Born and raised in Ontario, Claire Sarfeld moved to British Columbia after graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, in Toronto, with a degree in Drawing and Painting. As soon as Sarfeld landed on BC soil, she followed her passion, becoming an artist and doing numerous solo and group shows in the Lower Mainland.
At OCADU, Sarfeld gravitated towards the more tactile classes trying her hand at welding, woodworking, plastics, ceramics and collage. The more classical techniques can be found in her abstract work today. Sarfeld works have her touch from start to finish: each of her canvases is custom-made and stretched by herself.
When talking about her current work, the artist describes how satisfying it is for her to work with the medium of paint, after years collecting tools that help her achieve her layered abstract style. At times, Sarfeld tapes instruments together to create makeshift brushes, producing unique textures. With a flexible approach, she allows the design to arise through the process, as each mark dictates the next. She adds and then takes away, scraping and rubbing away paint to achieve the desired transparency.
The speed at which the paint is laid down also plays a large part in how it sits on the canvas. Wild splashes intertwined with slow arching lines that, when layered, create unique trace moments that are more prominent when viewed in close range. She takes time to block out certain areas to make dramatic and prominent brushstrokes. The viewers’ eyes wanders over thick globs of paint, metallic reflections and swipes of neon. Her goal is to achieve a sense of disharmony before bringing it back to the balance and flow found in her finished works. Sarfeld wants to push the boundaries on her understanding of colour and form, producing paintings that are uniquely her own.
Sarfeld entices the spectator’s curiosity, as their eyes are invited to move throughout the canvas, allowing them to question the work as well as adding their thoughts and ideas. She looks at her paintings as a source of conversation not only about art but about life itself.
Video by: Steady Media