Artist in Focus: Sarah Beth Goncarova

Sarah Beth Goncarova has been exhibiting with Ugallery for just over a year. Originally from New England, she now lives atop a hill in San Francisco. She is one of our top selling artists and one of our favorite personalities. We hope you enjoy this interview with Sarah Beth, part of our new “Artist in Focus” series.

At Wood’s Edge (2009)


What’s your earliest art memory?

When I was three or four, I asked my mom to color code my fingers to keys on the piano and notes on the staff. An interesting effect of this is when I would listen to music, I would visualize sinuous colorful shapes in space. Music and art have always been interconnected in my life.


What keeps you up at night?


Other than back and joint pains? (she laughs).
A general worry that there is always so much more to do.

Study for Line of Trees (2008)

Your artworks are largely landscapes. Where were some of these pieces painted?

I like to paint places that I have some sort of connection to - places that I’ve been to or lived near. But I also have an interest in painting places that have been changed by human impact, so there’s a strong sympathetic emotional connection.

Where did this appreciation of the outdoors come from?

My father is an environmental scientist, so I guess it’s in my blood.

Where Ice Meets the Sky IV Night (2009)

You have a series focusing on ice, the sky and the sea. What inspired you?

This is inspired by the glaciers that my husband and I visited in Iceland, but they also reach beyond a specific place. On one level, I wanted to capture the glaciers as they were melting, breaking apart, flowing downstream - ultimately to document what I saw. On another level, they are a metaphor for changes that have already been set into motion.

A portion of the proceeds from your art sales goes to a non-profit. Can you tell us more about this non-profit and how you got involved?

I want my paintings to not only be good piece of art, but also to do some good for some of the dire situations that my paintings depict. So I donate to the Nature Conservancy, Direct Relief International and the American Red Cross.

What are you working on now?

I am working on several projects. I am making a series of large oils of friends and family and some very small watercolors and goaches. I have also been working on a continuing performance/video piece called “Xena vs. Zuul,” a sculpture called “Eighteen Million Cracks,” that currently takes up most of my apartment and I am in the process of publishing a book.

Coastline on a Rainy Day (2010)

I know you live in San Francisco. What’s the art scene like in the city?

The art scene in the Bay Area offers a lot of interesting spaces and opportunities to emerging artists and that is unique. Oakland and San Jose are also really coming into their own.

Where do you go to look at art?

Art Zone 461 (on Valencia) and Creativity Explored (on 16th) are two of my favorite galleries in San Francisco. In general, in this city there is always a friend’s opening to go to in some interesting place.

Fish Line I (2009)

What advice would you offer to other emerging artists?

Keep your inner critic out of the process of making. Work on your art every single day, no excuses.

For more of Sarah Beth’s work, click here.

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