Sarah Lyle

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Sarah Lyle says that she declared at the age of seven that she was an artist and has been ever since. She works in a variety of mediums, including painting, ceramics, printmaking, and more.

Sarah Lyle:
I feel that my art is very influenced by color, and memory having grown up in Provence. A lot of those colors are really instilled in me. I went to school in Aix en Provence, and went to art school in Provence where Cezanne painted - and I lived in a house where Cezanne once lived, literally under the mountain he painted so often.

The colors in that part of the world, and the light in that part of the world, you cannot imitate. I think it is like when Matisse that "South of France light" there is just something there that you cannot see anywhere else. However, the idea of light and color that I was brought up in have translated to my love of the Eastern Shore, with the very different light that we have here with the flat landscape and the reflected light from the whole bay that is completely different and equally beautiful in my opinion.

I live right on the water and to go out in a kayak and see the reflections of the rushes and the reeds, that kind of double world when the water is still, is just amazing to me and I love to reflect on that kind of thing.

The inspiration for Sarah's art comes from a variety of places.

Sarah Lyle:
A lot of the time it is just a recurring image: just an image that I see every day or that comes into my mind even from my dreams. Last night I had a dream of a huge flock of gold finches and I was thinking that that would maybe a beautiful abstract water color. Sometimes it is just crossing the bridge on the creek where I live and seeing those reflections; that I would want to convey that on a canvas.

The fall colors that I see here on the Eastern Shore I might draw into a glaze for pottery, or something like that. That would be the genesis of an idea, again that color and memory that work towards something I would like to create. A lot of the work I do is from memory, also from photographs, sometimes from plein air.

Sarah is not interested in creating a message through her art. For her it is more about creating art that is easily accessible and appreciated.

Sarah Lyle:
Decorative art is something I really feel close to. When I say decorative art I enjoy making things beautiful around my home and for other people.

Sarah's day job is as an administrator for the Queen Anne's County Arts Council where she also teaches.

Sarah Lyle:
My background as an art educator is with children, and I love teaching children. As an audience they come with no preconceived ideas. They really listen and I love that excitement that they have. I find that as they get older they have more blocks of the "I can't." and the "I'm not going to be able to…" And, just opening up their mind to the "I can." And the "I will be able to…" is probably the most important aspect of teaching, in my opinion. And, I try to do that.

I teach paintbrush parties where people come in and have a good time and get to finish a painting in an evening. We have a lot of people come in and you don't have to know how to paint but it's ok if you can as well. We get a variety of people who really enjoy them. And I am happy to say we have a number of repeat customers who must be accumulating a lot of art work on their walls by now.

Sara suggests that people who are new to art study other artists past and present, or simply any art they like, and then practice, practice, practice. But more importantly she says this:

Sarah Lyle:
Be yourself and be brave. Fear is a big inhibitor for so many of us in everything in our lives and very much in our art, so if you can just let the fear go and get it out of your mind and just let the art happen, that is the most important thing.

To find out more about Sarah visit her Face book page Sarah-Lyle-Artfish which you can get a link to on our website -- which is where you will also find a link to the Queen Anne's County Arts Council website. But don't miss out on visiting their gallery in person in Centreville, Maryland to see Sarah's work and that of some other fine local artists.

Find out more:
Visit Sarah Lyle's Facebook page.