Bio and Statement
Sarah Braden is an international visual artist and marketer, this is where you can find out more about her history, artistic statement, and bio.
Scroll down for Artist CV and long form detailed statement.
In 2016 Braden started commissioning and producing artwork professionally. Her work has evolved through stages. Sarah has come to accumulate three distinctive collections of work ranging from traditional landscape, trending forms with resin and fluid painting, and collage mixed media. Braden devotes as much time as possible to her art studio practice looking within looking deeper to find meaning in the work, while staying on the cusp of art marketing techniques. Sarah obtained her BFA in Illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) in 2007. Since 2016 Braden has shown and sold original works in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, New Orleans, Miami, Fort Collins, Los Angeles, and internationally. Sarah Braden is a visual artist living and working in Northern Illinois.
Long Form Artistic Statement
an explanation of process, meaning, influence, and personal perspective
Through the process in my mixed media collage work, different mediums are used throughout the different layers. Its starts by wanting to improve or update an existing work. Many of my fluid paintings and past works have been finalized and completed in this way. I find the focus shift using collage very interesting because the composition then becomes so much more than just swirling color. The collage medium becomes the focal point, painting and layering with resin and other mediums. The under-painting aids in the composition of the cut paper they support each-other as equal subjects of the work. The resin often encapsulating the careful sourcing and planning and sometime moments of chaos during a studio session. The resin sealing everything together in frozen form it is the most effective way that I have found to suspend multi dimensional materials of different textures permanently. The process has evolved a lot even in the last 3 years since I am constantly learning new techniques.
In my independent and empowered series, a single woman figure stands out amongst chaos. These models become our modern superwoman. Someone who can handle it all. Success and Social Life in a capitalist culture! Or someone who has had enough.. Some of the facial expressions I find are quite harrowing, they look crazed, or afraid, all being directed to pose a certain way. We see themes of independence, winning, success, love, indulgence and more, and from a distance that’s all it is, but look at the model’s face, where is she? When she is taken out of context the expression changes. Often she looks strong, and powerful. We see this especially in pieces like lady in the wind, we see you, and lady jade.
Throughout my artistic practice, I have struggled trying to incorporate these pieces into my commercial practice of graphics and illustration to find the right context. When I went into the fine art direction and repositioned myself as a maker I experienced a new freedom and exploration of material. Now I have learned to incorporate collage into my abstract paintings and I have found the opportunity to create something significant to society. My collages explore feminine themes, holding cosmetics as sacred objects, female empowerment, sexuality, glass ceilings, addiction, friendship, modern inclusive feminism, fashion as junk, and busy-ness. Linking many pieces together in a series through use of female relics such as erect uncapped lipsticks, high heels, jewelry with precious stones, and time pieces. I always thought they could be integrated into advertising in the right context. Always my personal work was collage, as a lifelong practicing artist. In some cases the work feels more personal almost autobiographical, especially in my early work which I rarely show. The subject evolves as a series is created. Always evolving, always drawn to feminine forms within landscapes and golden light creating beautiful things often the viewer may see something completely different than what I originally visualized.
LADY IN THE WIND
Currently on Display at Chrystal Clinic in Sycamore Illinois
Influenced by modern pop culture and fashion when choosing images for the work. My sources being modern media magazines and a magazine archive dating back to the late 1990s. Other influences stem from my studies of advertising culture today and within the in art history, finding the origins of collage within the following mid century movements: the Austrian secession, German expressionism- especially noting its action painters, & the collage artists of the DADA movement.
Traditional art practice has always been important to me even with all of the other creative aspects of life. creating things of beauty that people can recognize as locations is validating and special. To create a likeness, I with a primed canvas, plan the canvas, I begin with the sky, and atmospheric perspective. Layering as we move into the foreground. In my process, I rarely use a reference photo, many of my landscapes are traces of memories, visualizing as I paint to make the scene more picturesque or lonely as mood and tone dictates.
The meaning in landscape paintings is to find true quiet. Find a place that is so devoid of humans that you can only hear the wind. The irony in this search is that when I find it, it is lost for I am a human and I most likely drove to such location in my car. I find meaning in the therapeutic process of visualizing these memories, recreating them in new light.
Abstract Landscape series "Dawn, Day & Dusk"
commissioned and delivered in 2017
After the drought there was fluid
When art was absent from my life, I was working retail and delivering things. I was pretty miserable. The year was 2014. I had been out of art school fully graduated for 7 years, and felt like I had accomplished nothing. I started keeping a sketchbook again knowing I had to start somewhere, and so I began. I started a series of abstract drawings that were timed. 6 hour drawings, using marker and ball point. I would sit and add colors and lines until I was moved. Always nonobjective mixing organic forms- geometric shapes- spiral sequences. I wasn't trying to show my work anywhere, the point was to create, get into a habit of always making, to feel like an artist again and to restore my faith in my own capabilities through practice. Then I got curious, I started going to art events and gallery shows. I started meeting people in the art community in Chicago where I lived at the time. The time was fall in 2015 and I made the important decision to take a chance on my own art. I started painting again. Inspired I went into the direction of nonobjective abstract expressionism. In the beginning I was using whatever art materials I had available which were mostly acrylic based, nail polish, and other random pigments. Also I was looking through my own archive and upcycling canvases from years past. Within a year, I began working with an art event co-op producing events and collaborating with other painters. During this time I discovered many new methods such as the fluid techniques that are very popular in art therapy practices. I moved away from cut paper during this time of painting with fluid art techniques. Learning these techniques helped me express myself, look within, and decide on a direction. I still practice with fluid art because it's genuinely so enjoyable, the action of it is therapeutic, but it’s hard for me to find meaning in these works, although it feels so accomplishing to create them and they do turn out lovely. They will always be a part of my process, although now I choose to add other elements and use them a backgrounds or for compositional direction.
Artist CV | Resume
Sarah Braden- Visual Artist & Designer
Graduated with BFA from MIAD in 2007
(illustration & graphic design)
Art Events/ Shows since 2015 (chronological)
Gold Star Bar Chicago Fall 2015
Lightbox Lofts Launch Party, Oct 2016
Art Basel 2016 December Miami
Cooking with Yams Holiday Art Market 12-21.
Ancien Cycles Café, monthly group show, Jan 2017
Life Force Arts Center Gallery, group show, Jan 2017
Emerging Artist Show, Morpho Gallery, Chicago Feb 2017
Filter Cafe- Curation of space with multiple artists April 2017-June 2017
Cup and Spoon Café, solo show Sept/Oct 2017
Canyon Jam, Fort Collins, CO, live painting event Sept 2017 both days
Blnk Haus Gallery, Zhou B Art Center, Bridgeport, Nov and Dec 2017
Conception Artist Pop Up, Dovetail Brewery, Chicago, February 2018 and Dec 2018
Bite Café, Annual women’s art show in March for international women's month, 2018 and 2019
Bite Café, solo show, Chicago, April 2018
Village Tap Tavern, solo show, Chicago, April/May 2018
Morpho Gallery, Expressionist Treasure, curated by Sarah Braden, Chicago May 2018
Echoes of Chicago, Jan and March 2019
Arts Avenue NYC, “Resolutions” Jan 2019
Zhou B Art Center, Studio 305 group abstract show Feb 2019
Gold Star Bar Women’s Show March 2019
After Gallery, Air bnb, Milwaukee WI,
No Fear Dentistry, Madison WI, June 2019
Social Justice Center, Madison WI, ongoing live painting events from July- October 2019
Girls Create Art, New York, NY, Curated by Erica Freeman, August 2019
Open Arts and Music festival, Glendale, California, September 2019
Harvest Fest- annual cbd festival, Madison Oct 2019
Gallery Night, MCMA Art Walk, Local Motive Gallery October 2019
Private Live Painting Event, full moon party Oct 2019
Mt Horeb Holiday Craft Fair, Nov 2019
Freelance Design, SMM, and Photography Clients:
Collage Mural for private client 2019 (8x20ft wall)
Painted Mural for private client 2019 (9ftx10ft wall)
Tequila logo and branding (nda) Miami 2018
BrainFood Barcelona- cannabis branding in Spain 2018
Papercut Extracts- marketing consulting UK 2018
Trilogy Builds- SSM Breckenridge Colorado 2017
Theory Cuisine- start up/ current project food photography
Hyde Park Group Feb 2016- 2017 food photography, design, & social media strategy
Peterson Pictures- social media in 2016
LightBox Lofts- Fall 2016 Producer/ general service coordinator
Pepper Palace- Social Media Marketing & photography 2014-2016