Sarah Vivian Artist Cornwall
Penwith landscape artist Sarah Vivian is a woman with an impressive artistic heritage including her great grandfather, Thomas Comley Vivian, a well known portrait painter whose clients included the Prince Regent. Her great grandmother, Elizabeth Farquhar, also exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1867 and 1914. “It was extremely rare for a woman to have a professional artistic career at that time, but as a child she had the advantage of access to the studio of her uncle, George Cruickshank, who illustrated for Charles Dickens,” explains Sarah. “I still use my great grandmother’s mahl stick, a time tested tool for steadying the hand of artists during precision painting techniques, to create my own miniatures on a large scale.”
Coming from a long line of professional artists stretching back over three generations, Sarah carries on a family passion for all things miniature. “It would appear my preoccupation with meticulous detail is a genetic inheritance!” she jokes. Using her dazzling palette of oil colours, Sarah’s method of painting also harks back to an earlier time. To create strong visual and emotional impact, she paints with great detail and in a heightened and intensified manner, building up complex layers of colour and texture, combining classic technical methods of “thin to fat and dark to light” with Pre-Raphaelite painting techniques layering thin translucent glazes on a brilliant white background.
“I’m delighted to be exhibiting the work of such a prominent local artist,” says Roger Driscoll, Director of the Alverton Gallery in Penzance. “Sarah truly captures the spiritual nature of West Cornwall so effortlessly. Her attention to intricate detail and colour creates unique paintings with a magical, hyper-real quality.”