18″ x 24″ acrylic with metallic gold on gallery wrapped canvas
“I wanted to show the dichotomy of St. Joseph’s joy in raising the Son of God with the sacrifice Jesus makes through a priest blessing the Holy Communion. The medallions in the two left corners are symbolic representations of St. Joseph, as seen in the lilies and carpenter’s square. The medallions on the right include the symbols of grapes and wheat for the Eucharist as well as the letters Chi Rho which in Greek are the first two letters of Christ’s name. Metallic gold is added along the edges, in the medallions as well as in the Monstrance and Christ’s halo.”
How old are you?
Have you had any formal training in the arts? Where? When? How long?
I have been professionally creating and teaching art more than 20 years.
What inspires your art? Who/what influences you?
My work reflects the artistic influences of fantasy art, the classical beauty of the Pre-Raphealites, the innovative vision of Georgia O’Keeffe, and the passion for inclusive teaching of Bob Ross. I strive to be as connected to the Divine in my work as Akiane Kramarik, and as as inspiring at overcoming adversity as Chuck Close.
How would you describe the style of your art?
Modern realistic impressionism – I enjoy surprising my viewer with minute details while also keeping visible texture in my brushstrokes. My acrylic paintings are developed in glazed layers of pigment, which gives them a luminescent quality. I have a wide range of experience in traditional and non-traditional artistic media including book illustration, murals, Sumi-e painting, watercolor, paper making, cut paper collage, book binding, printmaking, fused glass, and much more. I never want to stop learning, growing and sharing the joy that creating art brings to my life with others.
By creating art, I offer a brief glimpse of the world through my eyes. I draw inspiration from the history of the DC area where I grew up, the serenity of the Pacific coast where I studied, and now the jazzy streets of New Orleans where I reside.
Who are your favorite artists? Favorite works of art?
Nene Thomas, Bob Ross, Georgia O’Keeffe, Fra Filippo Lippi “Madonna and Child with Angels”, Akiane Kramarik
What direction is your art taking now and where do you see yourself going? Do you have any new projects you are working on that you are excited about? Any new areas (types/styles of art, subject matters) you’d like to explore or try?
In 2016, a former student contacted me and asked if I would come paint live at her wedding. At first, this type of painting commission came mostly through word of mouth or online.
Then in 2019 I joined the New Orleans Art Association, the Jefferson Parish Art Guild and the Metairie Art Guild. The fellowship and workshops I have experienced through these groups inspired and influenced me greatly both as an artist and as an educator.
Later that year, the owner of Vieux Carre Events found me through the art guilds and asked me to sign on as their primary wedding painter.
In 2020, I was honored to receive the Artist of the Year award by the Metairie Art Guild.
Besides commission work, there are several projects that I am currently working on: a series of Marian portraits, paintings of wild horses and paintings of the Louisiana Bayou.
What do you do for a living? Do you create art professionally?
I have taught and directed the Fine Arts program at Archbishop Chapelle High School for the last 14 years.
I currently work with Vieux Carre Events as a live event painter as well as offering my services independently. I am a local artist specializing in drawn and painted portraits, and live event paintings.
Besides art, what are your other interests – professional or otherwise?
My greatest vocation is as a wife and mother of 2 beautiful daughters. I am also a cosplay costume designer, seamstress, and prop maker. When I am not teaching or creating art, I volunteer time with the 501st Legion, sing in the Choir at St. Philip Neri church, train in dressage riding at Cascade Stables, and serve as a chairperson for both the Metairie and Jefferson Art Guilds. I am an avid book reader and computer gamer.
Are you Catholic yourself? Are you a convert to the faith or a “cradle Catholic”?
I am a converted Catholic, though I was Lutheran before so that was almost like being Catholic! I converted before marrying my husband in the Catholic church and becoming a Catholic educator.
Would you say that you have experienced a conversion or renewal of your faith at some point in your life? Did art play any particular role in your faith story?
I have always loved and appreciated Sacred Art. We as a people cannot fully fathom nor express the Divine, so we continue to attempt to do so with words, works and images. I believe that art is a form of prayer and mediation – a direct conversation between the artist, the viewer and God.
Sarah has requested the donation portion of the winning Art Auction bid to go to Archbishop Chapelle High School in Metairie, where she teaches Fine Arts.