By Sarah West
The white bowl, paint of sunflower yellow, little hands swirl paint brushes turning clear water yellow.
From sunny hues to colors like creamy butter, children relate the colors to things found in familiar places, their garden, their room or cupboard. Then, our conversation addresses how we mindfully use the water. “Do you know what nature conservancy means?” I ask. Some raise their hands and offer their best thoughts on the subject. We share in fruitful discussion related to our paintings, studio workspace, the arrangement of our palettes and ways we might make the most of just one bowl of water, and most importantly, why we must protect our natural resources. Painting continues, as we make notes of the color values, their evolution from one shade to another. Bright yellow becomes ochre then naples then early spring green.
The white sea mist billows inland. Salty clouds sweep low to the ground and tousle my hair. My eyes are closed, face tipped towards the sun which peeks through in passing intervals. I sit on a rattan chair amid grey pebbled pathways, and pristinely designed garden scapes. Ferns of that early spring green sprout from nearby palm trees. I hear a thump, I turn to look, a lizard of the same green jumped from the palm’s shade. A water spigot leans out from a white washed wall. Its green patina reflects the emerald shoreline seen in the near distance. A gentle drip yields melodic notes while small finches drink morning rain from the gutter. When clouds part the sky reveals an abyss painted in pale cerulean and smalt blue.
I meditate in the stillness, bathe in the sunlight, take a walk, take a picture or three and consider what paintings of this might mean.
Sarah West serves the Opelika Observer as a contributing columnist, with written works of Cultural Arts relevance and prose. She is a preservation, and conservation advocate, activist, and visual artist of American Illustration with a focus on Regional Narrative Painting. She is founder of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts, Smiths Station, Alabama’s premier fine arts destination. She is the appointed Official Artist to the City of Smiths Station, a Lee County syndicated columnist, the director of her art center’s Cultural Arts Outreach Initiative which partners with local schools to make the arts accessible to all. She also serves a chief curator to the City of Smiths Station, City Hall Art Galleries. She is a founding member of the Smith Station Historic Commission. She is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Board- Cary Center, Auburn University College of Human Science. She is an elected member of the Society of Illustrators- NYC. She mentors art students of every age through weekly classes at her studio located in the heart of Smiths Station, Alabama. To learn more about her work and activism visit Sarah West Fine Art Gallery