At 9 years old, Sara joined her mother (a student) in a college oil painting class. With an intense watchful eye, Sara studied the sights and sounds of working artists. Later that semester, she joined the artists again, but this time she sat on her mother’s lap in an overfilled bus headed to view masterpieces in grand museums. The creative seed had been planted.
Throughout her childhood, everything circled back to drawing and painting. Her father would bring home blank scrap paper rolls from the printing press where he worked, and Sara would spend hours turning them into story scrolls.
She took drawing and watercolor classes in a quaint cottage by a lake. Numerous paintings were hung from nails, propped against walls, and stacked on tables. Sara thinks the warm wood scent of the skeletal porch studio and uncapped tubes of paint smelled delicious.
At York County Community College Sara continued her fine art studies under the instruction of Jill Poyourow, professor from California Institute of the Arts, and was lucky enough to meet friend and mentor, professional artist Heather Lewis, graduate of Philadelphia School of Art. Lewis is the daughter of professional artist parents, Dorothy and well known Jack Lewis of Delaware. Jack was friends with NC Wyeth. This lineal wealth of knowledge is still being passed on to Sara.
THE STORY OF INSPIRATION
Most days were spent outside in the Connecticut woods. During those days of exploration such as target shooting without supervision, Sara developed a deep appreciation for nature. She climbed trees and caressed the soft ridges of bark with her cheeks. She pressed her toes into cool damp moss beds. She caught crayfish in a rusty culvert under the road. In Keegan’s pond, she strained fish eggs between her fingers and sought water moccasins. Sara killed many minnows after feeding them canned corn from a neighbor’s cupboard, but saw new life when a cow named, Bossy, gave birth to Chuck in the basement. On sunny days, Sara would pause her play to lie in the grass. There, she glimpsed gliders as they detached from their lead planes. After those hypnotic moments, she mourned their disappearance over the fluffy green ridge of trees. Her outside world was a private peaceful place until the day a pack of wild dogs ate the belly out of a neighbor’s pony. After that, Sara parked herself near the steps to the kitchen door.
At age 11, her family moved to the Maine woods. She was shocked by the isolation during that first long hot summer. Regularly, she saw moose spying on her from between the trees. One morning 2 domestic cats emerged from the forest. Over time, while the cats nursed their litters in the shed, Sara lugged 5 gallon buckets of sparkling mica from an abandoned silver mine over rough terrain to the basement. Upstairs, she danced to Quiet Riot and learned the moon walk. One could say they were distractions from her artistic endeavors, but she will tell you these experiences have molded her creative vision.
Many memories of those teen years have been intentionally entombed in the dark hole of her past, but much of high school on the coast is still vivid. Every morning, getting on that bus was like climbing out of a coal mine into the brilliant sun. She took in deep cleansing breaths of salty air. Colorful license plates and flashing brake lights were like fine jewelry. Those starry eyed days always ended with Sara under the canopy of the thick Maine woods. There, in her room, she spent many hours drawing sacred portraits. Certain, she will admit it was to amend her opposing disposition ;).
For as long as she can remember, Sara dreamed of getting married and having children. Her plan was to raise children and, then in her 40s begin her career. It all came to light the day she caught the scent of fresh sawdust wafting from a tall, dark, handsome man in a flannel shirt. Now, they have been married over 25 years. During that time, Sara painted scenes on canvases, interior walls, and cabinet panels. That burning desire to paint her life away grew more intense until she burst out of her shell. Now, Sara, a professional artist, captures nearly 50 years of natural history. It’s in her nature.