Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lemon Geometry

 "Lemon Geometry"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I spend a lot of time on still life setup - and as you see below, that enables me to really rely on perception as I'm painting. I like to call it "slavishly copying the world," with tongue firmly in cheek.

If you're interested in learning more about my techniques for still life setup - or just want to paint one of them - I've got two workshops coming up! One is March 24-25th, in Eugene, and the other is April 6-8, on Bainbridge Island, WA. There are a couple of spaces open in both - join me! :)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Opening to the Light

"Opening to the Light" 10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas by Sarah Sedwick
"Opening to the Light"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

When I walked into the studio yesterday morning, I was immediately captivated by these daffodils - the way the blooms move from almost closed to completely open. I knew that was not going to last long once I turned the spotlight on them! So I painted the flowers first, and by the time I'd finished the rest of the painting, quite a bit later in the day, they were all wide open.

Friday, March 9, 2018


"Thirsty" 8 x 10 inches, oil painting on canvas by Sarah Sedwick
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

These flowers were only thirsty for a little while - I popped them into the glass once I finished this painting, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Color Swoon

"Color Swoon"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

My eyes pretty much want to live inside the color of this ribbon all the time. It's like the feeling of exhaling a deep breath - your body relaxes. 

That's how my eyes feel when they're full of this color.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A New Painting of Some Oranges...With Videos!

"One Turned Away"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This was the painting demonstration for my online art mentorship students at our monthly group session in Februray. It's a fun little piece! I love composing with cast shadows, and this is an excellent example of why. 

I just published a full-length video of this demo on YouTube - walking through my 3-step process for alla prima painting. Here's a clip!

(If you're reading this in your email - thanks for being a subscriber! You may need to click this link to watch, though. ;))

Friday, March 2, 2018


"Hope" floral daffodil tarot art oil painting still life by sarah sedwick 9x12 inches
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I thought I would counter yesterday's sorrow with some of the antidote. A quietly sunny spring painting. 
The Tarot card in this piece is also a hopeful one - the Ten of Cups, symbolizing emotional fulfillment. Not sure how it works when it's sideways - I'll leave that to the experts! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2018


"Sorrow (Three of Swords)" 14x18 oil on canvas by Sarah Sedwick
 "Sorrow (Three of Swords)" 
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I'm loving learning about Tarot by researching each card as I use them in my paintings. This one, the Three of Swords, when it's in the upright position, is kind of a bummer - but not entirely without sunshine. Yes, the card represents a painful episode in life, but pain can be seen as an opportunity to grow stronger, to change the direction of your life. While the pain may cloud your vision for a certain period, it will eventually allow you to see clearly and to put the past behind you. 

If you let them, the Swords cards can rid you of your denial and teach you valuable lessons.

...And if you paint them, they can teach you valuable lessons about color mixing and edges!
tarot card three of swords oil painting by sarah sedwick

As always with a piece this large, I began with a black and white study. This one has already gone to a collector who saw it on Instagram, but you can see a lot more of these oil studies in my Etsy shop.

Black and white studies really help me plan my paintings - specifically, the way my big value shapes will affect the composition. What shape and gesture do the darkest darks make on the canvas? How dark are my cast shadows, really? And where is my area of strongest contrast? I keep the study close to me while I'm painting the color version, to remind myself of my intentions.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Abundance (Nine of Cups)

still life oil painting tarot card art
 "Abundance (Nine of Cups)"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

From my favorite Tarot website: "It is no wonder that many Tarot readers refer to this card as the Wish Card, as its appearance is often taken as a sign that, whatever your heart’s desire, it shall be granted in the coming days or weeks. Know that you have paved your own way on the path to success."

Here is my value study for this piece. 
It's all part of that way-paving, on the path to success, at least in this painting!

"Abundance (BW Study)"
9 x 9 inches, oil on Arches oil paper
$100 (unframed)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy ❤️ Day!

"Red, White, and Goo"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

It's been a few years since I attempted to bite one of these cherry cordials in just the right way to make the goo ooze out like this, but I'm happy to report that it's like riding a bike.

It only took a couple of tries.

So...Happy Valentine's! I'll be spending it alone with my sugar high.


Special offer for blog readers! Buy "Red, White, and Goo," and I'll throw in my sketch, which is 5 x 5" on thick tan paper, mixed media (aka, ballpoint pen, sharpie, and white ink). I'll send you a 2018 Calendar too! Because it's a beautiful day, and I ❤️ all of you. 


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ace of Wands

 "Ace of Wands"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I paired this Tarot card with my baby Hoya because the wand has leaves growing from it.  The card symbolizes inspiration, and enthusiasm for new creative ventures. Sounds good to me!

Though this painting sold right off the easel, via Instagram, the black and white oil study is available:

$100 (unframed). Frame available on request.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


                                      "Hannah"                                                  "Cupid's Bow" 
                           12 x 16" oil on canvas                                     11 x 14" oil on canvas

A couple of recent portraits. "Hannah" was a workshop demonstration from January, and "Cupid's Bow" was painted just last night. What a face! She looks like a model Rembrandt would have swooned over. 

Here's my progression:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Long Shadows

 "Long Shadows"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

The 30 in 30 painting challenge I'm doing this month is already giving me a lot of food for thought - and not just because I'm painting apples and oranges! 

I wanted to revisit daily painting because it's how I got my start with this blog - ten years ago this month. The concept was incredibly freeing to me, that every painting didn't have to be a precious investment of time and materials, that tomorrow could be a new day. 

I'm hugely grateful to artists like Carol Marine and Duane Keiser, who inspired me early on - and continue to. Before I discovered daily painting, I had been out of art school for almost seven years, and was starting to believe that I might never actually get back into painting. Today, I plan to paint for the rest of my life. Maybe not EVERY day, but on the good ones!

Here's my setup and sketch:

A lot of people on Instagram have been curious about these black-and-white sketches. They are made with ballpoint pen (mine's from the Marriott, fancy), black sharpie, and white Pitt Pen, which is a permanent India ink marker made by Faber Castell. The sketchbook is Strathmore Toned Tan, 6x8 inches. You can check out some of my favorite materials here. 

And, as always, thank you for reading!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Avocado and Lemon - and My Very First Newsletter!

 "Avocado and Lemon" 
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This is my painting for day two of the 30 in 30 February challenge. It's yesterday's painting. I'm not going to be blogging every single day's painting, because I anticipate that some of them will be less impressive than others, but for now, here ya go! 

...And speaking of impressive! After procrastinating for almost ten years, I just published my very first email newsletter. Check it out here, and click subscribe to be entered into my Blog Anniversary Giveaway. Because, yes, my blog will be TEN YEARS OLD in just a couple of weeks! That feels awesome.

Just subscribe to my email newsletter to be entered to win! It's a teeny tiny pool right now - so share with a friend! Your chances are excellent.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Golden Ring (Ace of Pentacles) and #30in30!

 "Golden Ring (Ace of Pentacles)"
7 x 11 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

Here's how this one came together. I can't believe how long these little oranges have lasted in my studio. It must be cold in there or something.....! Spring is on the way, though - I saw Camellias on my favorite camellia-stealing bush yesterday, so, good things ahead! 

And speaking of things ahead - I've decided to try my hand at a 30 in 30 day painting challenge. Gulp! Anyone else doing this one?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tangerine Tumble

 gold ribbon painting oranges still life art
"Tangerine Tumble"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here's this one in-progress, from sketchbook to underpainting to color. The sketch was fun - ballpoint pen, black sharpie, and white Pitt pen on tan paper! Here's the sketchbook I used

work in progress oil painting still life sedwick 
I recently did a little interview for the blog #artcrushxo. Kim shares so many diverse and interesting artists, it was an honor to be invited to contribute! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Chunky Lemons

"Chunky Lemons"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

This painting really stands out from across the room, even though it's only eight inches tall. I have it on a wall with some of my larger, recent works, and it grabs my eye every time!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Simple is Best

"A Small Bowl of Oranges"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This little painting makes me happy. Sometimes simple is best.

Friday, January 26, 2018

A New Tarot Series Painting

 "The Juggler"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

The two of pentacles is all about juggling life's priorities. "There is a tendency to be distracted by day-to-day affairs and general busy-ness, so prioritizing your activities and carefully managing your time is essential." A good thought for anyone at any time, but particularly for artists. How do we do the thing we love - the thing we most want to do - but which doesn't necessarily get dinner served on time? Deciding to make painting a priority and balancing your life around that goal is a topic that comes up frequently with my online mentorship students. Self-motivation is endless and fascinating.

But, of course, I chose the juggler for this painting because of the way the round yellow shapes of his pentacles mirror the shapes of the two oranges. The significance, reliably, follows.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

The black-and-white oil study for this one is also available, here.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Red Ribbon

 "Red Ribbon"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

 Well, I got some new ribbon. I'm not going to go so far as to call it an obsession, but it's now officially a phase. It's just so - flexible! As a compositional element, I mean. In this painting, I'm loving the little arrows of light pointing to the "kiss" where the ribbon and apple meet. The longer I paint, the more I realize that I'm not painting objects - or even colors, but simply light and the effects of light.

The sketch for this one was a quickie - ballpoint pen! 

Do you ever sketch in ballpoint pen? There always seems to be one handy.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Purple Coil

"Purple Coil"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

When I posted this color scheme on Instagram, a friend in Louisiana shouted, "Mardi Gras!" I'm fascinated by the psychology of color - especially color combinations, and why some appeal to us and others don't. Purple and green is one of my favorite combos - and orange completes the triad of secondary colors.  
Fun fact: did you know that in ancient Rome, purple dye was made from snails? 

Sketch for "Purple Coil"
oil paint on Arches oil paper
approx. 8 x 8 inches, unframed