Painter Annalisa Sawtell Turns the Ordinary Extraordinary

by | May 2024

Annalisa Sawtell

Annalisa Sawtell. Photos: Chris Emeott

Excelsior artist finds inspiration in the beauty that surrounds her.

It’s the flowers waving in the meadow, the emerging spring blooms and the welcoming gardens she walks by that provide her creative inspiration. Annalisa Sawtell of Excelsior is an artist who uses natural beauty as her muse and is grateful to live and work in a community that places a high value on art and naturescapes.

“If you walk around the town, you will see so many variations of flowers. And as simple as it sounds, I’m drawn to the things that look ordinary, but when you get closer, you see the beauty,” Sawtell says.

Art has always been a lifelong love of Sawtell’s. As a self-taught artist, she uses her faith to lead her art as she explores the grace that surrounds her. She works primarily in naturally pigmented oil paints, using both brushes and knives to replicate on canvas the natural world, expressly florals and other organics, she discovers on regular walks around town or through photographs she takes to use as artistic reference points for her work.

"The Beauty of Walking with Jesus"

“The Beauty of Walking with Jesus”

At the heart of Sawtell’s work are commissioned pieces, which give her the greatest amount of artistic joy. Clients share their vision and meaning behind the commission, and she appreciates this part of the creative process, allowing her, in many cases, to provide encouragement through her art. “It’s the symbolism that speaks to someone’s life story,” she says. Each commissioned piece comes with a written note, which Sawtell pens to capture not only the client’s story, but the grace within the painting.

Whether clients purchase a commissioned piece, other paintings or a set of stationery, Sawtell hopes clients find her work both colorful and calming. “I used to think I had to choose one or the other, but like so many beloved elements of this world from gardens to wide open fields, things can be both docile and upliftingly colorful,” she says.

"Early Autumn Sunflower"

“Early Autumn Sunflower”

A Mother’s Gift

Annalisa Sawtell features a birth month series of paintings, which was created with a specific celebration in mind—Mother’s Day. “… I thought it would be just the sweetest gift for each of a mother’s children,” she says. The series consists of 12 flowers, one for each month of the year, meant to serve as a representation of each child in the family. Since she began offering the series, the paintings have become popular with customers well beyond Mother’s Day and are being used to mark many of life’s important moments.

Annalisa Sawtell
Instagram: @annalisavsawtell
(prints: $15–$45; oil paintings: $125–$1,250)


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