Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram late at night in bed… and then stumble upon something beautiful? That is exactly how I found Sarah Golden’s work. I fell in love with her original paintings and was so excited when I found out that she also did surface pattern work! We compiled a diverse collection of her patterns and included them all in the recent print survey. Sure enough, our audience ended up choosing Sunset Fields as one of their favorites.
Sarah Golden is a painter and a surface pattern designer living in Sacramento, California with her husband and twin girls. She loves working on many big paintings at once and pondering color. She block prints, collages, and paints both traditionally and digitally for her surface patterns. Sarah is always exploring texture, lines and dots in her bodies of work. And we can’t wait to carry a piece of her work with us when we launch the new Sunset Fields print.
Recently, we interviewed Sarah about her artistic process and her green thumb:
First, tell us a little bit about yourself & how you became an artist!
I’m a full time working artist in Sacramento, California. I started painting when my girls were 2, and I just got obsessed and painted A LOT. If you told me 10 years ago that I’d be painting for a living now, I would’ve laughed. Fabric design was always on my mind, but not painting, let alone abstraction. My kids as toddlers and the first years of me painting all happened at once, so it’s the feeling of just yesterday and a long time ago at the same time.
How do you find inspiration for your paintings and patterns?
Textiles are a huge influence, patterns in cloth, buildings, tissue boxes, papers, envelopes, ceramics, the tactile nature of it all just sets my mind on fire with possibility. Fabric design was where I started and branching out into paintings on canvas has been such a rewarding evolution, it is fabric after all.
I’ve noticed a lot of plants… do you have a green thumb?
Yes, I get really into growing vegetables in our garden and our houseplants. I kill my fair share as well, I use to think that didn’t mean I had a green thumb but that’s part of the learning and the cycle of it all, I suppose. I like to experiment and grow new things in the garden, this year I grew peanuts, I just harvested them this morning, enough for a couple handfuls, not productive at all, but fun. We compost, start seeds, have growing arches made from livestock panels that bend over walkways in between garden beds. They create wonderful lush arches of green with beans and peas growing up them, the kids love it, it’s quite magical. As for houseplants, I bought plants online for the first time this month, so more than I have a green thumb, plants just make me happy and I’m an optimist.
When you were creating this new Sunset Fields pattern for Kaleido Concepts, what was your inspiration?
I grew up in a rural area here in Northern California, lots of rice fields and farmland. When flying overhead I love how the different crops make different patterns on land. It’s an ongoing series of paintings exploring this idea.
How do you balance being an artist with your family life?
My painting studio is outside of the house right now, which has it’s pros and cons. My kids just started Kindergarten and the transition has been quite exhausting! But when I’m at the studio I’m working, when I’m home, it’s family time. I don’t really believe in balance, because chasing that feels unattainable, it swings wildly one way or the other and it’s just how it is. Kids get sick, deadlines all come together, sleep regressions, it’s all part of it.
Favorite place to travel?
I haven’t been there, but I can tell I’ll love Amsterdam. I have a cargo trike that I ride the girls to school, it fits four kids up front, it’s a fun ride. So we can experience that family bicycle culture just a little here in California.
We are OBSESSED with your original paintings. Tell us a little about your process. Do you paint them one by one? Or do you have a vision for an entire series at once?
I work on about 10 paintings at once, the more the better! I usually don’t have an idea until part of the way through and something will just click on a couple of the pieces, then I can just run with that idea and see where it takes me. It can be a color combo, addition of stripes or big blocks of color or painting away sections with white, whatever makes it exciting and feel like a collection.
Why are you excited to work with us on Kaleido Concepts travel products?
I feel immense joy by using things in my daily life with artwork on it that speaks to me. Functional artwork. If my work can do that for someone else with your products, that’s just thrilling to me.
What are some of your must-have travel essentials?
Chapstick and floss, those are two things that if I need and don’t have, it’ll drive me mad! Airpods, iPad, notebook/pencils, and most important I have activity zipper pouch for my kids. I pack these even for going out to a restaurant and can pull them out to keep them entertained with some stuff they haven’t seen in awhile. I’ll put some a few handfuls of blocks, some animal figurines, toy car, a little pad of paper and colored pencils, works great.
As a mom, what are some art techniques or materials that you use with your kids?
Watercolors are very kid friendly and I have these water brushes that hold water inside of the brush handle and you squeeze lightly and water goes down into the brush bristles, my kids love them. You don’t even have to have a cup of water to use them, works great.