SARAH GUPPY – AUCKLAND PAINTER
"The observer makes the painting" Agnes Martin
Sarah Guppy’s paintings reflect her deep connection to the natural world. She paints predominantly with French enamel on glass or on gessoed board.
I am an artist who loves the surface of things and because of this I have explored many ways to apply paint. The surface is a wonderful place – it can be a skin, it can be where water meets air, it can be rough, smooth, cold, hot, cracked, dense and soft. In my exploration of surface I have worked with paper, corrugated cardboard, collage, canvas, gesso on wood, clay and glass, applying oils, gouache, ink, watercolour, crayon, charcoal and glass enamel paint.
I work intuitively in a very organic manner. I feel strongly drawn towards still life, which evokes for me a kind of staged cameo in which the viewer is invited to observe a domestic scene of objects, bottles, fruit, and flowers. My subject matter can be inspired by everyday objects such as the tools of my trade – paints, brushes, jugs and vases.
My themes are also inspired by anything from natural flora and fauna or a landscape in spring to the death of a friend. ‘Magnolias for Miss Heggetty’ was painted the day I heard my dear friend had died in London aged 100. To deal with the grief I picked an armful of magnolias and placed them in a Spanish jug. Beside them I placed
grapefruit – something Toot loved, along with horses that she grew up with in Gisborne on the East Coast of New Zealand. We had painted together for over 30 years.
I discovered glass painting when I was working in a frame-making studio as a gilder. A damaged glass painting was brought in for restoration. The image was painted around 1820 and depicted Indian lovers. As I reworked the image I fell in love with the process of working backwards. I became inspired by the vast array of artists using this glass painting technique, especially the folk artists of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, and the early work of Kandinsky.
Painting on glass involves reversing the image and composing the work in an opposite way to painting on canvas. Viewing a glass painting is rather like being a swimmer observing the world through goggles.
Sarah Guppy’s paintings are displayed in private collections in England, France, Spain, Belgium, Canada, America, Morocco, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
GIVING RELIEF - Bas Relief works 2017
To find out more about my painting history click here