Over last summer I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time outside. I was able to study and absorb different surroundings, objects, textures and colors. It’s almost like mentally carrying around basket for collecting an assortment of inspirations.

Abstract acrylic painting by Sara Richardson

Combining Inspirations

Aside from the tremendous amount of hiking in densely textured mountains, looking at the Pacific Ocean, watching my day lilies grow, noting the light changes on the lakes in Colorado – I also went to visit a chandelier again at the Broadmoor Hotel. All of these terrific points of inspiration have been put into the new work, but the element that has me excited is the idea of an organic light source. Where it exists does not matter. Meaning, it could be underwater, in a forest — or not.

An expression of hopefulness

I have been thinking quite a bit about these imaginary nature-inspired methods of illumination. I ask myself questions like, is it a soft glow? Is it at night, similar to a night light? Are the lights in the ocean or are they hanging from tree limbs? For now, I know I want to work with the concept of abstracted lanterns, candles and candelabras… distinctly organic, illumination sources known for their soft light, but created in a dynamic way. At the core, these works are about an expression of hope.

I think it was 90% of the way during concept creation that I remembered Dale Chihuly. I got it, he has glass chandeliers pretty much locked down. With respect, cripes. However, I’m not afraid to put my own, entirely different – posidonia day lily esque stamp on a light source interpretation. I’m owning it. The photograph above is Lantern No.1 – the first painting from the series.

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