Hi, I’m Sarah. I am an American living in Holland and am married to Rende, a cabinetmaker and photographer. With me in the photo, is Lucie (Lucida Bright), our much adored purebred fox terrier.
I started this blog in 2008 to share my journey as an artist searching for more engaged ways to work with my creativity.
In my 40 years of professional life as an artist I’ve worked as a graphic designer, calligrapher, book designer, fine artist, and period instrument decorator. Depending on the commissions that come on my path I still do all these things. Plus I’ve always been active as a teacher of calligraphy, art and creative process.
I guess the thing that has shaped my journey most recently has been the last 15 years spent as a healthcare artist here in Holland. From that experience I wrote ‘Chocolate Rain’ which was published in England in 2011, the German edition came out in 2012, and the English version will be reprinted in 2015. It has just been honored by being chosen with 24 other books on dementia for the Reading Well Books Prescription list. This means it will appear in libraries across the UK as well as being recommended by family doctors, therapists and social workers.
My most recent commission- decorating a period instrument (Ruckers harpsichord) songboard made by Matthias Griewisch.
Another completed collaboration is with artist friend Alicia Devine designing and acting in an internet course on Creative approaches to communication in dementia for caregivers and social workers. The CD will be available to carers in Inverclyde, through David Ramsay at the Inverclyde Council.
Right now my main focus is working on my new book about socially engaged arts; and progressing on my oil paintings. I share my discoveries and practical working methods on this journey in this blog in the category Paintings. My portfolio site is www.szoutewelle.wordpress.com , see my latest work there.
One last thought; I have always known that for me, ‘art is a gift, not a commodity’ (Lewis Hyde, ‘The Gift’). While we as artists need to survive, a central question in my creative life is how to keep the gift element alive in my work and life. And also, more recently, how to counteract the widespread conviction that unless sold as a product, art has no intrinsic worth. I am currently writing articles, and blogs, on this subject which may one day grow into a book.
You won’t find me on Facebook, Linked in , or Twitter because I’m not interested in the kind of popularity contests these media inevitably come down to. And I’d rather be in my studio or garden.
I probably miss out on some sales and exposure, but this stance feels true for me.
Still, any extra help is always appreciated, friends often do Twitter favorite posts of mine or share them on Facebook. Fine with me.
Thanks for visiting. I really enjoy meeting people through my blog, you all enrich my life.