Floral Portraits

Nathan Sparks

Sarah Moore finds an artistic home among the wildflowers

When ironweed first blooms in late summer, its vivid fuchsia cannot be missed. As the autumn shifts into winter, tanned, fluffy seed heads make their appearance. The plant undergoes a transformation throughout its life cycle giving it character and inspiring people like local artist Sarah Moore.

A native of Georgia who grew up in rural South Carolina, Moore took time trying out mediums while young until she found her niche in paint. “I remember my very first paint-by-number kits and this was back when they didn’t have the kind of newer healthier solvents,” she says. While potent, the paint was “thick and satisfying,” and she soon found herself with a passion.

Moore was discouraged from pursuing art in college, so she opted for architecture, taking art classes on the side. But even after obtaining a master’s in architecture, the paint called to her. “Deep down I just knew that (architecture) wasn’t the right fit for me,” she says. “As soon as I started painting again, I just realized I never want to stop doing this. Whatever I have to do to make this work, I will find a way.”

She kept her artwork to herself in those early days. “I realized that I had all these foundational skills in art, but I didn’t actually have a style or a voice or something that was uniquely an expression of myself,” she says. Eventually, Moore found an interest in painting the landscapes of the places she explored in her travels. She moved to Knoxville in 2015, and had her first gallery showing. She fell in love with seeing her art on display.

Moore began taking walks a couple of years ago to reduce her anxiety. And the foliage along the way became her subjects. “Once I started painting wildflowers, it just kind of opened up this new world and I started seeing more of them everywhere. It’s like that old quote, ‘There are always wildflowers for those who want to see them.’”

To learn more about Sarah Moore and see more of her work, visit www.sarahmoore.studio

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