abstract thoughts:

mixed media makes you think.

Meaning is foundational to my art. My work always begins with an idea; a thought that sparks an image or a concept I want to communicate. I bring it to life in paint, ink and collected objects (often repetitive, metal or mechanical in nature). Common themes are spirituality, science, words, haiku, emotional processing and occasional geekery. My goal is to create art that is aesthetically pleasing and cerebrally stimulating. The title might hint at the meaning, but the viewer needs to look for the symbolism.

about my process

I always say 50% of my art consists in staring off into space, and that’s not an exaggeration. I spend a significant amount of time planning, sketching and setting constraints. How do I communicate this message with these materials?

Once I start painting, I’ll photograph each stage, stare at it for a while, let it marinate for a few days. At that point the direction becomes more fluid. I try to let the painting tell me where it needs to go and how many stages it needs to get there. A ridiculous number of hours are invested working through each stage (over weeks or months).

Mediums

Birch panel is my favorite, but I’ll paint on anything. Stretched canvas, doors, windows, subflooring, air conditioner bases, old signs. Longevity might become a problem, but we can’t all be Picasso (who painted on closet doors and paper scraps, by the way).

I love grids, texture, contrast, clean lines, large scale pieces and minimalist color schemes. I always try to work in something that isn’t acrylic paint or ink (my favorite mediums). Artist & Craftsman is my happy place, but I’m equally likely to use material from the hardware store or scrapyard.

I use splatters and dropped paint because I like to play with chaos. I’ll tediously work and re-work a painting, then introduce an element where I have very little control over how it moves or where it goes. This is always risky, especially on the collaborative pieces I do with my son. If you’d like to introduce chaos into your work, handing a 4 year old a loaded paintbrush is a good way to do it.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

I paint (and write) because creating in those forms is when I’m most alive. It doesn’t pay the bills, but I don’t think it needs to. I work as a business and tech consultant, designer, and web developer. If work projects are creatively fulfilling, it’s on the entrepreneur side of my brain. It’s also important to do things with your hands that’s not pressing buttons, and this is how I do it.

Painting is also how I process strong emotions or trauma. It’s about the process, not the product. By the time it’s done it’s just another painting, albeit one that might give small children nightmares.

Where to Find Me

Subscribing to my email list is the best way to keep up with my work. I spend a limited amount of time on Instagram @sarahschumacher.art (mostly for The 100 Day Project). It’s best to send me an email if you have questions or comments. You’re likely to find me around Kansas City at a locally owned coffeeshop or foodie restaurant, and as a proud KC native I’m always happy to make recommendations.

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