Sarah Ciavarella

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Biography 

Sarah grew up in the small Minnesota town of Bemidji with a interest in art from an early age, always encouraged by her artistic mother.

When it was time for college, it was obvious that the only possible major was art. She first attended a two-year liberal arts school, Cottey College in Nevada, MO, where her studies included oil painting. Unfortunately, her painting professor passed away that first year and her artistic path took other directions.

Continuing her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she focused on print making, metal work and design; painting was still abandoned. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, a move to Southern California and a few seat-of-the-pants moves, she wound up in the graphics department of a military electronics company, where she worked for 10 years… still no painting.

Then came marriage and two daughters, who grew up way too fast as they all do. With the empty nest situation, the long-forgotten interest in painting started to creep back in as she remembered that’s when her mother started painting. So, why not now? With baby-steps and a lot of self-doubt, she signed up for a Greg LaRock workshop, scared to death! Greg was a wonderful teacher who gave her the kick-in-the-pants she needed and the long-forgotten interest in painting was renewed.

With a few more workshops and much studying of other painters’ work, she plugged along and the painting continually improved. She started to find some success and with it, a full-blown love of oil painting… finally!