Tulane University, MSW
Sabrina Armitage was born in Vienna, Austria to Czech parents. She came to the US at age 1½ when her family made New Orleans their home. From an early age she had a passion for sketching the world around her. After studying Architecture, Sabrina’s curiosity shifted from understanding structural framework to exploring the framework of the human psyche. Having graduated from Tulane University with a BS in Psychology (1987) and a Master of Social Work (1989), Sabrina began a formative career in clinical social work. She was especially drawn to working with children and families, helping to unfold the human layers that reveal the inner landscape. More than a decade later Sabrina’s desire for creativity re-emerged through jewelry design which then led her to study Fine Art at Otis College of Art and Design.
In 2012 Sabrina fully entered into the world of encaustic painting, discovering a newly inspired passion for mixed media techniques. The rich colors of the French Quarter and its historical layers continue to impact Sabrina while her summers in Wyoming inspire raw natural paintings and a vision of wide open spaces. Themes of resilience and adaptability weave through many of Sabrina's pieces, reflecting both her background in the human psyche and her parents’ escape from a war torn occupied country.
Currently living in Southern California, where the Pacific Ocean’s soft subtle colors as well as the grit of urban LA influence her work, Sabrina demonstrates a fascination with this juxtaposition. Her art offers a reinterpretation of a visual scene by embracing contrasting elements and allowing the tension to have a transformative effect.
Sabrina’s multidimensional work illustrates struggle and yearning, the translation of humanity's foibles and the layers that can be peeled back, revealing the internal landscape. Her ever-evolving layered medium of encaustics encompasses the truth of nature in its specific natural form and evokes possibility and resilience as the human threads that course through both life and art.
Sabrina exhibits nationally and her work is held in private collections. She works and lives in the Los Angeles area with her two children.
My curiosity in connecting to the layers that create something or someone and in the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit and nature, has led me to an investigative excavation of the transformative power of vulnerability and struggle. There is a quiet reverence in being allowed to be a witness to the discovery process, to scraping beneath the surface. I use my art to further this search, giving visual meaning to an idea, memory, or emotion. This becomes a journey in which layers of self are uncovered, reinterpreted and expressed. Ultimately my art becomes a vehicle through which internal dialogue and external communication intersect.
My preferred medium is encaustics -- pigmented beeswax and resin -- as it is dimensional, tactile and forgiving. In working with encaustic wax there is a component of control over the medium and a component of allowing the wax to have its own flow. A balance exists between having an intention, a plan, and shifting with the wax toward an unexpected outcome. This echoes the beautiful, rich struggle of being alive. Encaustics allows me another language that reflects and parallels not only the artistic process but that of each of our human stories. The wax both creates and reveals its own story or history through its layers which can remain visible or be obscured. The simultaneous building up and stripping down of the wax layers hints at the complexity of our sometimes messy imperfect existence. The scrapes, scratches, drips and incisions are all a reflection of the beauty held within the natural world and within human imperfection, vulnerability and struggle.
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