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Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of botanical bliss fronting the Pacific Ocean

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2018 Featured Artist — SANNA KOSKI

This year’s Featured Artist is realist painter Sanna M. Koski. Sanna has lived in Fort Bragg, California, since birth.

As a youth, admiring the beautiful realistic landscapes and portrait paintings I saw in galleries, I knew that that was how I wanted to paint: in detailed realism. I worked on my skills through frustration and joy, fascinated by the artistic process, determined to improve. Although I paint my studio pieces mostly from photographs, I have been enjoying live portrait and figure art groups for well over a decade, and practice the tradition of painting landscape studies outdoors on location in oil and watercolor. I strive to capture the mood, the unique beauty and the mystery of a person or place.

The 2018 Featured Artwork titled Hare Creek is acrylic paint on watercolor paper in a translucent style.

The inspiration for Hare Creek was derived from a painting by Henry Pether and the Romanticism aesthetic of the Hudson River School style painters – a technique which Koski greatly admires. For reference, she used several photos she took of Hare Creek over a 10 year period and made adjustments according to her artistic inclination. Due to a nearby floodlight, she was unable to take a photo of Hare Creek at night. Therefore she captured some shots of the locale during the day when the moon was visible, then edited them so they looked as if they were taken after dark. That way she could depict the light and shadows accurately.

Koski uses many transparent layers of paint to build up the subtle tonal gradations, color changes, and details. Originally she was going to place the stars as she saw fit but with the help of her partner Jeremy, she was able to map out the exact alignment of the stars for the future date and time of January 21, 2019 at 3:46AM. Jeremy used an astronomical app to show the stars, constellations and other celestial bodies in relation to the moon.

Hare Creek is her favorite subject and she has painted this same scene in various seasons and times of day. She plans to visit Hare Creek Beach at 3:46 AM on January 21, 2019 to see if her constellation mapping is accurate.