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The Artist's Corner: All good art is personal

Practicing an art is a way of discovering what you are made of. When we make art — paint, write,

sculpt, play an instrument, etc. — we are committing a part of who we are to our work. Within every Van Gogh painting, one may find traces of the man. Within every Beethoven symphony

or Bob Dylan album, there can be found particular expressions of that artist's individuality.

By sharing our artwork with friends, family, and perhaps even the world, we are also sharing

ourselves. This is why all good art is personal. It brings the formless — our subconscious — into

form—upon the canvas, the page, the melody, etc. While we are creating art, we are having fun, as well as discovering the unique creation that is our own humanity.

This week we will be discovering the work of a very wonderful and dedicated artist.

Artist spotlight

Today's featured local artist is the very kind, delightful and creative, Sarah Johnson.

Sarah is a commissioned artist who paints portraits of much beloved pets. While most of her work very colorfully renders dogs and cats, she has also tried her hand at some more exotic

animals — with great success. While perusing her work, one is taken back by a portrait of a

majestic elephant, rendered in blue, violet and turquoise, complete with banana yellow tusks. In

another portrait, a noble, multi-colored llama, a curious bear, a mischievous raccoon, a wise owl, and an adorable, saucer-eyed otter.

The greatest aspect of her work, besides the gorgeous colors, are the personalities of the animals.

When Sarah paints a German Shepherd, she does not paint just any German Shepherd. She paints, specifically, that owner's unique and beloved pet. Sarah seems to paint with the soul and the individuality of her subject, grasped firmly in her mind.

Although her work is vibrant and fun, they are far from being caricatures. It might well be said

that the paintings come far closer to the reality of these animals than, say, a photograph of them. She captures the essence of her subjects perfectly — which has resulted in an explosion

of commissions from pet owners around the state and, impressively, as far as the East and West coast.

Interested in having a unique portrait of your own pet? Just check out the "Artsy Animals by

Sarah" Facebook page, or directly email the artist here: pebblesarahh@gmail.com

As per tradition, we shall sign off with our creative quote for the week, this one from the

masterful American painter, Georgia O'Keeffe: "I know now that most people are so closely

concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality... and it has helped

me to say what I want to say... in paint."

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