Category: Inspiration

Art and Escapism

So, since updating my artist statement the other month; it got me thinking about my vision and what my art is truly about. I really got to thinking about WHY I create. There’s one thing which comes up again and again; and that is ESCAPISM.

So I thought I’d elaborate a little on this topic. A huge part of why I have always created is to escape from negative emotions or boredom and when I was younger this was very much the case as I struggled a lot with depression. I would come home from school and immediately get my pens out and start drawing to forget about the day. 

I certainly don’t feel like that anymore but it’s still an escape. It has the ability to calm me down and put me into a meditative state but at the same time energise. Although I’m happy with my life now (most of the time) I still need that time to get into the zone and just be at one with creating.

Digital art of abstract floating landscape by Sara Houqe

I use images from nature a lot on my work as for me its the ultimate escapism. Having lived most of my life in fairly built up areas, I love to get out into nature and experience the calm sanctuary it has to offer. There’s so much beauty and variety out there to experience. 

I like to mix these images with abstract and colourful elements which give them their dream like quality. This is the basis for my new series of prints. Dream like landscapes which float in peaceful skies. 

It’s a place to escape, relax, and experience the wondrous.

Abstract landscape floating on pink clouds by Sara Hoque

I also want YOU, the viewer to feel the same way as I do when I’m creating my art. To feel that you have a place to dream, a sanctuary, an escape. 

Waterfall landscape collage floating on blue skies by Sara Hoque

Water and Woodland

Wales 2021

I’m writing this upon my recent return from North Wales. It’s been many years since I visited and only this time did I feel I gained the most energy and inspiration. As well as a few sketches I also took many photographs which I will most definitely be translating into my work over the coming months.

Green forest with moss covered trees North Wales

There’s this feeling I get when I step into beautiful nature like this. An explosion of beauty and colour and I realised how strongly these images inform my practice, not just the colour but the space and shapes. It’s this feeling of awe that I want to replicate in my paintings.

Natural waterfall in a welsh forest
View of the beach covered in seaweed from north Wales

I experienced a lot of different types of nature here, from forests to coastline. Water was the one thing which was present throughout the whole trip- from the rain, to waterfalls and the ocean.

View of the ocean over wild flowers in North Wales
Green forest in Wales with ferns

This post was mainly just to offload some photographs I took of the trip but I hope you enjoy! 

Sara x

Interesting swirl pattern in tree root

Digital influences in my work

Since art school, digital image has informed a lot of my work. The relationship between digital image and more traditional forms of art is one that interests me greatly. The first time I experienced digital art was through photography when I was given a DSLR at art college. The photographing part was not of that much interest to me but I was amazed at how much could be done with an image when its uploaded to the computer.  

Photograph of purple sky by Sara Hoque

Above is a photograph from 2009 of the sky with the silhouette of a tree. I’ve always enjoyed altering natural colours found in the world so that everything looks more saturated and surreal. Digital images have always been an influence and part of my work. I keep an archive of photographs I use for inspiration which are mainly images from nature, but also architecture and science! During art school I started experimenting with moving image by manipulating photographs in a way which created kaleidoscopic visuals. 

Above is a still from one of these moving image pieces. My paintings at the time also adopted a very kaleidoscopic composition to them as I became interested in geometry. The painting below ‘Delphelia Elpenor’ 2013, is a combination of a collaged image and painting. This relationship between digital elements and the act of painting is something I really enjoy.

I’ve also incorporated these geometric elements into my paintings like the oil painting of a stone circle below. I like playing around with these elements and switching and combining the two mediums. It keeps it fun and interesting! If I’m lacking in inspiration its quick and easy for me to create a digital composition, and not have to worry too much about what I’m doing as mistakes are easily erased. Below are some more examples, oldest to newest- see if you can guess which parts are collage/digital and which are hand painted 🙂

Colourful painting of stone boulders and mountains with colourful abstract shapes by Sara Hoque 2017
Pastel abstract painting with bold brushstrokes and architecture collage Sara Hoque 2018
Sand dune image with bright paint marks by Sara Hoque 2020
Colourful psychedelic painting by Sara Hoque