Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here is a new painting that is nearly done:  Venus revisiting the place of her birth:

Friday, April 8, 2011

New painting

Rhiannon Reborn in the Surf by Sara Star
I entered this painting in a competition for Spring Paintings made with Cobra Talens Water Mixable paints.  I am crossing my fingers that I win and that I win something cool like more paint, or some auxiliaries or such.  I really love this paint brand, its is fairly new and I just tried it recently and it is my favorite for color and consistency. (please ignore the glare from the flash).

This the Welsh goddess Rhiannon.  She is associated with horses, the moon, the ocean and night song birds.  I really love to tell stories about her from the Mabinogion a cycle of Welsh Legends.  She moves like the moon in that as she is riding her horse, no matter how fast you follow her you can never catch her, she just moves along just out of reach.  She is also a cognate goddess with the Pan Greco-Celtic Goddess Epona.  I have painted a saint Anna icon based on a relief of Epona before:

St. Anne Icon based on Greco-Celtic Relief of Epona
That was one of my first icons and one of my first paintings way back in 2003 when I was just learning to paint.  It is nice to see how I have progressed in painting horses and such, but it is also humbling to see how much charm the more primitive earlier pictures have.  I want to manage to capture both in my more mature work.  I hope Rhiannon has some of the charm that Anne does.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Various sketches from classes

Sketch of a horse head cast, from Eduardo Fernandez's mentored drawing

Portrait Sketch/Underpainting for Craig Srebnik's Class

Life Drawing for James King's Workshop
I am on a major education kick.  Just taking tons of classes so I can break through to the next level.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A new picture

For the show at Stray Gallery Friday.

I have a little treat for those of you who show up.  I have started doing still life drawings of witch stuff.  Come and see my new little passion.  I will post pictures later on, but I want folks who come to the show to get first preview.

Here is a new picture about friendships between women:

Keeper and Companion by Sara Star

Monday, February 28, 2011

Portfolio Stuff

So I finally go around to photographing a few of my pieces that I never had a good picture of.   I thought you might like to see them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nerding out on Birth Art

I had the best experience meeting with a patron, the president of Birthingway Midwifery College invited me to meet her and interview for some future projects for the college's upcoming 20th anniversary.

Study for the Crowning by Sara Star

I was fretting all over the place!  I don't have high resolution photos of most of my art, so I couldn't put together a proper portfolio and I was so nervous.  Thank goodness my dear friend April Younglove, a fellow artist with her BFA by virtue of which she has so much more knowledge than me on the business of art, talked me down.  April told me it was fine to just bring the art itself and it might be better than a portfolio.  So I bagged up what I consider my absolute best pieces that show a variety of my styles and interests.  I also brought my sketch book with mural ideas.

The day couldn't have gone more perfectly--despite total disasters the day before: the last part of the frame for the piece I hoped they would buy, was a quarter inch too small! But an emergency trip to my dad's fixed all that and I arrived with a nicely framed piece.  Holly Scholles, the President of Birthingway is such a birth art nerd! We had so much to talk about and the entire two buildings are decorated with a collection of birth themed art.  My piece fit right in and the college purchased it for their collection, as well as talking with me about ideas for the mural and the poster as well as showing me the mural it will go and so forth.  My brother, Eric served as my assistant and helped me carry all the paintings I brought as well as driving me and making sure I didn't bump into anything and hurt myself over all the excitement!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sculptural Elements for Paintings

For most of my painting career, I focused on painting and very little beyond the edge of the canvas. Even framing was beyond what I put consideration into.  As I have grown more confident in two dimensions, I have taken up adding sculptural elements and planning how things will be framed.

My first adventures in framing were early on because I needed to create frames for my jumbo canvases before showing them in a gallery, purchasing frames was out of the question, I just didn't have the money.  My father made beveled moldings for me and we wood stained them in complimenting colors. Other than that experience, I often purchased wooden plaques with shaped sides so I didn't have to concern myself with framing at all.

Mary Throned, a multi media mounted print by Sara Star

However, at the craft stores and hardware stores, I kept seeing neat little plaster or wooden elements that inspired me. So a couple of years ago I threw all my little sculptural elements onto one decoupaged piece so I could see what I liked. I figured it wasn't an original painting so I wouldn't worry about messing it up.  The piece is a little over the top, but I like that about it, an almost Victorian French feel to it.  I put on wooden appliques and gold leafed them, and I created a banner carried by two plaster cherubs to hang the icon from. I included plaster, fabric and wood sculptural elements all in one.

The next time I ventured into sculptural elements, I did a similar thing, I just added multiple onto one piece.  I used extra gesso to build up flower shapes and dots in a halo behind Mary Magdalen's head and I glued a set gem onto her crown.  I feel it was too over the top with both elements, next time I will only do one or the other. And by the way, don't use super glue on top of gold leaf, the glue pulled off the gold showing the red behind, erst while the nice green baltic amber now looks like a red glass bead.

Frame Sculpture by Duke DesRoscher Eve's Sorrow by Sara Star

Duke DesRoschers custom made a frame to show with my jumbo paintings and I was absolutely amazed at his assemblage frame. I would never have made something quite like that, yet nothing could be more perfect a fit for my painting. I see we have a similar style of putting everything onto one project, and I really like how it balanced out the simple composition of my painting to fill in some of the blank space.

I suppose my rambly point here is, don't be afraid to experiment with adding sculptural elements to your paintings. After my various adventures, I now think ahead to how I will frame most of my pieces.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shooting for the Stars

Artemis' return attack on Aceton by Sara Star

I suppose rather than resolutions, I will write a few dreams.  As I said before so many of my dreams came true in the last year, that it is time to write some new ones.

1) Obtain a classical art education. (either self teach, cobble various classes together, or join an atelier program)
2) Visit more art cities and see the beautiful museums
3) Show in galleries or museums in some big art cities
4) Have my art sales provide a reliable income (enough to take a little time off for vacations, or go part time)

Now these are not one year goals. They are just a new set after most of my other "life goals" were met already.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Using toys as models

Recently I have had great luck using toys of animals as models for paintings.  Some toy companies take great pains to make realistic figurines of wildlife to educate children.  I have only picked up a few of these toys so far, but I see myself collecting more of them in the future to aid me in adding animals to my paintings.

I have shown you before how I utilized photographs in combination with a small orca toy for my study of Tillikum.

More recently, I picked up a cow toy at my local arts and crafts store to include in my Morrigan triptych.  I ended up looking to classic iconography to design the cow's head, but the toy was invaluable in getting the legs and hooves right and in proportion.

Morrigan with White Heifer by Sara Star
I think I will keep it on a picture by picture basis rather than stocking up on toys ahead of time. However, I am going to keep animal toys in my arsenal of painting tools.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I've got style!

To accept this award, I have to do the following things in return...

  • Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.  
Not only is Stephanie an excellent blogger, she is a friend! The Co-Exist Cafe. Check out that recipe for Stuffed Artichokes, nummy!  Co-exist is an excellent theme for me and my artwork for a variety of reasons.

  • Share 7 things about yourself.

1) While Stephanie Co-Exists with Matt on their religions, she is pagan and he is Jewish. My artwork exists on that plane. I was once Christian (for a couple of years) and now I am not (and haven't been for many years).  Some of my art connects strongly with a Christian tradition of Catholic Iconography.  But I am exploring new directions and my art co-exists on this website and in my studio.  I am lucky that art history is full of artists who painted both in a classical and a Christian tradition, so that I don't feel as though I am the first to go this direction.
Sara Star little fashion witch.

 2) This is a stylish blogger award, I first saw it doing the rounds in fashion blogs.  Which leads me to share a little detail about me, I read a lot of fashion blogs! I love to see the unusual mixtures of colors, patterns, shapes, and textures in couture fashion. I love even more seeing regular women of all walks of life, incorporating high fashion style into their wardrobe on a budget or not. I dress quite eccentrically myself, in the same colors you see me paint with.  Red hair, turquoise, greens, pinks, reds and oranges. I even have a few capes.

Sara Star posing Pre-Raphaelite

3) I am hoping that one of my art friends will want to paint or draw me soon (hint hint). Then I can wear one of my lovely outfits.  I even have a few pre-Raphaelite style dresses I could wear.  (I want to be a Rosetti Lady).

4) I am pretty tall.  Over six foot in flats and I still wear high heels.  My boss tells me I am not to be taller than him around clients.  He needs to maintain the illusion of authority. 
5) I am not very accomplished with drawing.  I struck out to learn how to paint due to an idea I wanted to paint.  Up until this year, I have mostly projected photographs onto canvases and made changes as I saw fit.  I have began learning to really draw and I am also learning to re-size images with grids, free hand, and using the block in method.

6) I have more art opportunities than I can keep up with.  Folks always have awesome ideas for me to make extra money or get more shows with my art. But unfortunately, due to working a regular job full time, I am behind already on art projects.  I really look forward to when I can be a professional artist part-time or even full time.
7) I have always loved art.  I drew and painted a lot as a child.  But I never took it seriously as a potential career until it was already working out to be something I was making pocket money doing.  Now it is my dream to be a full time professional artist when I grow up.

Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers*.

1) Chelsea Rose Oh the hair, perfectimso, her outfits super cute. I doubt I know a more stylish artist in town. If you haven't seen her striking photographs of her striking body paintings--you must race over to her blog now.
2) Diane Hoeptner  Okay I am partial towards red heads. But isn't her apron lovely? And somewhere in the last year she posted a lovely picture of herself in overalls.  But really, her art is very stylish and I love seeing her colorful and unique perspectives on still life.
3) Petar Meseldzija  I can't get enough of this man's paintings. He makes fantasy art with a lot of personality and a very classic feel.  The dresses he puts on his figures! Lets just say if he weren't an illustrator, he should be a costume designer. Exquisite.
4) Janet Amundson-Splidsboel  Janet is a very stylish Portland blogger who hosts lovely private painting parties at her home. And I am absolutely blessed to be one of those occasionally invited (there is a long waiting list).  She has a very hip house that she has converted into a studio and private gallery for her work. 

5) Ariel Grimm  has created a lovely world entirely oriented to the forest. She dresses in greens and browns like a little Merry Woman with Robin Hood leading the band of tree dwellers.  It is always a treat to see what she picks up at the thrift shops, and she has a lovely job looking cute and working at the library.
6) Graveyard Dirt. Well technically she doesn't much wear clothes persay. But she is sexay! And her magical way of decorating is dark and edgy.  I love to see what she has brewed up for the living room when she knows her in-laws will be away.
7) Gracey  is a new fashion blogger. She is tall like me, and lives in the same area. So her fashion adventures are of noted interest to me.  Check her out!
8) Obaki. Well sorry Obaki, you are not particularly stylish yourself--that ear piece--not on trend. However, Obaki puts some pretty awesome clothes and costumes on his characters in TMI.  I read his comic from the beginning after meeting Andy. The plot is very intriguing and forward thinking. 
9) Shybiker. Shybiker is exploring the wonderful world of feminine clothing.  I love watching her grow and develop a lovely collection of things she has always dreamed of wearing. (Shybiker is trangendered and intersexed.)

*15 is a lot, and most of the blogs I read are fashion blogs who have already won this award. I only got to 9.
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know you awarded them.--(I already spent like an hour on this post, so maybe I will get to this...)

Some New Work

I have been painting a lot, but due to short days, I don't have much time to get photographs of what I have done when the lighting is good.  However, I resolved to show you all what I am doing anyways, even if the photos don't look so hot.

Artemis by Sara Star

Above is a painting I made for a patron, of Artemis. It is the third in a trilogy of Artemis, Demeter and Hekate.

Here is a big project I have been working on for months.  This isn't the final product, I still have a few things to add and a little work on the backgrounds, but it is close.

The Morrigan Triptych by Sara Star
I want to clean up the wall hanging so it looks more smooth, and I have a crow skull to replace the little wood cookie stand in for a crow skull.  (The skull took two months to come instead of two weeks, so I had to make a substitute charm).  I am also changing the charms around a bit to balance more.  I wish I had a clearer photograph for you, but I will be able to get one next month when it is complete.