back                      Sarah Siltala                                                    Contact Us

I practice a classical Flemish painting technique in which transparent oil colors are thinly built upon each other like layers of stained glass.  This produces a myriad of rich, gem-like tones and a depth unattainable with the more direct technique of mixing wet pigments, or "alla prima" style of painting.  With the addition of each layer the play of shadow and light slowly evolve, then the finishing highlights are added and the painting is complete.   To paint in this manner requires the utmost patience as each layer must dry completely before the next can be applied.  The result is an artwork with vibrant, luminous color and subtle texture.  The paintings have an Old World elegance, yet the colors and compositions are quite contemporary.

Seeing beauty everywhere, whether a bird, flower, fruit or tree, inspires me with a passion to paint.  Because having this vision of the world is truly a blessing, being an artist is not just a profession for me but a way of life.  Painting is my meditation and I hope to share a moment of peace and beauty with the viewer, and to create a quiet respite in an often chaotic world.

 ”Beauty is truth, truth beauty”—-that is all

              Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. ~John Keats


Sarah Siltala, a Santa Fe native, was born into a family of professional artists.  Her father is a ceramic artist who also paints in pastel, her mother was a fiber artist and weaver and now works in found object assemblage, and her sister creates watercolor and encaustic mixed media paintings.  Not only do the family members all share successful art careers, each one is a talented musician as well, playing instruments from classical piano and violin to blues guitar and drums in a local band.  Sarah was raised in a very creative environment surrounded by art, music, and the cultural richness and beauty of New Mexico and feels her education in the arts began at a very early age.  She remembers going to art galleries and shows with her parents and spending time in their studios when she was young.  Music was often heard in the studios as well and Sarah volunteered for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in college while also working in an art gallery in her spare time.  Spending time in nature was also a large part of her upbringing, and the splendor and brilliant light of northern New Mexico created impressions that continue to affect her art work today. 

Upon graduating from high school Sarah decided to pursue her love of music and enrolled in college in the fine arts music department with a piano concentrate. She also played percussion and clarinet.  Just short of attaining her degree she left her studies, something in her heart told her she was following the wrong path.  Her musical studies did not bring her the satisfaction she was hoping for.  Later in life, in an epiphany, she felt an overwhelming desire to learn to oil paint.  After creating several still lifes, she knew she had finally found the right creative medium.  The joy that painting brought her was immediate, and along with the sudden attention of several galleries, she began her career.  Sarah has been passionately painting ever since.  Her award winning paintings can be found in art collections around the world.  

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“Moonlight Warbler”
16" x 20" oil