Biography of Artist Sarah Pederson

Artist Statement

I strive to create artwork that portrays the beauty of nature and of life, with a feeling of calmness and tranquility. Oh, and sometimes I throw in something a little quirky too, just because.

Sarah Pederson standing in front of her 100 Extraordinary Women mural at the Westby Area Performing Arts Center.

Artist Biography

I am a self-taught artist without any formal art training after high school. I did have one drawing course in college, but unfortunately didn’t really learn anything new. As a teenager I loved drawing. I thought about being an artist like my Dad, but I was incredibly shy and had no idea where to even start. So I chose a route that would give me more options. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing.

I got married while I had one year left of college, because I found the love of my life.

Sarah with her husband, Kurt.

After graduation, my marketing career led me to work for WKOW-TV and WXOW-TV in Wisconsin, Butler County Health Care Center in Nebraska, and Robert Half International in Oregon. After the birth of our son, my husband and I returned to our roots in southwestern Wisconsin to be closer to family. We bought a cozy home in a small community so I could be a stay-at-home mom, and I used the walls of our home as a blank canvas. I started simply with stencils at that point and then painted simple designs freehand.

By the time our son was in school, I knew I wanted to paint murals and I particularly enjoyed trompe l’oeil (pronounced “tromp-loy,” meaning: to fool the eye) artwork. So I took time to carefully set up my business plan while educating myself in that specialized niche. I studied books and videos of other successful artists, immersed myself in online forums related to decorative/faux painting, and gathered as much knowledge as I could. I painted my very first mural in our home in November 2011 (to make sure I could do it!) and then I opened my business the following March.

Black Capped Chickadee standing on a fence. This is the first bird Sarah ever painted.
Black Capped Chickadee in my First Mural.


Hobbies & Interests

These past few years, my husband, son and I have become avid geocachers. We love that it gets us out into nature, finding new hiking trails and discovering places we never knew existed. I love to watch birds and animals, plant flowers, and go camping, fishing, hiking and biking. It is safe to say I enjoy nature.

A single red rose is painted on a small canvas that looks like a present with pale yellow coloring. Rose has one 3-leaf branch and appears to be tied on with brown twine in a simple bow.
“Red Rose” 5×5 inch

Every single day, I read (especially science fiction books.) It helps that our local library is only a few blocks away! As an introvert, I have no problem locking myself in a room and spending the day reading a good book when the opportunity arises.

I love spending time with my family. I have incredibly supportive and loving parents and in-laws, family and friends. My husband is my biggest fan and provides the most honest critiques of my artwork. We also expanded our family in 2015 when my beautiful step-daughter married her best friend…and I can’t wait until they expand their own family in 2020!  = )

My daughter and son-in-law.

On a personal note…

After struggling for years with secondary infertility, we had a pregnancy that unfortunately ended in pre-term labor on November 16, 2009. Our Alexa Marie lived for only an hour. We are grateful to  Gundersen Medical Center for providing us with precious photos and mementos. The organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep also provided a professional photographer that day to give us lasting memories of our daughter, free of charge (thank you, Megan McCluskey.) NILMDTS provides a form of art that no one else can, at a time when you feel like your entire world has ended. Please consider donating to NILMDTS for their amazing gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby.

Alexa in my arms
Alexa Marie 11.16.09