The Outdoor Palette

Sarah Knock, Pembroke Reflections, 42in. x 32in., oil on canvas, 1999

I like to think of Sarah Knock as a topographer. She records the surface features of water as light purls across it, showing us with amazing verisimilitude the fusion of light and liquid. Knock explains that for her, “water is a vehicle to explore the abstract qualities of patterns and reflections.” How difficult to convey the nature of something so transitory, so ephemeral, so full of pure energy.

In Pembroke Reflections, the painter’s presence is evident, but perhaps this is because I know that Knock kayaks along the coast of Maine for inspiration. The ripples that scintillate upwards toward the shoreline emanate from the hull of her boat. It is her presence that causes the visual braiding together of land and sea into a honeyed amalgamation.

As do most artists, Knock paints until she experiences a sense of resolution. She draws and redraws on the canvas throughout the painting process: changing color relationships, re-organizing shapes, and continually manipulating the composition. Perhaps this is one reason that Pembroke Reflections feels so deliciously mercurial.

Sarah Knock is represented by Greenhut Galleries in Portland, Maine. Her work has been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and Colby College. Her work has been featured in Paintings of Maine, The Art of Monhegan Island, and The Art of Maine in Winter.

She can be reached through her website or through her gallery .

  1. Phil Oliver → in Saco, Maine
    May 05, 2010

    I have enjoyed this woman’s work ever since I saw “Pole Reflection”, and others, at the Portland Museum of Art, a few years back. Her ability to capture living water at near-calm conditions, and just that, “Ah…”, that we feel as Mainers, looking around our own state here, is evidence of a real gift.

    More than all other artists, I often think of Sarah Knock when I see real-life landscapes—real-life images remind me of her work.

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