Introducing Pop-Up Artist, Sarah Riley

During the Lake Superior 20/20 Studio & Art Tour, hosts open their studios to guest artists. But as a bonus opportunity for our visitors to see more art, they also invite pop-up artists who make small batch work or are just starting out. Sarah Riley is a popular Minneapolis based artist who will be joining us as a pop-up featuring her vibrant paintings. Sarah is well known for her commissioned portrait work as well as fun pop culture references and nature inspired work. We hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Sarah and her work!

What do you like the most about visiting the North Shore?

 I lived in the Twin Ports area for around 10 years. I moved there to attend college and grad school, and it is still one of my favorite places to visit.  Lake Superior, the surrounding beaches, the waterfalls and hiking areas are extremely beautiful. Also, the local art scene is awesome and growing all the time.

As a new artist in the tour, what are you looking forward to?

This will be my first time participating in the tour and I’m so excited and honored to be part of it.  I’m brand new at pursuing art full time and I am so grateful for the exposure and the experience. The beautiful area inspires the artists to create, and the beautiful art inspires art lovers and adventurers to visit the area; it’s a really wonderful concept all around.  

Pollinator Potnia by Sarah Riley

What is it that you enjoy about working in your medium?

My main medium of choice is oil painting; painting with oils is my absolute favorite thing to do. I never get tired of it.  It’s so flexible, the possibilities are truly endless; there are always new techniques to explore and I feel like I learn something new with every painting I make.  It is extremely captivating and fulfilling. The colors are so vivid and luminescent, and the texture is so thick and buttery. Because oil paint takes so long to dry it allows you to continue to blend and work until you achieve your desired effect.  You can premix the colors on a palette, and you can also continue to blend the colors on the canvas. You can create such soft smooth blends, which are perfect for creating realistic flesh tones and textures, but you can also build up the paint thickly for more expressionistic effects.  Oil paint has a reputation for being extremely daunting, but really I think it’s one of the most approachable and friendly mediums out there. If you have an inkling to try it, you should absolutely go for it.

You can find Sarah at the Larsmont Schoolhouse stop on the tour. For more about Sarah visit artbysarahriley.smugmug.com. For more information about the studio stop where you can find her during the tour, click the button below: