Featured Artist- Sarah Ann Smith

Sarah Ann Smith lives in Hope, Maine (approximately two hours north of Portland and four hours south of the nearest point in Canada).  Hope (population 1313)  is just eight miles inland from her “metropolis” of Camden (population of about 5600 in winters, lots more in summer).

In 1997, she shares that she, her husband, son and “son-under-construction” left the rat race.  She and her husband had been U.S. Foreign Service Officers; he retired and she resigned to be a mom.  They moved to San Juan Island, Washington, and built what they thought would be their “forever” retirement home.  The school (only one on the island) wasn’t quite cutting it for their older son, so they decided to move.  Happily, they ended up in Camden, Maine, then 18 months ago moved to more land and a one-level (for senior years) house in Hope.   “Since I wasn’t born in Maine, I can’t really say I’m a Mainer, but I should be!  My birthplace was an accident of geography, and I am finally home where I belong:  in MAINE!”

Tell me a little about yourself.

Perpetually crazed I think!  I always want to do way more than there are hours in the day/lifetime.  I love art and color and cloth and have since I discovered sewing while aged in single digits.  Nearly 50 years later, things “cloth” are still my passion!

After living and traveling abroad for most of my life, at age 40, I resigned from the Foreign Service and am quite content to enjoy this beautiful country–perhaps with forays abroad every few years if I can afford it.  My past life influences my work and world view, but I am really inspired by the world around me and my friends and family.

As a kid, I always admired the kids who were good at art, and never thought I could do that.  However, I’ve learned that you can learn, and that you just need to practice. Do it, do it again, and keep doing it and eventually you get better.  Every quilt, every postcard, every sketch or doodle helps me improve.  I figure if I haven’t learned something from every piece I make, I’m not trying hard enough!  And I love it. I love the process of creation and love to share that with my students, friends, and folks in this group!

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I love the serendipity and joy of a card in my mailbox!

When did you start making postcards?

I don’t remember!  A decade or so ago maybe?  Maybe a bit longer?  They were an offshoot of the Artist Trading Card swaps that were so popular a while back.

How do you display your postcards?

On a cast-off thread spool rack in my studio, in a basket, and sometimes just propped against the salt shaker on the dining table!

What have been some of your favorite themes?

Alphabet, various artists, Fruit and Circles.

Tell me about your other interests.

Reading.  My family.  My critters (four cats and a pug, who appears to shed more than four cats combined!).  My quilty friends!  Exercise sometimes;  I NEED to do it, but don’t like it as much as I should!    I taught myself drawing (sort of) about 9 years ago, and have recently begun working on sketching more and using watercolors as a way to brainstorm ideas for quilts. I love photography, but haven’t had time to indulge that art form too much lately, but if I ever get to travel again, “have camera, USB cable and laptop, will travel!”

Postmark’d Art Supports the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is a national, grassroots organization whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. It holds a monthly online auction through its Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt project (named because the donated quilts are restricted to 9″ x 12″ to fit into a USPS Priority mail envelope). The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative has raised more than $591,000 since January 2006 and has awarded nine grants to fund research. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter and her mother had Alzheimer’s.

Eight members (Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone, Maureen Curlewis, Franki Kohler, Heather Lair, Karen Musgrave (organizer), Del Thomas, Laurie Walton and Lynn Woll) of Postmark’d Art donated postcards for AAQI’s June 2011 auction. The sale of the twenty-three donated postcards raised $916. You can see all of the donated postcards by visiting Postmark’d Art’s page on the AAQI website. Laurie Walton’s postcard Measure Up raised the most money when it sold for $85.

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