Apr 29, 2009

The Talisman

I am so very happy and pleased to announce....it's finished!!! :D

Whew...now I can get on with my life. Wow. Added something different to this piece, I went in with white and yellow chalk pastel pencils to add a softness to the light. Eh, kinda worked in my opinion. I went over it with liquid white acrylic anyways. hehe

So happy with it, enjoy the energy, really love the seahorses. We'll see if they pop up again sometime in the future. ;)

Now its time for bed. Ah...peace.

Apr 27, 2009

Veritas Magazine Interview

So today I got an email notifying me that the interview I had about a week ago is up. A writer, Dena, contacted me shortly after I started to follow Veritas Magazine on Twitter, mentioning how her editor would like to do a story on me. Excited I of course said yes. She did an awesome job and I thank them for the opportunity. A few days later the editor and photographer visited my wee apartment/studio, which I found fantastic because I not only got to meet a sister and Christ, but two brothers in Christ. To make the world smaller, they know my neighbors across the street and the editor knows my mom. He interned where she worked last year. How crazy is that! They're wonderful people and have put together this online magazine about local Des Moines.

I feel very honored to be approached by them and to be able to share my story. I love the title too...


 April 26, 2009 

Witchcraft and Watercolor: A Des Moines Illustrator's Real-Life Fairy Tale 
By Dena Carpenter, Veritas Magazine 

To look at one of Sara Butcher’s watercolor paintings is to be taken into another world—the fanciful and beautiful swirl together with vivid detail. An artist, teacher, and illustrator, Sara nurtured her lifelong fascination with fantasy into a career—she captures the imaginary and breathes life into it with her artwork. And when God breathed life into her, Sara discovered that fantasy can become reality. 

“I didn’t really realize what true fairy tales were like until I found Christianity,” Sara says. 
But her love for fairy tales began from an early age—like many little girls—with Disney, not God. Sara’s drawing talent began with stick fairies in markers, and she bloomed as she grew and drew constantly. As a teenager, she would cope with the insecurity of being an artist by creating whole fantasy worlds of her own to get lost in. 

Sara eventually turned to paganism to fill the void of spirituality that fairy tales couldn’t fill. “I didn’t do sacrificing, but I’ve always had black cats—there’s nothing wrong with them!” she says. “As a witch you do spells, you want to see something happen. I was a pagan with good intentions, but I was on the wrong side of the fence.” 

When Sara started going to church, she was challenged to examine her beliefs and where they came from—and she found she didn’t have an answer. 

“There are oral traditions and books. Paganism has been around since sin has been around. But there’s no substance,” Sara says. “I got really mad because I was being asked all these internal questions and I didn’t know answers.” 

At the same time, Sara was attending church services at Point of Grace, and she was drawn in by the worship music. Then, week after week, Sara felt the sermons speaking directly to her heart. At one service, she heard a couple speak about working through their difficult relationship with the help of God. Sara was in an abusive relationship at the time, and she gave in to God’s call when their testimony hit home and she realized she needed God’s help. 

“I accepted Jesus sitting at a stoplight bawling on my way back home,” Sara says. “I heard that testimony and saw how God can work in our lives. I was thinking, how do they know that’s my life?” 

As a new Christian, Sara was inspired by a leader in her church to be a warrior for Christ. 
“I would be like, give me a sword, give me a shield, let’s go fight demons! I really reveled in that,” Sara says. “Then I read Captivating by Staci Eldredge, and it took me to heart. She talks about being warrior princesses, and I was like, my name means princess and I can be a warrior—it’s all coming together!” 

With her identity in Christ, Sara was finally able to claim her love of fairy tales, as well. 
“There’s something bigger out there, and you don’t know what it is, period,” Sara says. “Fairy tales open the gate that anything’s possible, that there’s some kind of mystery to life. I found Christianity and I read Captivating and... talk about fairy tales being reality,” Sara says. “That defined why I had such a love of fairy tales—because it’s God’s story. It’s real.” 

Sara even noticed a change in her artwork. She put away the fantasy worlds and fascination with fairies, and the colors got brighter. Where she used to use heavy maroons and purples, lighter yellows, oranges, reds and sky blues started radiating in and taking over the darkness. The pagan symbols she used to draw left, and now she only includes them if she knows it will speak to her audience. 

“The painting is coming from a heart filled with the Holy Spirit,” Sara says. “The symbols I use are there to connect a non-believer, a pagan, a Christian, anyone to the painting, so they start looking at it. And it’s God’s painting. The point is that it should speak to everyone.” 

Sara now concentrates on freelancing to build her children’s book portfolio while maintaining an Etsy shop, website, and blog. She also teaches at the Des Moines Art Center and attends Re-Church with her fiancĂ©, Brian. 

As an artist growing in her relationship with Christ, Sara says her biggest obstacle is having enough faith that God will provide, financially and otherwise. But she fights her worries every day by bringing them to Christ and asking for strength and courage. 

“Life got harder after I became a Christian. I know for sure I’m meant to be an artist, but one of my biggest insecurities is whether or not I’m actually following God’s will with my work,” Sara says. “But Christ gave me an enormous amount of hope.” 

Apr 22, 2009

The Talisman - WIP 2

Finally spent a little bit of time on the painting this morning. I dunno when I'm gonna get it finished. Still have time on his tail and haven't even touched the fish yet.

I was looking at this and comparing it (as a thumbnail) to the wip capture before it. I wonder if I over work my watercolors. o.O Same thing happened with Valentine's Heart...I over worked it. :/

Apr 21, 2009

Signs of Spring

watercolor | 2009
Last Friday Brian, his brother, sister in law, and I went for an evening walk through my neighborhood. It was awesome weather and the day itself was sunny and warm. The day before however was all rain. What do you get when you mix the two? Beautiful spring flowers! We saw many daffodils! On my favorite flower list, daffodils aren't near the top, yellow isn't a favorite color of mine, and whenever I see them I think of Alice in Wonderland or tutu's. I dunno why.

But when I decided to paint some daffodils and I looked at many pictures, there are so many different kinds!!! White ones, yellow ones, reddish orange ones, some yellow with red, some white with yellow. It's crazy the variety!

Alas, the reason I so enjoyed painting and expressing the daffodil is because it's a sign. A symbol. A gleam of light to give us hope. Spring is here, and all will come alive. Take in that deep breath of fresh air filled with sun light. That's what I'm talkin' about! :D

Click the link "Daffodils" at the top to visit the painting.

Apr 16, 2009

It Runs in the Family

There was an exhibit going on Monday night downtown Des Moines at the Heritage Gallery, where they featured students' work. The Des Moines Register (major state paper) did a story on the event where they quoted my dad.

D.M. High Schoolers Showcase Their Artistic Creations
By Janet Klockenga • jklocken@dmreg.com • April 14, 2009

Art students from Des Moines high schools got a chance last week to feel like professionals during an opening reception for the Central Iowa Metro League's annual High School Art Exhibition at the Polk County Heritage Gallery downtown.

The juried event was a dressy affair, featuring punch, hors d'oeuvres and classical music played by a student string ensemble in the marble-floored gallery.

The exhibit, on display through Wednesday, includes the work of more than 50 artists: students from East, Hoover, Lincoln, North, Roosevelt, Central Academy, Scavo and Future Pathways schools.

North High School art teacher Bryan Butcher, who teaches two- and three-dimensional art and design and graphic arts, worked with fellow art teacher Catherine Chiodo to organize the event and hang the exhibit.

"Cathy Chiodo likes to make it more of a professional atmosphere, with a reception that has music and hors d'oeuvres," he said. "And we involve other teachers to get other disciplines involved. That makes it a very nice atmosphere and really adds to the whole thing."

Butcher said the exhibit is of work selected by art teachers; each may submit up to five pieces for the show. Students may enter work from anytime during the current school year. The schools involved work out a schedule each year to determine who sets up the show, he said.

"This is our showcase event for high schools," Butcher said. "You see a wide variety of work in this exhibit: drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramic pieces. I think this is the first time we've hung a T-shirt in the exhibit."

visit this article: HERE


In the beginning, there were dandelions...
and it was spring.

My newest quick fine art. A great way to start the day! It's a wee buggar measuring only 3.75x4 inches. What's really cool is I got use the paints brought back from Japan. Brian's brother and sister-in-law (Marcus and Kelli) went to Japan last year. From the sweetness of their hearts brought me some paints back. They are watercolor, but thicker than what I traditionally use. It was fun using them tho, very bright, colors we don't use (tho I still have yet to really touch those), and mix beautifully!

I'm excited to see the dandelions. They bring so much hope and joy in knowing warmth is here. :D Yay!

{ original painting on sale at my Etsy shop: Sara Burrier Fine Watercolor }

Apr 15, 2009

Sketch the Birdie

Yesterday was all about the flowers, today it's about the birdies. Every morning I hear tons of birds, the little ones (like finches), chatting away in the big bushes under my window. My studio space has the most windows in my one bedroom apartment, and there are trees along with many bushes surrounding the house.

The windows in my studio are "special places" for me. One one side of the room where there are three windows sits my couch and coffee table. Every morning I try to take some quiet time with God in that spot. Then there's the window infront of my drawing table. I love to stop, look outside the window, and catch a squirrel in the tree infront of window, or just hear the robins going on and on about that cardinal.

Thus the inspiration for the Birdie.

Have a God blessed day! :)

Apr 11, 2009

New Fine Art

So I created this painting today, and thought...wow...why am I not doing more of these?! They are simple and quick, and a wonderful break from the figurative work I do. I have always enjoyed painting flowers and foliage, but usually do during teaching (I have so many paintings in a folder at work that haven't seen the light of day).

So I decided to start pulling them out and showing them off. I created a new Etsy shop under "Sara Burrier", my soon to be married name. On this shop I will post all work "fine art". I have a few pieces that aren't fantasy or children's book illustration, but more experimental. I hope to have a website following too.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the transaction from Butcher to Burrier for my illustration biz, but I figured this is a start. :)

So please keep Sara Burrier - Fine Watercolor on your list for updates. God bless!


Apr 8, 2009

The Talisman - Paint In Progress

Uggg, I don't know if I'll get this done in time! Silly me for creating such a large project. But I'm enjoying it. :D

Apr 7, 2009

The Talisman - In Progress

Here is my illo for Illustration Friday this week. Wow, I'm actually doing another one in watercolor! I'm insane. Really.

Compositionally I think I could have done this differently, but eh, it's working for me. There will be more fish to help balance it out, but I'm envisioning them to be further back in the distance so they will be done in watercolor. All inked and ready to go...so who knows how late I'll be up tonight painting. :D

A sketch I did in my sketchbook today. It started out as an example or "draw with me" with one of my private students, but then turned out to be a full blown pencil drawing. I added the envelopes with hearts to be a symbol of "talisman"...just to link it to the theme for fun.

Apr 2, 2009

IF - Poise

watercolor | 2009

Yay! An Illustration Friday piece. wow, been awhile. :P

When I saw the word "poise" I immediately thought of balance, ballet, and then for some reason a jester. So, what ballet character has the appearance of a jester? Papageno from the opera "The Magic Flute"! Quickly done, played with the watercolor a bit here, something fun and out of the ordinary. :)