The painting process for me is a constant debate that wavers between resolved and infuriating. I often begin a piece based on an object or place. Initially, it’s freeing to use a huge brush and spread broad swathes of color onto a white surface. From there, I’m drawn into the physical experience of mark-making, which becomes more and more frenetic, and leads to a compositional need for structure. I use graphite and colored pencils with a ruler to define shapes—and then paint over most of what I’ve done. The documentation of the object or place is of little importance next to the mark it has precipitated. Though I seek to resolve each painting through a series of sessions, I find the parts left raw and exploding more invigorating.
Sara Katz was born in South Jersey in 1977 and subsequently grew up in Cabot, Vermont on a vegetable farm/greenhouse and nursery. She received her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and she spent a semester in Paris, where she began a focus in painting. She and her two younger brothers grew up working at the family business attending the smallest public school in the state. Her youngest brother, Elliott Katz, is a full-time artist and her brother Jon is a Natural Resources PhD. She has worked for Burlington City Arts, a municipal arts organization in Burlington, Vermont since 1999, and currently serves as the Assistant Director. Her work is influenced by her agricultural background and the landscape’s biology, human interaction and evolution.
Katz shows throughout Vermont and the Northeast and has been represented by the Edgewater Gallery at the Affordable Art Fair in New York City for the past three years. She is frequently commissioned for large works, and is in collections throughout the U.S. She lives and paints in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont, on a homestead farm that she shares with her husband, landscape architect and artist H. Keith Wagner, their son Hudson and daughter Viscaya.