We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah G. Keesen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah G., what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve been creating ever since I was a little child. At age 5, I remember having an “ah-ah” moment at a family reunion. All my relatives were complaining about their jobs and how they couldn’t wait til the weekend and for vacation to come. I thought to myself, “Why are they spending their lives going to jobs they don’t like day in and day out? When I grow up, I’m gonna do what I love for a living!”. That declaration stuck with me over the years, and I can actually say at this point in my life, it came to pass! I’ve always wanted to be a full time artist, creating and painting for a living. I love inspiring others to be creative and to “color outside the lines” of their regular routine. I’m all about igniting that God given creative spark in others and to go for those seemingly impossible dreams! There’s a quote I love by Les Brown that says, “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss you will still be among the stars!”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have an original style that has developed over the past 12 years. My work has the illusion of metal, stained glass, ceramic, leather and Raku. I use a palette knife to apply texture compounds to canvas and wood and then finish with layers of acrylic and metallic paints. My creations are vibrant and many are 3 dimensional “Wall Sculptures”. My main subject matter is all things TREE! I’ve always loved nature and especially trees. There’s so much symbolism in them and how they change with the seasons. Living in Colorado, I’m constantly being inspired with the beauty of the landscapes and of course, The Aspen. I have two different styles of Aspen paintings that I create, one is more of a stained glass look and the other is more Impressionistic. These paintings are some of my top sellers year round! Currently, I’m so excited about The Dream Tree Studio, my business located in the heart of Castle Rock, Colorado. I’ve been in the studio for almost a year and a half, but decided to get it ready for classes, events, and more this summer. Despite the challenges of Covid, my business has been growing and the feedback has been amazing!! I’ve had an increase in commissioned jobs and online sales too. I love having a place for people to get off the “beaten path” of life and take time to create, relax, have fun!! I could write a book on how I got to where I am today professionally and am actually planning on doing that! In the meantime, my journey to becoming a full time artist and owner of my studio has been filled with a lot of ups and downs! I would say my strong passion, vision, family, community and faith in God is what pulled me through every obstacle. I made my mind up long ago that I wasn’t going to give up on my dreams, no matter what!! I believe every person has a God given purpose and destiny beyond what we could ask, think or imagine. Our part is to give our all in discovering that and to keep that childlike wonder and belief. I will say it’s not an easy path, but the rewards are so worth it! In the past year, my focus has shifted from just self promotion of my art and business to promoting and helping others thrive in their creative giftings and work. The result of that change of mindset and approach has been that my business has actually grown even more than ever and I’ve been able to connect with so many amazing like minded people! We need each other in this world, and true authentic connection now more than ever! That being said, I truly look forward to the future of The Dream Tree Studio and the growth of my brand, purpose and mission. The motto ,”BE INSPIRED!” has always been a favorite of mine and simply states what I hope to achieve with my creative endeavors, my relationships and my life! No matter what work I create, class I teach or special event I host that’s one of my top goals, to inspire others and to open their hearts and minds again to believe that their dreams can still come true! With God ALL things are possible!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First place I would take my friend would be to take them to The Garden Of Gods in Colorado Springs and then to Manitou Springs to check out all the eclectic shops and galleries. Then I would take them to eat at Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church in Castle Rock for amazing italian food and atmosphere. The next day, I’d take my friend to explore The Barn and The Emporium Shops for some unique gift shopping. We could grab a coffe e from Lost Coffee on Perry St. and stroll through Festival Park in Castle Rock. The next day I’d take them to the Denver Art Museum and then head to 16th Street mall to have a bite to eat there. For the last day, we’d take a day trip to Estes Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many people I could give a SHOUTOUT to that have helped me on my journey and for where I am in my creative journey! My husband John has been such a HUGE support of my crazy dreams and creative endeavors! My parents have had my back from day one and gave my artistic gifts a chance to spread their wings! I’ve had so many friends help me at shows, at the studio, support me financially and emotionally in the lean times. I ultimately give thanks to God and for bringing me through impossible odds to allow me to be living my dream!
Katie Gonzalez with Katching Moments Photography