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Sarah Carvell Biography

I was born in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire in 1964. As a four-year-old, I moved with my family to live in Llannefydd a small village in north Wales. The move to Wales was prompted by the career of my artistic father who had been offered a job with a local pottery.

Growing up in a rural community, my two sisters and I learnt to speak Welsh fluently and so completed our entire school education through the medium of Welsh. After studying Fine Art initially in Wrexham College of Art, and subsequently, in Loughborough College of Art, I became a self-employed illustrator in Maidstone and London before returning to the area of my childhood to initially teach Art at Secondary Level, then further afield to lecture in City College Manchester (as it was then called).

In 1997 after the birth of my first child I started painting with oil paints again. This being the first time I had used oil paint since graduating from Loughborough College of Art. I was offered studio space by a friend in farm buildings not far from where I live which gave me the very real opportunity to experiment with the application of oil paint again, in varied scale, without the limitations inflicted by the domestic environment.

Over the next decade, the focus of my technique was with the use of the palette knife, applying the oil paint in thick impasto ribbons, blocks and swathes. (After a successful exhibition in a local art gallery in Denbigh I was spotted by gallery owner Martin Tinney of The Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff).

What followed was a decade of annual exhibitions in Cardiff and North Wales and then a number of solo and group exhibitions with The Ffin Y Parc Gallery in Llanrwst and elsewhere. (Exhibition list in CV). To accompany this exhibition a limited edition book was produced which took the form of a retrospective describing the ‘Welsh story’ showing images of work produced over the past decade. (The book is called ‘Siwrne/A Journey’).

I paint from my day-to-day life living in a North Wales town. Paintings that capture my immediate surroundings; table tops after meals, windows with plants, pockets of views seen around my home in the Vale of Clwyd, the rising Clwydian Range and the Hiraethog hills beyond. Other favourite haunts are the coastal towns of Wales and like so many artists, the town of St Ives in Cornwall, the visiting of which is an annual ritual of 30 years. St. Ives offers the perfect combination of buildings on land surrounded by sea, suffused by a quality of light that is like no other. This combination is great for my painting technique using oil painted blocks for buildings, then swathes of paint for land and water, applied with the palette knife.

My work can be seen in private and public collections all over Wales including The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Sarah Carvell  November 2019

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