From Art

Painting: Blue Skies and Water Towers on a NYC Rooftop

I still get a thrill whenever I step outside and see these rooftop water tanks, because they remind me that I am now a New Yorker. Something I am so proud to be. Pandemic or not.

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Painting: West Village Dandelions

painting during the pandemic contemporary abstract expressionism mark making artist s fox

fine art contemporary abstract expressionism painting during the pandemic ny artist s fox


Painting: West Village Dandelions
Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

May is my birthday month. This May was a different kind of May. I was going solo.

Because of the pandemic, I’d sent my daughter, Jenkins, and two of her roommates to quarantine at a friend’s lake house in S.C. (thank you Anne Bauknight – who makes the most amazing tasting, beautiful cookies at SodaCitySweetsmessage her if you’d like to buy some!) 

Soda City Sweets

My husband, Mark, was still stuck in D.C., getting the house ready to sell or rent. So I was stuck in NYC for my birthday all alone, with only the four quarantine cats to talk to (I’d taken Jenkins’ cat and all of her roommates’ cats under wing, adding to our already 2-cat house).

The worst part of the first wave of the pandemic had eased up a wee bit – enough for me to feel okay about going for a long walk. 

My father, Thomas Franklin Gilbert, is considered to be the founder of the field of Human Performance Technology (he coined the term Performance Engineering). He used to work in the West Village, so I decided I’d make my destination his old office. Of course, when I arrived, all I saw was an old building that looked like all the other old building on the same block. But nearby was the Jefferson Market Garden, so I went to sit on a bench and admire the red geraniums and sketch out my next painting. 

The garden is so well maintained, but over in a corner were some brave dandelions poking their sweet little yellow heads out. After walking back the 4 miles to the Upper West Side, I went up to my terrace and painted them.

This is a Contemporary Abstract Figurative Expressionism with Mark Making made with acrylic paints, oil pastels and charcoal on canvas – it is a painting that tells a story.

A Contemporary abstract expressionism painting with mark making by artist Sarah Gilbert Fox.

  • Subject
    • Contemporary fine art
    Styles
    • Contemporary Abstract Expressionism
    • Figurative Abstract Expressionism 
    • Abstract Expressionism with Mark Making
    Mediums
    • Acrylic
    • Oil Pastels
    • Charcoal
    Materials
    • Canvas – Premier Back Stapled Gallery 1-1/2” Profile Cotton Canvas
    Size
    • 36″ x 48″
    Place
    • New York, New York
 Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

Painting: Autumn in NY

Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

• Purchase Autumn Colors in NY  • View other paintings in the collection

Before I moved to NYC, I’d never painted on a canvas larger than 48″ x 36″.  However, because of the pandemic, I had nothing better to do but paint around the clock… plus, I had a new terrace, so why not. My first attempt was so-so at best. 

So I stepped away from the painting for a couple of months and came back with the idea of adding some figurative aspects to it. This was when painting on a large canvas became exciting for me.

I like playing around with abstracts and mark making and letting the abstract speak for itself. I scratch things into a canvas and blur things around and wipe things off until the canvas comes alive, adding oil pastels and charcoal focal points. However, sometimes the canvas refuses to come alive unless I add something on which to focus. One of my favorite fall back figurative objects to use in abstracts are my poplar trees.

Hence, this painting was created.

 

• Purchase Autumn Colors in NY  • View other paintings in the collection

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PAINTING

Subject

  • Contemporary fine art

Styles

  • Contemporary Abstract Expressionism
  • Figurative Abstract Expressionism 
  • Abstract Expressionism with Mark Making
  • Visual Storytelling Art

Mediums

  • Acrylic
  • Oil Pastels
  • Charcoal

Materials

  • Canvas – Premier Back Stapled Gallery 1-1/2” Profile Cotton Canvas

Size

  • 60″ x 60″ (5′ x 5′)

Place

  • New York City, New York

Era

  • Art during the 2020 pandemic

Portfolio: Sarah Gilbert Fox


Contents

Abstract Expressionism

Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

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Figurative Abstract Expressionism

Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

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Abstract Expressionism – Poplars

Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

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Illustrations

Copyright © 2020 Sarah Gilbert Fox

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Morning in Riverside Park

Morning in Riverside Park Manhattan New York contemporary abstract fine art painting by Sarah Gilbert Fox

This painting was inspired by a small, yellow bird in Riverside Park in NYC - and the speech "Beyond Freedom: A Time to Break The Silence," that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave at Riverside Church, where he urged us to consider the importance of people in our thing-oriented society.

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Edisto Island Painted Buntings

Why did I want to add Painted Buntings to my Edisto painting? Because the males are brilliant in color – they look like tiny parrots you might see in South America, only they are in South Carolina.

About this Painting

by Sarah Gilbert Fox

Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert fox
Copyright. © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
All rights reserved
  • Title
    • Edisto Island Painting Buntings
  • Size
    • 40” x 30″
  • Medium
    • acrylic
    • oil pastels
    • charcoal
  • Styles
    • contemporary abstract figurative 
    • contemporary abstract expressionism 
    • abstract figurative expressionism
    • contemporary figurative markmaking

To spot the Painted Buntings, look around the bushes and trees that line the houses on the island. Look for wren-sized birds with iridescent colors. (For serious birders, get off the beach and head for the inlets and the marsh woods. Below is a list of just some of the birds we have spotted on Edisto.)

Details in the Painting

detail 4 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail One. Growing up on the island, I spent a lot of time shell hunting and fossil hunting with my Mom. We weren’t allowed to pick sea oats, but sometimes I’d find interesting pieces of driftwood and reeds that always seemed like they could be flowers.  Which is why I painted flowers here.

Driftwood and Reeds became my flower garden on Edisto Island.

detail 2 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Two. Girl wading on Edisto Beach.  The Fish are just beneath the reeds in a low tide. 

Out of range of this, painting, and just down the inlet, are strand-feeding dolphins.

Dolphins are everywhere in the Edisto Island coastal waters, but the best place to see dolphins “strand feeding” is in a deep water creek.  Frampton’s Inlet is the recommended place for this.  We often rent a house called Whitmarsh (for big family gatherings) and Maggie Browns (for when we go as a smaller group), where we spend our lazy days jumping off the docks, swimming and kayaking in the creek, and always, always watching the dolphins. It’s a daily siting to see them slam the fish to the side of the reeds with their bodies (strand feeding) in order to eat.

Detail 1 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Three. Painted Buntings. Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) are related to Cardinals and they’re just about the most parrot-colorful birds you’ll see in the United States. They’re small, like wrens, but full of brilliant colors (well, the males are, anyway!). 

Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) are related to Cardinals.

detail 3 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Four. A Painted Bunting on a dog’s back. Painted Buntings don’t really hang out on dogs, but Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibisdo) have been known to – when they aren’t hanging out on cattle. But this painting isn’t about cattle or egrets, so I had to use my imagination.

Cattle Egrets were first spotted in the United States in 1941. They are great migrators.

  • Painted Buntings
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Cattle Egrets
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Osprey
  • Bobolink
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  • Piping Plover
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Bank Swallow
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Lazuli Bunting (rare)
  • Purple Gallinule (rare)
  • Seaside Sparrow
  • Sora
  • Ovenbirds
  • Western Kingbirds
  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Black-necked Stilt

The Birdie Garden

Tips on How to Paint Markmakings in Art

  • Scratch over things you like. Never be careful.
  • If something is outlined in black, try to scratch underneath to see if you might get a different color.
  • Markmaking should be about drawing your attention away from the perfect to rethink the beauty of mistakes
  • Try painting a color, letting it dry, then painting over it and then making scratches to see the colors underneath.
  • You can scratch with anything and you can also use rubbing alcohol to make a rubbed-out markmaking

About this Painting

the birdie garden is a contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art painting by emerging artist sarah gilbert fox
  • Title
    • The Birdie Garden
  • Size
    • 20” x 16””
  • Medium
    • acrylic
    • oil pastels
    • charcoal
  • Styles
    • contemporary abstract figurative 
    • contemporary abstract expressionism 
    • abstract figurative expressionism
    • contemporary figurative markmaking

Details in the Painting

details of the birds in the birdie garden - an  contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art  a painting by emerging artist sarah gilbert foxDetail One. If you don’t know how to paint birds, or if painting birds doesn’t match your playful way of painting elsewhere, then try painting just the essence of a bird. 

Make sure things like birds aren’t painted to look exactly like birds when nothing else looks exactly as it should.

details of red flowers in the birds in the birdie garden - an  contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art  a painting by emerging artist sarah gilbert foxDetail Two. These are red flowers.

Sometimes painting red next to emeralds and teals adds true color excitement.

details of the mark making markmaking in the birdie garden - an  contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art  a painting by emerging artist sarah gilbert foxDetail Three. Markmaking to make giraffe legs and flower stems.  Almost the same size, but somehow things just make sense.\

Edisto Island Sea Cow

A painting inspired by Edisto Island, SC - a unique abstract expressionism, fine art abstract, original abstract figurative expressionism, by Sarah Gilbert Fox

“The real reason I titled the painting Edisto Island Sea Cow is because the animal on the left side of the painting was getting lost in the muck.”

A painting inspired by Edisto Island, SC - a unique abstract expressionism, fine art abstract, original abstract figurative expressionism, by Sarah Gilbert Fox

This is a new contemporary abstract figurative expressionism painting – with markmaking – by emerging artist Sarah Gilbert Fox.

Acrylic on canvas with oil pastels. Canvas size 48″x 36″. Color palette / color way is green, blue, red, pink, yellow. Sarah Fox lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • Title Edisto Island Sea Cow
  • Type Figurative Abstract Figurative Expressionism
  • Movement • Fine Art • Contemporary American Art • Contemporary Abstract Expressionism • Figurative Abstract Markmaking
    Medium Acrylic, oil pastels, charcoal
  • Canvas Size 48″ x 36″
  • To purchase the painting please click to send a request
Edisto Island Sea Cow detail – Edisto might not have pink poplar trees, but the entire island reminds me of a place a kid would draw – full of color and happiness.
 Copyright © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
 Edisto Island Sea Cow detail – happy dogs are always running around Edisto Island and on Edisto Beach.
Copyright © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
Edisto Island Sea Cow detail – I just like these colors! My husband said the second title should be Strawberry Cake Meteorites.
Copyright © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
Edisto Island Sea Cow detail – Well, I do not like my signature or drawing a foot, but this painting called for both.
Copyright © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
Edisto Island Sea Cow detail – this is the head of an animal I made up. In this painting, I think it is an Edisto Island deer.
Copyright © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox

The Sea Cow Eatery

There is a restaurant on Edisto – right off Jungle Road – called The Sea Cow Eatery. This painting doesn’t have a thing to do with the restaurant, but I will say that it’s one of my favorite places in the world to have breakfast. Sitting down to a big plate of their French Toast is one of my must-dos when I visit. My brother, Micah Gilbert, and I go there in the mornings and talk about our childhood and how to write music and how to paint and just about everything there is to talk about under the sun. We usually get there before the crowd, but by the time we are finished, there’s a line out the door. The place is that special. I guess in this sense, the restaurant is part of what inspires me to paint about Edisto. (So maybe it does have something to do with the painting!)

The real reason I titled the painting Edisto Island Sea Cow is because the animal on the left side of the painting was getting lost in the muck. My sister, Kathy, came over, saw the painting and said, “I love that big cow you have on the left!” In fact, it had been another long, skinny thing with long dangly legs. But when she said that, everything came together. And that is the story of this painting.