14: All is surface- finding inspiration for art while mothering with Sarah Boyts Yoder

Sarah Boys Yoder is a mixed media painter based in Charlottesville, VA. She is the mother of two children and I had a great time discussing Sarah’s studio practice as it transitioned from her working at home while her children were young to having more freedom and a studio out of the home now that they are older. There are so many rich moments in this conversation where Sarah elaborates about finding inspiration in the midst of motherhood, committing to a studio practice and her policy of “saying yes” during her early art career. We find out about her creative process and the way she uses cartoonish iconography, occasional text, and collage materials simultaneously, creating a complex and textured painterly surface.

After listening to this conversation, you will feel encouraged to know that your life is rich and pulsing with inspiration for your art practice…that inspiration can be found for making art even while doing the dishes or, as Sarah describes, reading children’s books with her kids on the floor of their bedroom.


Sarah received an MFA in painting from James Madison University and her work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions throughout the United States including Fresh Paint Magazine and Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.  Sarah has twice been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2013, 2014), she was awarded a professional fellowship from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2014. She was twice awarded a residency at 100W Corsicana in Texas.

Please go view more of Sarah’s work on her website (https://sarahboytsyoder.com/home.html) and connect with her on Instagram @sarahboytsyoder.

Sarah in her studio, courtesy of Kristen Finn @ksfinn
“Soft Focus Feeling”, Acrylic and spray paint on linen, 26″x20″, 2019
Sarah and her daughter in her studio
“Loud Lookout”, Acrylic, oilstick, spray paint on canvas, 57″x47″, 2019
Sarah’s studio
Sarah’s kids with her work behind them
“Laid Out”, Mixed media on paper construct, 16″x24″, 2017
Works on Paper, 2018
“Let Loose”, Acrylic, paint stick and ink on acetate, 15″x11″, 2019

1 Response

  1. Sarah’s comments were exactly what I needed to hear today. So many times I look around and ask myself, “Why am I even doing this?” It is so validating to hear other art-making mothers express the same frustrations and doubts that I wrestle with. I love this podcast!

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