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Surge of Energy

Sheryl Sauer, mixed media on canvas, 30 by 40 inches

Surge of Energy, mixed media on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

THE ARTIST: Sheryl Sauer was working as a paralegal in Texas when she had what she calls “my epiphany.” She was driving with her family through New Mexico when they saw a magnificent Santa Fe sunset. “I just wept,” she says. “It came upon me that I needed to go back to school and learn the techniques of painting. I knew I could never re-create God’s work but that sight is what drew me into art.” She took a few college art courses in Texas, and when she and her husband relocated to Orange County, she found a teacher in Laguna Beach. Six months later she sold two paintings, one of a fish and one of peaches. She continued to do representational and plein air paintings until about five years ago when she began making more abstract works, several of which are showing at Art-A-Fair this year. “I had a deeper inspiration to paint what I felt,” she says.

The Artist’s inspiration: I had always done white backgrounds with my abstracts. So I decided to do an off yellow. I had a scarf with beautiful colors in it, but I knew I’d never wear it. So I tore it up and made three paintings with the fabric. In the middle that’s the scarf. Then I have the colors going out from there. I try to have a design not represent anything in particular but to have an interesting negative space. I build this space, and it just carries your eye around. Mostly I’m inspired by God’s presence. I’m just co-creator. Everything I do is what God’s feeding me. Why “Surge of Energy”? I think it’s like the sun. I was pumped the whole time I painted. I had wonderful light. I paint to music, all different kinds. With this, it was probably Prince.

As told to Jodie Tillman


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