A personal statement from Sarah:
I am an artist originally from Oklahoma. I work in charcoal, graphite and acrylic paint. I studied art for several years at Oklahoma State University. In the middle of those years, I spent five years in the United States Marine Corps from 2007-2011.
Twenty-one of those months were spent overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It was there that I discovered the true value of life, love and brotherhood. As a result of those combat tours, I also discovered who I am and what is truly important in life, and this influenced my art a great deal. Having become so practical and straight forward, I felt I had lost some of my creativity and could no longer see the point in art, because it seemed to serve no useful purpose.
In May of 2012, I completed my self portrait, a war-driven charcoal piece for which there are no words, only raw emotions. In this piece, I rekindled my flame for art as I found the purpose that now drives my work. It was brought to my attention that my self portrait, titled “What happens there doesn’t stay there,” provokes immense emotions in everyone that sees it, Veteran or not. I was also told that the piece is truly healing to Veterans of all wars, expressing what many feel everyday and telling them they are not alone in those feelings. Additionally, I was told that the self portrait is so thought provoking in civilians as well that it inspires them to help Veterans.
So there it was — my new mission: Create art that is healing for Veterans and inspires others to want to help all Veterans of our great nation.
Now, whether it is a peacefully floating duck, a blossoming flower, or a scene taken from the battlefield, I focus my personal art on creating positive works that promote some form of uplifting or healing feelings. And if that seems conflicting with some of my pieces, one must understand that for those of us suffering from the wrath of combat, sometimes healing is simply to feel any emotion at all. No matter which emotion is aroused; feeling anything reminds us we are still alive and that we are living in honor of our brothers and sisters who no longer can.