For thirty years, Sarah Bienvenu's experiences painting and exploring New Mexico's mountains, canyons, and deserts have given her a unique ability to disentangle and interpret these past layers of change. She finds beauty in nature's ability to reveal accidental compositions through patterns and asymmetry: "I look to the land to tell me how best to paint it, using the natural abstract shapes I see." Being attuned to such abstractions--the undulations of a dry riverbed, the jaggedness of rock against sky--is where abstraction becomes detail: detail of texture, detail of shape, detail of light and color and composition.
Watercolors provide the perfect medium for matching the immense variation and subtlety of Bienvenu's subject. A closer look reveals that each individual element, as in nature, harmonizes with the collective whole. Realism is discovered in consonance: from a cast of light to a balance of colors.
MaLin Wilson-Powell is an art writer, curator, editor, and lecturer whose career has alternated between independent projects and curatorial work. She is a contributing editor to numerous Santa Fe regional art publications and has published twenty-five museum catalogues and more than three hundred articles in magazines and newspapers, including ART-FORUM, Art Issues, and the Los Angeles Times.