Sarah Graham

Sarah Graham is a painter based in Hitchin, UK. Sarah describes her work by saying, “Over the years, I have been developing a method of painting aiming to create the illusion of three-dimensionality, and hopefully bring a lifeless photograph to life. My work generally begins with assembling my subject in my miniature photography studio, occasionally I work from a photo taken elsewhere, but getting this initial image right can be a long process. Simply because it has to be just right, not necessarily perfect as a photo, but it needs to contain all the elements I require such as balance, colour, drama and an interesting relationship between the focused subject and the blurred backdrop. And often something that I can’t even put my finger on, it instinctively just works. Once satisfied I have something I can justify painting, I’ll print off the image, and from this point on the painting is entirely crafted by hand. I always say the next stage is the most terrifying part, sketching the image by eye from the photo to the blank canvas. I do this using yellow acrylic paint so mistakes can be easily rectified. Photorealist artists are notorious for projecting the image at this point to achieve absolute accuracy, however not only do I enjoy the challenge of scaling up the image by eye, it allows for subtle changes to take place, as I always aim to take the painting far beyond the limits of the initial photo. I am a huge fan of photography as an art form, but I’ll be the first to admit that my photography is not my strong point; by allowing my hand an eye the freedom to translate it in paint is hopefully what makes the painting come alive.”

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