In this body of work, Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin creates small, but meticulously detailed paintings of the rural northern California landscape, often from an aerial perspective.
While in the past she worked solely from life, Rubin utilizes digital photography in her most recent paintings as a supplement to her usual method. Instead of compromising her work, photography as a tool enables Rubin to portray the human presence, made evident through the use of aerial perspectives, in the framework of the natural environment. The use of photography furthers the artist’s desire to further bond her works to the physical world.
On each canvas, there are several layers of undiluted oil paint applied straight form the tube. The detailed application of paint is enhanced by the somewhat diminutive scale of these works, which transforms the impression of far-off space into an intimate experience. These works are inherently small in order to convey intensity of detail in a way that allows the viewer to physically feel a connection with the surface being depicted.
Although the rural northern California landscape remains her inspiration, water has now become the primary focus. It is the element that ties together this particular body of works and is present in some form, whether manmade or natural, on each canvas with the exception of one. The subject of water as a focal point is a reflection on its implicit presence in everyday life.