Sarah McRae Morton grew up in rural Lancaster County Pennsylvania, where she still keeps a hayloft studio above the horse stalls in her family’s barn. Sarah attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania. She has studied chemical composition of paintings in Rome as well as studied with Odd Nerdrum in Norway. Sarah received a Mattisse Foundation fellowship for her work on the local history of West Virginia, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited across the country, including at the Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives and paints in Cologne, Germany.
“The past is not dead, it is not even past” – William Faulkner
Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories learned. The events and people illustrated are not bound by time or fact, but are imbued with ghosts and artifacts from cross sections of history. Sarah’s work is wildly romantic, with an earthy palate and energetic movement around the canvas that quiets on key moments – detailed renderings of the face of a bear, the lips of a lover, the fox stole around a poet’s neck. The paintings seem to flicker to life with her spirited brush strokes.