Hilary Saner Biography
Why paint? To me, it comes down to trying to live and respond to life, to people, to experience as authentically and truthfully as possible. Painting is prayer – it saves my life day by day, as a meditative and spiritually transformative discipline; the final “object” (or painting) is almost incidental to the long and repetitive journey through the stations of Beginning, Doubt, Failure and ultimately Resolution. I paint on a variety of supports, from canvas to wood, to particle board to heavily worked paper. I often create these supports layer by layer in a series of random, flowing expressive actions - look, add, respond, glue, remove, attach; again; again... - before insisting on the painted image on the final surface offered up to the viewer. This is to try and capture and model my sense that this is what life demands of each of us - insistent agency and presence - over and against and informed by its seemingly random, often turbulent flow. I practice towards an increasing clarity of perception and fearless engagement with the medium, that will allow me to say (with Rilke), “Look - a leaf, a dancer, a human being, a carrot, an oak tree, a window,” but to say them in such a way that the objects or people themselves never dreamed of existing so intensely.
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