As our fall schedules begin to fill and the weather becomes cool and crisp, it is wild to think that a few weeks ago mother nature had different plans for the residents of Texas and Florida.

Three of our Well + Wonder artists call Texas home and one these lives and works in Houston. Needless to say, the impact of Hurricane Harvey on our state is personal to us. And our heart has been in Texas since August 27th when Harvey first made landfall and will continue to be with all of those affected. We wanted to say THANK YOU to all who placed orders during our Harvey fundraiser and for all of those who showed their support for Houston. On behalf of your support, we were able to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through The Greater Houston Community Foundation. We are so grateful to our generous clients and friends who are lovers of art and who opened their hearts to help all of those in need!

In the meantime, we wanted to highlight a Houston native of our own. Sarah’s path towards becoming an artist began many years ago. Her pursuit of art was shared with other interests in college while she attended business school and then law school. After graduation, Sarah practiced as a business litigation associate at an international law firm. She now spends her days working multiple paintbrushes in her studio. The play of color drives all of her pieces, and most all of her work contains abundant light and vibrant colors, even if it is just a pop of color against a neutral background. We hope you enjoy reading about one of the sweetest southern artists around!

What is currently on your nightstand?

I've recently had a change of houses and nightstands thanks to Hurricane Harvey! Before the flood, my nightstand held my bible, "Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles, a picture of my husband on our wedding day thirteen years ago, my Kenyan Way training schedule in preparation for the NYC Marathon on November 5th (that I'll be running to raise money for breast cancer research in honor of my sister, Carrie), and a Mother's Day card from my daughter.

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

My favorite teacher, Daphna Lillienstern, has been the biggest influence in my art career. She encouraged me to step outside of my Type A box and create without being inhibited by rules. She especially taught me about the use of color to make a painting come to life. Ms. Lillienstern stretched my imagination in countless ways. In one assignment, she asked the class to create four feet by five feet portraits of celebrity faces using only an ink pad and our fingertips. I chose to paint Mel Gibson and have no idea where my giant Mel face is today. I still remember the fun experience though.

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

I can’t say that I have one most memorable moment. Many of my favorite childhood moments, however, were spent with a woman named Ernestene Mickey (a.k.a., “Teenie”). She was family without being related and was a huge influence in my life. Teenie was an endless source of unconditional love and taught me that quality time spent with children is what makes a happy childhood.

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

White acrylic paint. I am constantly buying it at Texas Art Supply.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

My favorite room in our house is our living room that doubles as my office. My desk overlooks our yard, and I’m often in front of my computer acting as a social planner for my children’s many activities or writing/editing books (another great interest of mine). My living room also houses some of my favorite things, including two turquoise leather chairs from my grandmother’s house, a red tole table from my mother, my children’s portraits and my biggest score online (see next question).

What is your biggest score online?

For my birthday this year, I found the most wonderful piece of art online – which is obviously a fabulous place to look! I scored an original, signed Sister Mary Corita Kent serigraph. She was an artist, educator, and social rights advocate who was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. Sister Mary Corita encouraged consideration of poverty, racism, and injustice through the use of advertising images, song lyrics, and bible verses. My serigraph reads, “I love you very.” I like the message to love hard the people that make life special.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

Buying art through a collective is a great way to begin collecting or add to an existing art collection. Educated curators make it easy for prospective buyers to find artists and artwork that resonate with their style, then facilitate sales across state borders. As with so many industries, the internet has broadened the art world. Thanks to online collectives such as Well + Wonder, artists, and collectors across the world are introduced. Buyers are also afforded the benefit of a personalized art consultant when working through a collective. I would encourage new collectors to take their time when searching for artwork. Selecting an artist, then a piece with the correct dimensions and “feel” for a spot in your home can take some time. Having said that, I bought my Sister Mary Corita on a whim and absolutely love it. I guess when you know you love the artwork, you know.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

An obvious answer to this question would be The Louvre in Paris or the Ufizzi in Florence (both of which I’ve loved touring), but I’m going to give a shout out to The Fine Arts Museum of Houston! It houses an incredible array of traditional to abstract paintings and sculpture. I can lose many hours there.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

After college graduation, my mother took me on a memorable trip to Europe. We spent time in Italy where I fell in love with Lake Como. There is a hotel there, The Villa D’Este, with a floating swimming pool on the lake and views of gorgeous mountains rising out of the water. They also have a fabulously landscaped stairway leading to the water. I wanted to get married there, but my sweet husband was not in favor of a destination wedding. It will make a wonderful anniversary venue in the future.

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

I would usually answer this question with a neutral pink, but on a friend’s recent birthday trip to Las Vegas, I was given Laura Mercier’s Velour Lip Color, Temptation. It’s a bold red and I love it!

I can never get on a plane without….

Socks. I have a weird allergy that makes me break out in hives when I’m cold. Bizarre, I know. Good thing I live in Houston.

How did you get into the world of art?

I am an identical twin, and my mother (very wisely I think) placed us in different activities based on our aptitudes at a young age. My twin began piano lessons, and because I was always drawing, my mother signed me up for art lessons. I have her to thank for nurturing a love of mine that has grown over the years into a business I enjoy each day.

What do you do to relax?

I love to hang out by the pool with my family. My husband is wonderful on the grill, and we like entertaining in our backyard.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

Music always inspires me. I listen to a huge range of styles, but they all encourage me when I am painting. I like to devote entire days to painting, without feeling pressured by time. It also inspires me when I see my children painting their own canvases around me. I hope to pass on Ms. Lillienstern’s encouragement that it is more important to create than fear “messing up.”

Prediction for the Color of 2017?

Turquoise! We just lacquered our dining room Fine Paints of Europe’s, “Seaside Resort.” It’s a darker Tiffany’s turquoise blue and my favorite color in the world.

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

Dinner and a movie is much more my preference for an ideal date night. I especially love dinner and a movie at home. Maybe that means I am getting old.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

I couldn’t part with my favorite painting, so it is hanging in my favorite room I mentioned earlier. It’s a 48X48 abstract landscape entitled, “Gild the Lily.” The whole room was inspired by two throw pillows. Now the artwork centers the room and incorporates color aspects of my favorite items in the room – from my turquoise leather chairs to my husband’s Axis deer pillow.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

Art is so subjective. If it speaks to you and you love it, buy it and start thinking of the perfect place to display it.