Articles & Essays 

1981 McNeilly, Caroline. "Artist's Style Drawn From Masters." Nashville Banner, March 12, 1981.


Artist’s Style Drawn From Masters

The Art Scene

by Caroline McNeilly

Each time an artist touches paintbrush to canvas or pen to paper, he is guided, watched over and challenged by the multitude of creative geniuses who have gone before him.

For that reason, today’s artist faces a more difficult task than his predecessors

On the other hand, the artist of today as never before, is handed a treasure of knowledge upon which to expand and perfect. Looking backward he can create forward, experimenting with different styles and melding them together.

Nashville artist Sarah Webb, whose work will be featured at the University Club through April 24, has settled on a style which combines many major styles of the past.

Her subject matter — mostly depictions of women and mothers with their children — tends to be romantic, she said. “There is a definite romantic feeling behind my portraits.”

But there are also characteristics of Impressionism in Mrs. Webb’s work. Like Mary Cassatt she paints women and children, and like Degas she frames young ballerinas caught in unguarded moments.

Her palette of colors, too, is impressionistic. “I like the light effect of Impressionism,” she said.

Also, optimism — the sole appeal of Impressionism to modern eyes — is a basis for Mrs. Webb’s art.

“I love Ingres, too,” she said. Indeed, her work reflects an affinity with this French master, the leading neo-classical painter of the early 19th century. Like Ingres’ women, hers are rubbery, soft-skinned beauties. And her figure drawings are statuesque and idealized.

Mrs. Webb, a native Nashvillian who majored in art at the University of Tennessee, said she has been actively painting and drawing since her preteens and began painting on a full-time basis in April of last year.

Her exhibit at the University Club will open on Friday with a reception for the artist from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.