It fills the spaces among the branches and reflects off the surfaces—giving color to form and revealing the nature of the life within—from clouds to rivers to woods. It’s the light. Intense light. Sara Linda Poly yearns to touch that simple undemanding energy. She “craves” the solitude of the sun and the brightness that filters through the trees, imposing itself upon the earth, bringing meaning and hope.
But it is not all sunlight. Her night scenes bring calm—the emotional place between conscious energy and the dreamy dark of the “incandescent” evening.
Sara’s studio is in Easton, Maryland, but she also loves the grand landscapes of the west—the mountains, the canyons—the endless horizons. And, of course, the light. She says the vastness of nature allows the solitude of nature and the power of pure beauty.
As Sara works the paint on the canvas, the discoveries and progressions speak to her. A conversation begins. She doesn’t know where the voices come from—“but you have to give your whole presence—your entire attention. You have to watch and be in it.”
Sara Linda Poly has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. Her family instilled a deep sense of beauty—art and music—and passed it on. She grew up in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia College of Art. She has also attended the Montgomery College of Art.
She owned an illustration and design business for years and produced the required drawings and layouts—tightly exact. As a painter, she has learned to let the paint strokes take over. She jokes that she had to become a “loose woman” and encourages her students at the Art League of Alexandria to experience the same.
You can see her work this month in an exhibit of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters at the American Painting Fine Art Gallery [see: At the Galleries]. Sara has been a member of the Society for 20 years. Also at: www.saralindapolystudio.com.
Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art
Sara Linda Poly [see Artist Profile] discovered “Paint by Numbers” as a kid. So did I. I played with variations and discovered it was the same picture. Sitting Bull was always the noble chief no matter what colors I used. And the Van Goghs…Starry Night or Sunflowers. Wow! I could color them any way I wanted without destroying the greatness of the composition. Try it.
I not only played with colors—I began to ignore the instructions. I wasn’t a slave to the lines, or the “recommendations”…and magic things happened—imagination, and my own art.
What is it about art and kids that’s so right? All kids. When does it start to go wrong with some? When do art, beauty, self-expression, and imagination get left behind and anger and resentment set in? We see it more in boys, but it’s there with girls. I’ve taught both that were diagnosed “Emotionally Disabled.”
Many years ago in Arizona, I taught at a private institution for boys—the last step before prison: From loners to gang members, drug dealers, drug users—from all levels of society.
I started an “outdoor art” program. First, they had to propose a project that benefitted others at the school. Then they had to go out into the desert and use what they could find.
One young drug dealer brought back a sheet of plywood—water stained and shredded in one corner. I said, “Do a painting of the place you found it.” It won first place in the citywide teen art contest. He went on to do good things. He called me years later and said it changed his life. It saved his life. And probably the lives of others.
At the Galleries
Hill Center Galleries
921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Sept. 12 – Dec. 1
Opening Reception: Sept. 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Alan Braley (multimedia), Nico Gozal (paintings on silk), Tara Hamilton (watercolor paintings), Warren Jackson (watercolor paintings), Khanh Nguyen (acrylic paintings), John L. Pacheco (oil paintings).
These are very distinct artists who create very personal statements in a variety of media. As “solo” shows, you can get a better sense of how they see the world and approach art. All artwork is available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting free programs at Hill Center.
American Painting Fine Art
5125 MacArthur Blvd. NW
This is the group show of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters. The exhibit includes the work of Sara Linda Poly (see: Artist Profile.)
2118 – 8th Street, N.W.
September 4 – 29, 2019
Opening Reception: Sept. 14, 5 – 8 p.m.
Photographer Gordana Geršković traveled to Mérida in the Yucatán Peninsula. She closed in on the intimate nature of textures and surfaces to screen out the recognizable and expose the character of the city’s Mayan and colonial heritage. She also exhibits paintings and mixed-media for the first time.
901 New York Ave., NW
September 4 – 29,
Opening Reception 6 p.m. : Sept. 13, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
In addition to the gallery member show in Gallery A, Touchstone features Davide Prete’s 3-D sculptures: “Minimal Surfaces” in their Spotlight Art Series.
In Gallery B, Colleen Sabo gives you “A World of Color, My Way”—traditional landscapes with a personal interpretation of color.
In Gallery C, Linda Bankerd’s “Luscious Landscapes” are forcefully-colored abstracted landscapes.
Capitol Hill artist and writer, Jim can be reached at [email protected].