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© 2019 by Sarah Skye Brown.

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My Journey to Becoming an Abstract Artist

Updated: Feb 25

Dance was my first artistic passion.


I spent my childhood waiting for the next dance class or performance. I’m fairly certain I drove my family crazy by performing grand jetes down the halls and pirouetting my way through the kitchen. I also probably raised a few eyebrows as I practiced my arm positions while walking around the neighborhood. Although I wanted to spend all my free time in dance class or rehearsal, my family did not have much money. Fortunately, I was offered the opportunity to clean dance studios in exchange for class. This really taught me the value of my time in the studio and I did my best to make the most of it. I auditioned for and got lead roles as a teen in several ballets such as the Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, as well as many contemporary pieces. However, as I began to think about a future career my priorities shifted. The physical demands and unbelievable discipline required of professional dancers did not really suit my free spirit.


So, off to college I went to eventually end up studying Art History and Fine Arts. After college I married and had four children in the space of six years (whew!). When my youngest child was one, I was asked to teach a ballet class. This began a decade of teaching dance, creating dance programs, and eventually choreographing story ballets for my own ballet school. I loved my little dance school and was devastated in 2008 when due to the financial crisis my student numbers fell to such a low level that I had to let my teachers go and teach all the classes myself. Sadly, this was unsustainable and took such a toll on my family that I had to close the doors of my dance studio.


After a brief period of mourning the closure of my dance studio, I got up and brushed myself off and decided to put my college education to use. With the support of my husband, I started volunteering as a museum educator at a fine arts museum and began to participate in classes at a fine art atelier – essentially starting my fine art training all over again. After several years of creating still lifes, attending figure drawing sessions, and practicing portrait painting, I felt like I wasn’t fully using my ability to express myself creatively. That’s when my free spirit raised its voice again and proclaimed that in fact – I’m an abstract painter! As soon as I realized this, things started happening. I started displaying my work in galleries, winning recognition at juried shows, receiving offers for solo shows, and selling my work to collectors.


My work today reflects all that has come before in my life. Each time I step up to the canvas, I try and harness my free spirit with my paint and brushes and create a visual expression of it on the canvas. Creative expression and free spirit have been constant inspirational forces throughout my life, and it is my hope that my paintings bring that same thing to each collector.


Although my journey so far has had its ups and downs and twists and turns, I count myself to be extremely fortunate. Today, I am happily married and my children are grown, I am a full-time painter, and I continue to volunteer at a fine arts museum. I maintain a professional studio in an art’s complex and have had the great fortune to have brought my art to many collectors over the past few years. What does the future hold? Without a doubt hundreds of paintings! Perhaps I will return to teaching – art this time – or I may consider taking up writing about abstract art. All I can say for certain is that it will be a creative endeavor!

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