Despite owning a thriving business and being extremely active in the community, Sarah Swanson still manages to find time to be a prominent artist in Wichita Falls. In a city with so many great artists it can be difficult for an individual to find their unique niche and excel, but Sarah has managed to do just that. Her golden laced, pastel hue, and acrylic paintings fascinate with tastefully applied depth and textures. Developing this style did not come overnight.
-I’ve always been creating, whether it was DIY projects around the house or refinishing some old furniture. In college, I purchased a canvas and an easel, and began to paint. It was a therapeutic way to relieve stress and provide a creative outlet in between my classes. When I moved to New Orleans, I was so inspired by the colors and the vibrancy of the city, so I wanted to capture that within my artwork. My style continues to evolve, and the more I paint, the more that I see a consistency emerge. I’m hitting my stride and continuing to find my style each time I pick up my brush.
What mediums have you worked with? -Most of my work is done with acrylic paint on canvas or paper, but I really enjoy experimenting and mixing elements like gels and fiber paste. I’ve also used oils, pastels, and chalks. Depending on my color saturation and the finish I’m envisioning, I’ll seal my pieces with a high gloss varnish or a glass-like resin. Framing is also an important part of the process, and I like to be as involved as possible with choosing the right one for my paintings.
What do you get out of the process of your art? -I focus on abstract rather than realism, primarily so I don’t feel constrained within certain parameters. (However, truth be told, I’m also not very good at coloring inside the lines). I create based on emotion, and it’s a very freeing process; one that’s deeply gratifying. Often, I find my favorite pieces are created from mistakes I make. They create extraordinary one-of-kind characteristics in a painting that cannot be duplicated.
Gold leaf is commonly used in your work. How long have you been doing that? -I’m
attracted to all things bright and shiny, so gold leaf was a no-brainer when I started. I don’t use it in all of my work, but I feel that it really glams up certain rooms and enhances colors. It’s fun, eye catching, and many of my clients request it. I also just experimented with glitter on a large 36” x 48” canvas, so I’m excited to see how that turns out.
Will this be your first year participating in Art & Soul? -This is my first year participating, and I’m so thrilled and honored to be a part of it. Wichita Falls has such an amazing community of artists, and an equally important community of art enthusiasts. This city has embraced my style and passion, and I’m so thankful for that. I continue to be inspired by other artists that reside here, many becoming mentors for me. Whenever possible, I enjoy taking art classes and furthering my art education and exploration.
Where in town have you had shows? -This will be my third year showing at The Maplewood, and I’m really excited to debut my new collection of works. I also have my paintings on display at my clothing store, Sewn Clothing Gallery in Parker Square.
Be sure and catch Sarah at her June showings as well as on social media.