Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

Mixed media
From the artist
Sara Vanderkleed

“My paintings evolve similarly to the way an author allows the characters of a book to tell the story.”

Her creative mother sparked Sara Vanderkleed’s interest in art as a young child. Sara took elective art classes in college and pursued her curiosity about watercolor by taking a painting class at a community center in the mid-1990s. The class awakened her love for painting, and she has been practicing the craft ever since.

Sara began by painting watercolor landscapes and florals, as the Indiana countryside was an early influence in her growth as an artist. She has since progressed to a more contemporary abstract style and has added other media to her paintings. “My approach involves an intuitive use of color, shape and line,” Sara says. “I start with one intention and then allow the piece to develop. Sometimes it will develop exactly as I hoped and other times the piece will go in a completely different direction. This process feels very genuine and personal.”

The first brush of paint on paper or canvas captivates Sara. “I take the brush in hand and begin applying marks,” she says. “The relationship of lines and marks on the canvas intrigues me to no end! Each mark changes the dynamics of the space. What fun!” As she paints, she adds colors and textures, then paints over whatever is no longer needed in the piece. She repeats the process until the surface “says what it wants to say,” she explains.

Sara does not take her abilities for granted and is grateful to be an artist. “I am honored and humbled to have this gift,” she says. Sara applied to Indiana Artisan because she supports state recognition and promotion of artists, and she hopes the program will broaden her client base and gallery representation. “I’m privileged and challenged by the designation,” she says. “I’m especially thrilled that contemporary work is included under the Indiana Artisan brand.”