Snowcapped by Sarah Ashley Peterson


35 x 50 inches

Acrylic on Wood with cradled back 

My intent as an artist is to utilize the American Western mountainous terrain as a structure for design. Looking past the traditional, forming new arrangements, decontextualizing and reconstructing the landscape is my process. I start with what I know – the organic, recognizable forms of mountains, horizons, and sky – and build them up or break them down, forming harsh geometric shapes and forcing boundaries between the natural and imagined. 

Growing up in a rural Idaho town bordered by mountains has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the landscape. I have spent countless days exploring, finding solitude and contentment in natural environments. I try to capture the delicacy and strength of mountains while contrasting their natural beauty with geometric abstraction. I look outside to seek the color of mountains and the different shapes of shadows, but when I paint I imagine a new scene. This improvisation and invention allows for exploration – the search for a place that only exists in my mind and the discovery of new horizon lines. 

I am interested in color relationships and the contrast between stark lines and hand-drawn patterning. I aim to explore the beauty of complexity paired with simple, flat forms by creating movement, playing with scale, and emphasizing and de-emphasizing certain elements. Geometric abstraction builds striking compositions while photo-realistic elements ground the scene into something relatable. Through disrupting the traditional Western landscape, I create a modernist space not confined to a picture plane. Landscape, for me, is more than trees and clouds, but a complex and stirring architecture – an armature on which to compose lines, patterns, and color.