The United States in Art


I love this country.

I love traveling and seeing her dramatic changes as you drive from the seaside in New York to the vast plains of Kansas, the red rocks in Arizona to jagged peaks of Wyoming.

If you've seen my list of 100 Things you'll notice that #1 is "See all 50 States." As I wrote and rewrote my list over the years, #1 has been a constant. I will see all 50 states. 13 to go as of now.

I've been able to recite all 50 states in alphabetical order since 4th grade and I often sit and marvel over the US map the way most of us marvel over the gorgeous pages of or the Picasso's in the MoMA.

It seemed natural for me to start a series of USA related paintings.... 

I'm on #12 right now and I haven't gotten bored (a common problem for me when I try to do a series.) Each illustration is a combination of watercolor and acrylic and there will be a minimum of 51- the 51st being the US itself.

Each painting will be accompanied by a small replica in the form of a necklace. I started uploading some prints to Etsy and the US necklace is also available as of now! I've been wearing it around for the past few days and it makes me think of road trips and amazing travels.

I'm in love with this project and I'm thinking about approaching small galleries to see if I can have a show when it's complete. I have no idea how to do that- any artists out there have any advice about that?

A show in a gallery would pretty much make my life.. :)


  1. I'm not an artist but I love this idea!
    Very cute.

  2. They're really beautiful, Sarah!
    Best of luck to you in finding a gallery or some sort. :)

  3. Love the New York one (where I currently live), but will be waiting anxiously for Oklahoma (where my heart will always be!). Great series.

  4. First, these are adorable. They are very textile inspired that is so you!

    Most small galleries you can get into through networking. Usually they are looking for some diversity in materials, 2D, 3D, etc. for a series, but it depends on the gallery's mission.

    You could think about extending the series with textiles - like screening onto stretched printed linens as a reverse of what paintings you're already doing. You could also cover 3D objects with printed fabric in the same way.

    I'm inspired! :)

  5. This is such an awesome idea/series. I really love the designs!

    Can't believe you only have 13 states to go, I hope to see all 50 states someday as well :)

  6. love this! will yo be doing state necklaces too? or maybe a charm bracelet so you can add all the states you have love for? just a though... JB.

  7. what a great idea! i love this. and have to agree with valerie on the oklahoma love :)

  8. you can also apply for a grant since you have an idea.

    depends on how organized the gallery is- the more organized spaces usually book their shows out for a year. :) go and make friends with a curator or gallery space. i started getting into small galleries by applying for the large group shows and attending some meetings of art organizations.

  9. i love this, it's so original, & very pretty!

    Good luck with the quest for a gallery show, that would be amazing :)

    Katie x

  10. I love the necklace!
    VERY cute project. :)
    I would LOVE to see ALL 50 States as well. Unfortunately, I've a lot to go!
    I love your blog!
    That's awesome that you're an artist!

    Take care!

    - MISSA

  11. Amazing! Its my biggest dream to travel all 50 states too as well as drive cross country. I just love your painting series, what a great idea!
    Good luck with finding a gallery.

  12. ooooh, and I'm glad you mentioned your pinterest. Im obsessed! And now following you.

  13. You can always look into having a show at a coffee house as well. In the area I lived in (while at university), there was one coffee shop in particular that was known for having art regularly upon their walls. I managed to be part of a group show there, and sold 9 out of 10 paintings. I happened to know the people that were going to be in that particular show, but there was also a way to contact the guy who was in charge of curating the rotating shows.

  14. Thanks for the summiting tips! I've done a lot of hiking, and I've gotton soo close to a summit (Sulpher Mountain in Banff, which is super touristy) but we mis-calculated the time and it was getting dark so we had to head back. (Which was nerve racking, because of the abundance of wildlife around the area). I now have a trail picked out for my first summit, (I can actually see the peak from my balcony) and it's called Ha Ling peak. It's a 5 hour in total hike and only minimal scrambling. I can't wait to do it and I'm sure I will share the experience once it happens.


    P.S. I totally love the "wear your country" movement that is happening right now! Yay Patriotism!

  15. I love this idea esp. since it is based upon a lifelong goal of yours! So fantastic! Your art is always so the necklaces too! I so enjoy seeing different and new changes to your exciting! I'm thinking of some changes too! :) -Lo

  16. I want Maine and Georgia! When you have them both, can I get them together?

  17. i really really really would like the Oregon print when you get to it. love this.

  18. looove this post! great blog x

  19. This is is beautiful, Sarah! I can't wait to see what Texas looks like!

    Oh my gosh, I also can recite all 50 states in alphabetical order! My teacher taught our class how to do it in a song in the 3rd grade haha! That makes us extra cool ;)


  20. That necklace is gooooorgeous! I think you have motivated me to get a job asap (well, when my visa kicks in...) so I can get that baby!

    Really though, I have such a hard time showing off my "American pride" without looking tacky, but I think this little beauty will do the trick :)

  21. Aww I love these! I think it would look nice with all of them on a big poster.

  22. That sounds like such a great idea for a series. You'd never run out of inspiration. Good luck!

  23. These are really sweet! You should connect them all - would make a really cool painting/poster!

  24. I gotta say: I so admire your bravery for starting this project and loving what you do so much that you are willing to share it/sell it. Such a confidence to want to start up such a big project!

    I love the "Maine" chevron one -- my favorite so far!

  25. LOVE these Sarah! And love the passion you have for our land. I get my head caught up in politics and things sometimes and forget to just ENJOY the beauty and awesomeness that is our great country! Part of the reason I love your blog is your interest in local and low key areas and traveling across the US. :)