Sally was born in 1951 and brought up in Michigan. When asked how long she has been painting, she answers, "always". She graduated from University of Michigan with a very powerful degree in English and immediately started selling paintings and waiting tables to survive. Sally moved to Maine in the early seventies and fell in love with its beauty - a beauty of contrasts. The granite and the dark pines, the fields of snow and the sparkling sea. It quickly became her passion to paint New England life in its variety and harmony with nature.
In her paintings, she tells a story. She begins outside the painting and finishes inside the story. Very often the story lies within the details, obliging the storyteller to pay close attention. "I once received a letter from a man who had analyzed all the flags and sails in a big regatta painting, and had concluded that no wind could possibly be as capricious and wild on such a seemingly pleasant day. All the little people would have been in grave danger. I could only reply that I had arranged it so. Deliberately enabling keen observers of nature, like himself, to solve the riddle."
Of course, the message that came through to Sally was "pay attention and stay focused", which called all of her imaginative flights and detours into question. Then she remembered the old English major's standby, "willing suspension of disbelief", without which she feels she would surely be nowhere today. Whole worlds of possibility open when one does not pay attention too closely. This can spell salvation in February in Maine. That willing suspension of disbelief on the part of her collectors has taken Sally and her work to some unexpected and wonderful places.
Sally collects old photographs of coastal life and buildings. The artist takes much inspiration from them. Sometimes, she says she feels she can enter them and become part of another time, a time to which she has always been drawn. It is New England's deep connection to its past, in its architecture and industry and character, that makes her feel so open to it. She feels she never runs out of things to paint.
Opening her own gallery in Kennebunk Lower Village is the realization of a dream and opens the next chapter of her long and storied career. You will find Sally in the gallery, which also is home to her studio, most days and some evenings while teaching watercolor classes.