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Celebrating 34 Years
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Sarah Vedder

(b. 1946)

Contemporary Tonalist Landscape Painter of California

by Jeremy Tessmer

Sarah Vedder is an american Landscape artist. She attended The Colorado College where she studied art. Vedder spent four years studying life drawing with Jorgen Hansen. She was originally an abstract Expressionist. Her style changed after being exposed to The American Tonalism. She uses a technique which softens the scenery.

Table Of Contents

Spring in Carpinteria Marsh
36" x 44"
Oil on canvas
In this work, Sarah's carefully controlled palette allows wonderful depth while also filling the atmosphere with a quality which suggests a total absence of human interference.

I. Biography

This section is under construction.

II. An Analysis of the Artist's Work

I want to make my work reflective and emotionally resonant. I use a limited palette, in keeping with the contemporary art precept of creating richness of result with economy of means. I am interested in relative value, and in using composition to support the emotional content of the painting. I have been influenced by the tonalist movement in American art, with its emphasis on the essential aspect of a landscape rather than the specific or incidental. My goal is to awaken an emotional response in the viewer. — Sarah Vedder

Sarah Vedder was originally trained as an Abstract Expressionist. The artist notes that painting of that sort requires commitments of time and energy that she couldn't make as a mother of two children. Eventually, her children grew up and she returned to painting. As the environmental movement galvanized in Santa Barbara with Ray Strong's Oak Group of painters, Sarah found an artistic project she could really get behind.

Her paintings still reflect a solid understanding of various formalist concerns that would have been important to early modernist and abstract expressionist artists. At the same time, her palette suggests contemporary tonalism. In each of her works, a reverence for untouched nature sings through softly painted scenes. The soft edges of mountains, clouds, marshes, and clusters of chaparral evoke the memory of a time when the land was still virgin.

Winter Willow 2001
16" x 24"
Oil on canvas
Here, the light of dusk in winter is felt as much as painted. The mood of the painting is contemplative. The artist often relates her work to the Transcendentalist movement of the early nineteenth century.

III. Exhibitions

  • 2005 "Anima Mundi", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2003, 2002 Sullivan Goss, Ltd., Montecito, CA
  • 2002 Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
  • 1998-2002 Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Marin, CA
  • 2000, 1998, 1993 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 1998 Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1997, 1996 California Heritage Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992, 1990-87 Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 1999, 1997 Nature Conservancy, Santa Cruz Island, CA
  • 1996 Ellen Easton Gallery, Montecito, CA
  • 1993 The Columbia Club Foundation, Indianapolis, IN
  • 1992 C.I. Clark Galleries, Bakersfield, CA
  • 1992-87 Arlington Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 1977, 1975 Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA
  • IV. Education

  • Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
  • V. Honors & Awards

  • 1997-2001 California Art Club Gold Medal Show, Pasadena, CA
  • 1997-2002 Artist Member, Oak Gropu, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2002 Honorable Mention, Santa Barbara County Art Fund, Santa Barbara, CA

  • Previous | Next
    Bend in the River
    Big River
    Blue Moon
    Carpinteria Bluffs to the Islands
    Evening at La Purisima
    Evening at the Bird Refuge
    Field Mountains, Montecito 1986
    Fields and Mountains, Near Ojai
    Fish Landing
    Previous | Next