Wabi-sabi Cuba

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Pond

The Pond

24″ x 24″

I’m back from Cuba and working on a more comprehensive post about how the experience impacted me. In the meanwhile, the textures and general wabi-sabi nature of the Cuban landscape, people, and dwellings helped me loosen up with this newest painting, “The Pond.”

Historically, I’ve struggled with leaving my paintings exposed and unrefined, yet these were exactly the elements I found so beautiful about Cuba. So I’m challenging myself to let my work retain a more raw state of being, at least for now.

Here’s the source photo. I snapped this picture while I was out at a work retreat at Casa Micanopy. The final painting looks nothing like this, of course, but it provided just the right amount of inspiration and ambiguity to get me into the process.

The Pond source photo



  • Anna Heineman

    I love this painting so much, Sara! Loving the direction your work is taking you both aesthetically and physically. 😉


  • Jim Nash

    I’m sorry we had so much going on at Steve’s party that we couldn’t spend some time talking about your work over the past few months. It seemed like you were on the verge of something even before your trip to Cuba and seems now that you were well primed for the realizations you had while there. Good timing! You know I’ve been a fan of your aesthetic from your earliest line drawing through your forests of trees which always appeared to me to point to something elemental with their various abstractions. I always felt I could see elements of self disclosure in them. I considered taking issue with the word “unrefined” but on second thought, maybe that’s just so in the sense that these later works seem unfettered by the need to resolve ambiguities. The emotion seems to be really coming through but I, at least, don’t notice sacrifices of balance or your aesthetic sense (maybe that’s why I first flinched at “unrefined”.) These later works, whether peopled with human figures or not, give me more of that “confusion of senses” feeling that I aim for when deliberately encountering the wilderness, my “Magic Moments” to steal from Spalding Gray. I know its dubious to assume a direct connection between my reaction and an artist’s intention and don’t mean to draw one here. I just want to say these recent works are a tonic to take in for a guy like me, particularly at this time when uncertainties and ambiguities are pressing in whether or not I seek them out. These works remind me how renewal and beauty can be accessed through openness. Thank you.

    • Sara Nash

      Thanks Dad, your response means a lot to me. And I appreciate the flinch at “unrefined”–maybe ambiguous is a better way to say it…but sometimes when things are ambiguous, I sure long for “refinements.”
      Love you

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