SARA LONG
Joanna (1)
2018
oil on paper
9" x 9"
“I don’t belong to anyone, my heart is heavy as an oil drum, but I don’t want to be alone, my heart is yellow as an ear of corn.” -Joanna Newsom
Loneliness and Plenty. This pretty much sums up why I paint, these two camps that seem to be on opposite sides of the heart, but ultimately need each other to survive. Like the sun and moon, the head and heart.
When loneliness strikes it’s like an old friend I know so well, a comrade, fighting, us against the world. I try to see and acknowledge her, take care of her and ask her questions…become curious. That’s when desire kicks in and painting can happen, out of the desire to comfort and care for my loneliness, to organize my loneliness. Look at me, such a good little Virgo, “Today I get to organize my loneliness!” On the canvas I’m investigating those feelings by painting safe places for me to live in, womb like places. Light wombs! Grass wombs! Moon wombs! They are trying to give me and the viewer a safe place to spend time.
And then there is when I am so overwhelmed and ripe with love, like and ear of corn ready to be picked. I am dumbstruck by the grandness of the human heart: like best friends taking a bath, holding hands with the light, or how the gesture of her hair moves like an Emily Carr forest.
These are the things that catch my eye and why I paint. But this all happens subconsciously, I think, this is never thought out beforehand. Only after the paintings are done and I’ve spent time with them can these secrets be revealed. And that is why painting is magic.