Sarah Richards Samuelson was born in 1974 and was raised in Bountiful, Utah by her father, who was a teacher, and a mother who ran a floral business out of her home. Sarah remembers eavesdropping on her mother and her clients as they made plans for upcoming events. She enjoyed accompanying her mother to the floral wholesaler to pick out flowers. “I loved standing in the cooler, looking at all the different flowers from all over the world. It was fascinating to learn where they came from and I always returned home with a little flower or scrap of ribbon that otherwise would have headed to the trash.” These treasures from the florist gave Sarah the inspiration to draw and create. She would carefully examine each flower, even as they fell apart, to learn how to re-construct them on paper. The ribbons and flowers were sometimes pressed in books for later study. Sarah would repeatedly mix her crayons and paints until she could easily duplicate the beautiful dusty blues, mauves and teals.
Sarah kept busy in school making cards for friends and was hired at a very young age to make birthday cards for others. Having four brothers, Sarah became adept at drawing sports figures and fast cars, but even then, the image was almost always embellished with flowers. An illustration of a red jaguar in high school helped earn her an illustration scholarship to BYU. Sarah explains how she continues to draw inspiration: “I take thousands of photos and collect images just to feed me, but I don’t paint from them. I paint from my own experience or from life.” Sarah is grateful how the world, since college, has turned digital, allowing her to take as many photos as needed and providing immediate feedback. She collects and studies those photos today - taking note of the color combinations and compositions - just as she collected and studied those flowers and ribbons as a little girl.
After graduating from BYU in 1996 with a BFA in illustration, Sarah served an LDS mission in South Texas. She has taught many art classes at Utah Valley University and developed a love for teaching. Sarah has had multiple solo exhibits at The Springville Museum of Art and the BYU Library, as well as being accepted into many juried group exhibits. Her work is found in various permanent public and private collections including The Springville Museum of Art, the Governor's suite in the Utah State Capitol Building and The University of Utah. She is the mother of three beautiful daughters who fill her world. She loves having them with her in the studio where she loves to paint.