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Growing up in Sacramento, California in the ‘70’s, the West Coast figurative painters were always present in my consciousness. And not just in a theoretical sense, but in a concrete sense – my parents’ friends collected the work; Wayne Thiebaud was a member our local tennis club. These artists existed for me, and their stroke and subject matter and handling of paint have left their mark on me.

It was in high school that I began feeling emotionally dependent upon my artwork. I began to need to do the work. I went to college at U.C. Santa Cruz and majored in painting and printmaking. After graduating in 1995, I married an artist. We met in college, the first day of beginning drawing, when we had to pair up and draw each other. Together, we moved to San Francisco and lived in the Haight/Ashbury for ten years.

In 2004, we moved to Oakland after our daughter, Giselle, was born. Since her birth, I have found myself again with a pressing need to paint. Sophia was born in 2008. Along with our family doubling in size, the importance of painting has doubled in my life. Only through painting can
I process my life as a mother and carve out emotional space for myself.

I enjoy living in the Bay Area, and take inspiration from the thriving contemporary art scenes in Oakland and San Francisco. I take classes with Mel Prest at her studio. I am a regular at Art Murmur and First Thursdays. I also continue to be inspired in a concrete way by the West Coast figurative painters. I live one block away from the California College of Arts, and a few minutes from where Diebenkorn lived and painted. I can feel that history; I can see their stroke in my stroke.

I am represented by Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Art and the SFMOMA Rental Gallery.
My website is www.sarahhaba.com

My paintings map the domestic life, the interior life, the life lived inside the home and inside the head. The pieces of this life - the plates, the tupperware, the cups and spoons – are monumentalized until they hold the accumulated emotion of the confined space of the home. The luminescence and blur of the subjects recall the shifting fog of the Bay Area. The stroke is reminiscent of the Bay Area figurative painters, the visual education of my childhood. The paint is thinly layered on board so that the exposed wood grain becomes visual static, forcing an emotional cap on the viewer as a clear image is denied.  It is my hope that this work will show its viewers the quiet impact of a contained life.

 

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