About this post: “Women who Create” explores various artists, what and why they create, and where they find their inspiration. In this post, I introduce you to Sarah Jane Conklin, an artist from Fall River, Nova Scotia. Enjoy her wonderful work and make sure to click on the link at that bottom of the post to win one of her lovely paintings!
Sarah Jane Conklin first discovered her love of art as a stay-at-home mom, when she took her first drawing class. From there, she tried watercolours, acrylics, and oil…until eventually settling on working with water-soluble oils. In the early days, she painted at the kitchen table while her children were in school…working fast in order to clear it all away before the school day was through…in order to prepare the table for homework and that evening’s family meal.
Twenty-five years later, Sarah Jane still paints every single day from her amazing studio in Fall River, Nova Scotia…a room that filled with light, her favourite pieces, and positive vibes. The studio was built as an addition to their home just two years ago…a space she loves to share with her family, most especially, her granddaughter Lilah.
“Painting feeds my soul. It’s a lot cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun,” Sarah Jane laughingly said as we chatted about raising kids and becoming empty nesters.
When her children first left for university, Sarah Jane and her husband would jump in the car and chase waterfalls…exploring all of the hidden spots treasures throughout Nova Scotia. She loved those days spent with her husband, and would come back home and re-create the waterfalls on large-scale pieces.
At some point along the way, she was asked to paint a hummingbird…and so began a whole new journey.
Sarah Jane paints nature. She still loves to creat the large-scale landscapes as she’s able to get quite “physical” when working with larger canvas, but she’s just as happy to paint the little chickadees, nuthatches, hummingbirds and cardinals that she’s become so well-known for. With every tiny creature being a wee bit different each time she puts her brush to canvas…each wee bird with its own personality as she plays with their features to make them all unique.
She laughs that she can paint one of the small birds in a single sitting…but then takes four days to name the piece to get it “just right.”
A few years ago, Sarah Jane published a children’s book from her paintings, sharing her work and poems with a younger audience. Currently, she’s exploring painting nests…some with eggs, some completely empty…each nest showing the character of the Mama birds who built them.
Sarah Jane is a home-body. Never happier than when her supportive family is around her as she gets an energy from them that she doesn’t get anywhere else. She lights up when she speaks of her children, Lake and Katie, proud of their accomplishments and the adults they’ve become. And she simply glows when she speaks of her granddaughter, Lilah.
Not one to sit idle, Sarah Jane is constantly working on the next project. Her mom, now 93 and living in Newfoundland, taught Sarah Jane that “to sit is to rot” and for that reason, Sarah Jane pushes herself every single day. Once in that zone, it becomes her mediation…and her art shines through.
Beautiful, fresh, full of whimsy and joy…much like Sarah Jane herself.
Check out Sarah Jane’s work on her website and make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Plus, check out the GIVEAWAY on Instagram just in time for Mother’s Day, where you can win a 6×6 gallery wrapped canvas valued at $120.00, along with three of Sarah Jane’s books!
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