We’re excited to introduce you to Ellicott City, MD abstract artist Sarah Intemann. Check out the interview below to get to know Sarah and her artwork a little more. Enjoy!
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Interview with Maryland abstract artist Sarah Intemann
How would you describe your artistic style?
Large Scale Abstract – Line Focused Work
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
I draw a lot of visual vocabulary from nature. Mostly patterns I see in rocks, plants, coral. And fluid/abstract patterns in water and smoke. Even something as simple as cracks in the sidewalk, or veins in plant leaves. I’m basically inspired by little microcosms/patterns in our daily environment.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
I want to say that the goal is to make something beautiful, but that’s not quite the right word. I’d say it’s more like, wanting to make something captivating and stimulating. I often find myself painting a puzzle of my own making. Which is exciting, frustrating, invigorating, and completely consuming at times. And the end goal is always to make something that I find stimulating, and anyone looking at it will also find also find stimulating in their own unique way. If they don’t, that’s fine, but I hope they do. I hope to excite and inspire people.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
I’d have to say that it’s the feeling of absolute freedom to paint whatever comes to me. And the excitement of letting the medium do whatever chaotic and beautiful thing it wants to do. Then having the challenge to come back in and refine or redefine things. It’s sort of a dance that wavers between impulsivity and complete concentration. It’s such an interesting place to be, mentally.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
I went to two different colleges that approached teaching art in different ways. The first college I went to, there was a lot of focus on line-oriented work. Lots of contour drawing and using line weight to create depth. The second college was more classical and traditional. Lots of figure studies, landscapes, still lifes, all in oil, and all focused on studying color and how it can reflect on other surfaces. But I really value having learned from schools that approached art a bit differently, and being able to learn those skills and use them to create something that is more uniquely me. To put those different skills in my basket, and pull out what I need when i need it.
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
I guess if I had to use any descriptive words, I guess I’d use complexity, depth, and intrigue.
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
I was actually pre-med when I first went to college, and was a microbiology/molecular biology major. Not making art for those first 2 years of college threw me into a tailspin, and had me re-evaluating what I was doing and what I wanted to do.
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
I did not always know. I was good at art, but I really wanted to be a doctor and help people. After 2 years of studying the sciences, I ended up taking an abstract art course at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, and I completely connected with painting abstract works. It resonated on a base level and honestly on a euphoric level that I had never experienced before. I thought, this is it. This is me. This is what I’m meant to do. I changed my major and never looked back. I dove right into exploring it, head first.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
I guess I’d say tenacity and determination. And most importantly you have to enjoy it. So when a piece completely fails, there’s still an enjoyment in working with the medium. Then tenacity/determination gets you past the failure. You can say “oh well, that was fun…” and then move onto the next one. And have fun again.
What advice would you give up and coming abstract artists?
I’d say have the courage to experiment always. No matter what the result. There’s a lot of failed work that comes with experimentation, but there’s no point in getting discouraged and letting it deter you from creating more. Those failures can be stepping stones to something really great.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
I’m mostly inspired by artist documentaries and watching how artists create their work. I watch a lot of Art21. I guess being a visual person, I occasional listen to podcasts, but have a harder time with them as I want to see the work they’re talking about, so I tend to lean towards documentaries that show their process/work.
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
Honestly, just the act of painting itself. Putting intrinsic feelings and emotions that I may not be able to express in words onto a canvas, and using paint to express those abstract feelings and thoughts? It’s such a therapeutic process. To sound completely cheesy, it’s quite magical, ha.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
I want to paint larger pieces, and I finally have the studio space to do so, so that’s pretty exciting. I see my art increasing in scale and that will hopefully take me to new adventurous places.
What do you love most about abstract art?
Do you have any favourite quotes?
To learn more about Ellicott City, MD abstract artist Sarah Intemann and see more of her paintings, click the button below.