Monday, April 02, 2007

Sarah Wimperis: Painting the life, light and colours of Brittany

46cm x 55cm, oil on canvas, Private Collection
copyright Sarah Wimperis

I've been a fan of the work of Sarah Wimperis since I discovered her daily painting blog last September. Sarah lives in France and paints the light, colour and life round about where she lives in southern Brittany.

I'm going to feature some of her paintings and some of the new ways in which she's marketing herself today and tomorrow. What Sarah is doing is the sort of thing many artists can now contemplate. Here's a synopsis of an interview I did with.
I left Falmouth Art College in Cornwall in 1981 with my BA in fine art. In the last 26 years I've travelled a lot and worked as an artist full time. I've taught art to adults and children, had a mural painting company, and work as an illustrator. At the same time I've always painted, had exhibitions and undertaken commissions.

The illustration work keeps the bread on the table, the kids in college and a roof over our heads (very nice roof as well). I tend to do illustration work at night so that I can paint in natural daylight. One of the challenges of illustration work is always being creative to order - doing what other people want. I started the daily painting routine to force myself to do something for myself. It was great when people started to buy them (from her daily painting blog "The Red Shoes") and also the larger paintings that I do.
Breton Cottages
80cm x 90 cm, oil on canvas

copyright Sarah Wimperis
We visited Brittany for a good few years before moving here. I love the culture, markets, fest noz, standing stones etc, it is a very ancient and magical land. Where I live in Southern Brittany is a particularly beautiful part of Brittany.

I am the family breadwinner we wanted to be able to afford a house outright, no mortgage, it takes that worry away when you are self-employed.

Our five kids were all growing up, the eldest had gone to art college, the three middle ones were about to fly the nest and the youngest is such a self reliant easy lad that he would cope whatever we did to him!? Anyway a few life changing things happened which made us think that there really is no right time for anything and also life is pretty valuable so go for it and get everything that you can from it…so we did.
One of Sarah's recent initiatives has been to start making her mark on the video world - with videos about her work. Her video of Sarah's Grand Exhibition - December 2006 shows her work set out around her attractive Breton home and also of the mezzanine studio where she works. I was extremely envious of her set-up by the time I had finished viewing this! Do take a look - I think it gives a really good idea of the size of her paintings and their impact in a home.
I was discussing marketing with a friend who has a very innovative mind especially when it comes to the internet. We thought it would be great to have a virtual exhibition which all of your “cyber pals” could come to. My original plan was to wander around waving a glass of wine in front of the camera but we need to get a bit better at the whole thing to do that! Personally, I find it fascinating to watch people working so I'm planning more videos of me painting.
Tomorrow - more about Sarah's daily paintings and the setting up 'The Red Shoe Press' and her first book.

Links: Sarah has three sites, listed below. Her two blogs feature her red shoes - a favourite motif. You can see more of her larger paintings on her main website.

Sarah Wimperis Artist - main website
The Red Shoes - Daily Painting Project
Muddy Red Shoes - the every day blog
Sarah's Grand Exhibition Video
Towns of Art and History in Brittany

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vivien said...

a good article and I absolutely love that beach - and the red boots :) I follow her blogs regularly, they are a good read with lovely work.

kate said...

I look forward to my daily email and painting from Sarah Wimperis - best is the description that accompanies the paintings.

Her work is brilliant!

andrea said...

I enjoy my occasional visits to Sarah's blog so it was fun to learn a few more things about her that I didn't know!

dinahmow said...

Yes, Sarah's work is lovely.I have one of her watercolours.

tut-tut said...

Muddy Red Shoes is a treat to read. I'm saving up to buy a painting!

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