or another, in my mind and my sketchbook for years.  It is a shift from my usual format of two-dimensional drawing and painting but also a logical extension of that work.

These pieces have arisen through my interest in the materials and in the process.   Making this work has involved not only the very practical aspect of engineering and assembling but also an approach of working intuitively and allowing both object and meaning to evolve. The process of combining and juxtaposing materials and parts has yielded many surprises in all aspects of the work.  These pieces are experiments in using new materials, new techniques (including clay building and glass casting and fusing), and new images.  Although the intent and meaning varies from piece to piece, all are linked by certain threads including:  a deep love of the natural world, a fascination with the subtle connections existing in the world around us, an interest in the power of metaphor, and a belief that beauty matters.

The artists who have influenced and inspired this work are many.  A few to note in particular are Lenore Tawney, Martin Puryear, Patrick Doherty, Andy Goldsworthy, Joseph Cornell, Eva Hesse, Christopher Wilmarth, Hannelore Baron, and, of course, my friend and teacher John Morgan.


February 4, 2010

Lest we think we are in control, the weather will often remind us that we are decidedly NOT!  It seems that quite a bit of snow will fall in Lynchburg, VA on Friday, February 5.  The opening scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed until Friday, February 12, 6:00 – 8:00, and the artists’ talks will be at 11:00 a.m. on February 13.  Come if you can!