Creating

Artist of the Week: Sally Adams, Painting The Path To Peace

Sally Adams posing in her studio

Sally Adams posing in her studio

Sally Adams’ paintings of trees, birds, and skies take the viewer on a path to a peaceful life. The minimalism of her colors and subjects draw the viewer right into the heart of these intricately knitted symbols and guide us further along into a tremendously profound system of metaphors.

Both compositionally and stylistically, Sally Adams’ canvases are distinctively hers. The monochromatic and hazy backgrounds are the prevailing field of her compositions. When interpreted as abstract, they express a Rothko-esque contemplativeness. And, when interpreted as representational, they express the sky’s cycle of colors. She sets smaller, representational elements – a sliver of moon, wires, birds, blades of grass trees – against these backgrounds.  

“My work is minimalist in composition and subject matter as I try to extract all the unnecessary elements in a painting, leaving just enough to evoke an emotional connection to the viewer,” says Sally.

The representational elements are deeply symbolic. Sally explains that the sky is a symbol for the vastness of the world. Birds are symbols of both symbols of freedom and of the innate need to congregate, or flock together. The trees are symbols of history and stability giving comfort for, as she puts it, “being around for so long and still are grounded.”  

Compounding the individual meanings of these symbols, the combination is a metaphor for the human experience. The interconnectivity suggest that solitude is a façade. Sally Adam’s paintings are an ecosystem of symbols that chime with the uplifting message that even at the most minimalist level, we are never alone in nature.

“In my paintings with one bird in a tree, I'm using solitude not as loneliness, but as a moment to appreciate, and even when by ourselves, we are really not alone in Nature,” says Sally.

Her own studio practices parallel her portfolio’s embrace of nature. She paints in a garage she has converted into an art studio. As she paints, she listens to the sound of birds, children, and music. Her dog, named Pickledog, lays in the sun just outside of the studio.  

See Sally's full portfolio on UGallery.