Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interview with Sarah Scholl Bowie - Art Ambassadress

The lovely Sarah Scholl Bowie is truly a work of art herself. She has filled her home with an abundant (and growing) collection of original art that is absolutely staggering, as you soon will discover as you look through these photographs of her collection (which, I'm sure, is just the tip of the iceberg). It's always fun to do an interview with an artist, but I have never done one with a collector - this will be my first and I'm thrilled that Sarah agreed.

When did you start collecting art and what inspired you to begin your collection?

When I left my parents' house I "liberated" a few of my uncle's paintings - before he became the musical composer Harvey Schmidt, he was a commercial artist. I also had 2 paintings by a friend of Harvey's and then 5 years ago I made friends with the artist Leisa Shannon Corbett and realized I could afford art from someone OUTSIDE the family! An impulse purchase from a gallery in Golden 2 years ago led me to Carol Nelson's work and Daily Painters - the collection mushroomed from there.

What do you think your collection says about you?

It certainly shows my love for color and pattern, but there are also strong subject themes - women are probably the most prevalent theme (I'm a motherless daughter), minimalist landscapes, art-within-art. I love hanging paintings in color or theme groups, and that shows one of the quirks of my brain - a relentless search for patterns in everything.

What is your art buying experience like - do you go into it with something in mind or do you discover new art/artists organically?

It's a combination of both, and the internet makes that so easy. Yes, I have been known to search on Etsy for something like "orange sun" or "green nude."

What are your turn-offs when shopping for art - aka, what would make you not buy when you otherwise would?

I am so spoiled by Pay Pal buttons that now I hesitate to purchase any other way - although I did mail a check for a beagle watercolor earlier this year!

Do you look for art that is ready to hang or are you open to art that will need framing to be hung? When it comes to canvases, do you prefer the sides of the canvas to be painted?

I definitely prefer ready-to-hang art because that frees up more money to buy more paintings! I prefer the canvas sides to be painted although I do have many hanging in my house with the edges still white and I've gotten used to that look.

When it comes to shipping, do you have a certain expectation about the package you will receive or does the packaging not matter to you (as long as it gets there safely, that is)?

I am always impressed by the care that artists take when shipping their work. But when they use so much tape that cutting into the box feels like I'm doing a C-section, I get frustrated. A lot of my purchases are shipped to my office and my manager has complained the cutting and ripping of boxes is too noisy in our open cube environment. (So now I drag the boxes into a meeting room to unpack them, LOL.)

You purchased one of my paintings on Etsy. Is Etsy the only place you buy art online or are there other sites you frequent?

Etsy has become my primary site because of the great range of prices, but I have bought many paintings from Daily Painters. I've also bought from Daily Painter Originals, artist websites and eBay.

Is there something we, as artists, could do/say/show to make our art more appealing to buyers?

I think you and hundreds of other artists I follow are doing a fantastic job. I can hardly resist you on any given day. I can't imagine how you could make yourselves MORE appealing!

Finally, what are your hopes for the future as a collector?

I hope I can slow down my rate of collecting so that it doesn't feel so compulsive. I would also love it if my collecting inspires other people to buy original art - that's part of why I show so many paintings on Facebook. I also hope my collection stays safe for many years - there's a burned-out house in our neighborhood and every time I drive by it, I shudder!

Many thanks to Sarah for a wonderful interview and peak into her art-filled home! Visit Sarah's blog at


SarahBowie said...

Thank you, Jessica! Beautifully done!

Carol Nelson said...

Very nice interview, with thoughtful questions, Jessica.
I did not know that Sarah's purchase of one of my paintings in a gallery in Golden, CO, was the BEGINNING!

Deana Mattos said...

Fantastic interview. I love getting some insight on the buyer side of art, as I try myself to make the experience pleasant. It has been most enjoyable peeking into Sarah's collection. I too enjoy collecting original art and hope to someday have a collection to rival hers. lol that may take awhile.
It is so nice to see someone get so much pleasure in art. Thanks Jessica (a fabulous artist) and Sarah for sharing with us.

SarahBowie said...

Carol, try not to feel too guilty for your role in things :)

Unknown said...

This is honestly one of my favorite blog posts in a long while. Thank you all for your comments. The part where you talk about packing tape and it being like a C section to get into the package cracked me up Sarah! You are not only a fabulous art collector, you have one heck of a great sense of humor as well - my kind of gal!

SarahBowie said...

Thanks, Jessica! There was one large painting by Susan Cox that she had taped to all the inside corners of the box so it wouldn't shift - I had to tug and tug and tug and cut - my manager was going, "Sarah, shusssh, I'm on the phone!" Could not get that baby OUT!

Ruth Sarkari said...

Sarah Bowie is certainly one of a kind special gal. I have known her for the past 10+ years and she has a wonderful gift of narration and writing and oh so funny! I will have to visit her again and request an "Art Tour" of the house! It's amazingly and so beautifully filled up with colors and good pieces of affordable art :-)

irenecorey said...

Now I get it, Sarah you are able to hang so much art without a hodgepodge of clutter. Your arrangements by color, size and design are an art form and also explain your choices. I'm happy to see some of mine comfortably at home.
Thank you for helping me understand how to label my work on etsy by describing it as watermelon (for example) rather than Summertime. hmmm.

Marcia said...

Fabulous post, Jessica! Aside from Sarah's witty comments, I really enjoyed seeing the inside of the home of a true art lover! I love the way the pieces are hung in groupings and how every available space has art (even above the kitchen cabinets!). I will admit I am a bit of a voyeur -- I go to every open house in our neighborhood just to get a peek at how people have decorated their homes. I think I should have gone into interior design.'s never too late, maybe I will!!

canvas artwork said...

amazing artwork i must say

Unknown said...

Thanks Sarah for being an interesting person and generous collector. I remember when you told me that I showed you collecting art was not just for rich people. Thank you Jessica for r showing one of my paintings in each photo in the article.

Kendra Zvonik said...

great interview--thoughtful questions and compassionate & useful answers! congrats on your wonderful collection.

Mobile Art Lounge said...

Great insight in this interview + your art is awesome! Would love for you to share on our site if you're interested!

Unknown said...

I'm so pleased that several of my paintings are in your collection.
And I actually know Carol, my studio is in Golden, CO. What a great artist to start you collection.