SARAH FAGAN - SMALL PLEASURES

Those who have seen the movie Amelie may remember the French girl's list of "small pleasures," satisfying tactile things, including cracking the top of a creme brûlée with a teaspoon. That type of visceral thrill is what I seek when I make my art. Even though my subject matter (flattened boxes and other ephemera) is full of angles and precision, I am all about the textures of the painting experience.

I layer acrylic paint and gels to build background surface; I scrape them back with steel wool. I have recently discovered the wonderfully smooth and waxy world of Prismacolor pencils, and delight in the feeling of applying those to paper or on top of my paintings. At the best of times, my studio is a creme brûlée-cracking factory.

I had often admired the work of fellow PDX artist MaryAnn Puls, though I couldn't put my finger on why. When she was confirmed as my PDX-CSA partner, we swapped techniques over coffee while discussing the project and our work. MaryAnn pulled out some textured panels she had been working on. When I saw her work up-close, I felt a rush: She was a creme brûlée-cracking painter, too. That's when I knew how our work was connected.

When an artist loves the physical act of painting, it shows. So I'm thankful for director Jean-Pierre Jeunet for giving me the words to express my excitement for working with MaryAnn -- and for the PDX-CSA as a reason to finally meet and collaborate.

My Pairing with MaryAnn is available at http://www.pdx-csa.com/2017-pairs-fp for $315