Cape Town-based artist Sasha Hartslief doesn't have to travel far to find creative inspiration. Her series of atmospheric oil paintings reveal the understated beauty of routine, ordinary objects, and days spent in the home. The key to setting the mood in her paintings lies in the light. “People, scenes, and objects cannot be viewed without the element of light, but a scene painted in bright sunlight will convey a completely different feeling to the viewer than the same scene illuminated by candlelight,” she tells My Modern Met. “Light is a subtle language that we all perceive intuitively, and our entire sense of the world is dictated by the quality of light.”
Many of her works feature bold, expressive brushstrokes and a palette of muted colors. This slightly Impressionist style serves to capture the ephemerality of a specific moment or mood. “I am drawn to painting the light at lost and forgotten parts of the day,” Hartslief explains. “To capture the contrast between the white wall in the evening and the elusive warmth spilling out from a window, to depict the almost tactile sense of edges that are lost in the shadows and emerge crisply in the light.”
Hartslief has been working as a professional artist for almost 20 years and exhibited her art in her native South Africa as well as in Europe. She works primarily in the alla prima method (also called wet-on-wet), which allows her to produce paintings in one or two days. “Once the paint begins to dry, I consider the painting finished, so for me, a painting is always a race against time,” she continues. “I'm trying to express my intention and understanding of the subject matter in the most simple, economical way, despite its level of complexity.”
Scroll down to see more exquisite oil paintings by Hartslief, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations.
Cape Town-based artist Sasha Hartslief creates atmospheric oil paintings of rooms in the house.
She uses the alla prima method to capture interiors with expressive brushstrokes and muted colors.
Sasha Hartslief: Instagram