Artist Statement


My work is about death – the hard lessons it teaches us and the ways it gives new meaning to life. I create as a direct expression of the stories in my life. Though deeply personal, my work speaks to the emotions and experiences we all are faced with when death touches our lives… fear, anger, confusion, sadness, despair, love, determination, surrender, peace. Creating helps me to find balance and meaning out of death by allowing me to look at it from a different vantage point. When you are inside of it – it can be hard to glean the lessons. Put it out in front of you though and stand back to look at it, and I find that is where I am able to gain something from it.

I often implement various layers of expression when I work – creating a photograph first, and then writing poetry or journaling about the image (or perhaps an encaustic combination of the two) to dig deeper. This helps me to understand and explore my experience and emotions more fully.

I currently shoot all of my photography digitally – but am itching to try my hand at some alternative developing techniques hopefully next year. Many people ask how I create some of my images – particularly the self portraits. With the exception of just a few, they are all created in-camera as you see them, with only tonal adjustments made in Photoshop. I use a very simple setup: Nikon D5000 body, 35mm f/1.8 lens, 18-55mm f/3.5 lens, Manfrotto tripod, a wireless remote and a CamRanger system for the trickier self portraits. I work entirely with natural lighting – shooting in the brief moments of dawn and dusk, or on a rare day when the wide Texas skies happen to be overcast!



14 Comments on “Artist Statement

  1. I can’t believe it took me this long to visit your blog. I am very moved by your story and I love your work. You are a strong woman.

    Thanks for all your sharing on the flying sisters group.


    • No worries, there’s so many awesome in our group to check out, I’m horrible at getting to people’s blogs myself! ;)

      Thank you so much for the support and kind words, it means so much. Also for your art and essence, which so speak to my soul. (I’m also jealous you live in Arizona, having fallen in love with it on my first visit last year to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. So incredible.

      Thx again =)

  2. Dear Sarah, congrats on your blog make-over! It’s beautiful and so YOU. Your soul is shining through your stunning photographs and genuine words. I am so happy to see you gather your strength and trust to keep flying! xo Laly

  3. Hello Sarah,

    It is so good to see you thrive! The blog is peaceful, centered, beautiful.
    I look forward to seeing your journey! XOXO Sara

  4. I too love taking pictures & at times I have seriously thought about going to college but there’s always obstacles like family obligations! Now that I’m 55 years of age I believe that you’re never too old to go for your dreams if you just believe in yourself! As of right now I’m helping take care of my mom that is 78years old & she has congestive heart failure, high blood pressure & depression & anxiety issues. My father-in-law died November 28, 2008( ironically that’s my dad’s birthday & Thanksgiving day that year!), then on January 12, 2009 my dad was diagnosed with non-small stage 4 lung cancer. After many chemotherapy & radiation treatments and pneumonia(twice!) & several units of blood… he died September 22, 2009 (ironically my 30th wedding anniversary!) I once again am faced with possibly losing another family member so to keep my sanity & calm my hectic life(I work 7 days on & seven days off working with physically handicapped & mentally challenged people in a home & have been doing this for 15 years!) I meditate & look at pictures/photographs as well as listening to a lot of different music. I only have a digital camera, my camera on my cellphone & a tablet but really love taking pictures… I’m finding out that I like natural lighting better! Can you please give me some advice on whether I should go to college for photography & how long I would have to go & recommend a good college/university!?

    • Hi Susan, goodness, you’ve had quite a heavy life in the past few years it sounds like. I’m so sorry for all the loved ones you have had pass… it is never easy.

      As per whether to go to college for photography… I actually do not have a degree myself in photography, but I have taken a few continuing education classes at a community college and I do believe them to be helpful for learning the basics. Taking photos was always more of a hobby for me until recently. So while I cannot speak for how helpful a college degree would be, I can offer a few other tips.

      I think the school of life can be the best place for learning. By just getting out and taking pictures of whatever you are drawn to. Reading photography articles and blogs and magazines can also teach you a ton. Shoot whatever makes your heart sing and helps it heal (it sounds like you’re already doing this!) and follow your intuition. If you put that energy into the things you create, I believe it stays with them, and creates something that will be of beauty to many others.

      Another option besides college courses, which I DO strongly recommend – are photography workshops or retreats. They are more like a crash course and you can learn a whole lot in just a weekend or a week, and from a professional photographer who is out there in the world themselves. It gets you out in the world where you can really test your skills, learn and grow. This is where I have invested more of my time and money as far as education goes, and it has always paid off tenfold!

      Thank you for stopping by my site and for your comment. I’m wishing you all the best, and much healing, on your journey. Keep shooting!

      Much Love.

  5. Hi Sarah,
    I just ran across your post on the widows voice blog. That led me to your site and also to the site of Meg Day and her upcoming book. You have a special gift and the result is beautiful photography.

    I felt compelled to write and express my deepest sympathy to you in the losses of your loved ones. I too have experienced loss, the most recent my husband. We enjoyed nature photography albeit we were both novices! Being on the east coast, we loved photographing wildlife at a nearby wildlife refuge. January was a favorite time to capture the birds that came to settle in our mild climate for the winter.

    I don’t think we ever “get over” the pain of losing those we deeply love. We do find ways to heal, to cope and to choose to live. I don’t know if you are a religious person or not, but I know my hope rests with the Lord. I couldn’t go on without it.

    Hope you don’t mind I dropped you a few lines. I wish you well on your path to recovery and discovery.
    God Bless,

    • Hi Sharon,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful note. If you get a chance… pick up a copy of Meg’s book on amazon, it is a gorgeous collection of poems and I feel a lot of it relates to grief and loss.

      I’m so sorry you are on this journey too. I hope you are still able to take that camera out and feel your husband close by. Although my fiancé we not a photographer, he went with me nearly every time I went out shooting… he just loved to watch me shoot. In that way, being out with my camera still makes me feel very connected to him.

      I am certainly very spiritual – much moreso than before he died – and you’re right, it really is a huge help to trust in a higher power. I’m wishing you well on your journey too, and hope you keep in touch!

  6. Pingback: Fotografiile îndurerării | Webcultura

  7. Very moved by your work. I just stopped here and viewed your Still, Life series. The image of those hands covered in mud, just asking why… it took me back to my father’s death when I was ten. It’s a healing memory and I thank you for it.
    Best wishes and I’ll be back.

    • Hi Kat, Thank you so much for writing. I assume you are referring to the image titled “Desperation”. At the time I was thinking a lot about grief being like a deep pit, and how sometimes on our way climbing out of that pit we fall back to the bottom of our pain. This image was to represent that fallen moment. You can read the full blog post that talks more about it here:

      I’m so sorry you lost him so young, but am so glad you were reminded of something positive from my work! Thank again for sharing!

      • That’s the one, Sarah. Thank you so much for sharing this. It really speaks to me.

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