Edsall preserves the past in paintings


December 11, 2022

As one of the featured artists this month, Sage Edsall was present at Graceful Arts Gallery during the Alva First Friday Art Walk Dec. 2.

Edsall currently lives in Woodward, having moved there after marrying her husband Tim in September 2021. Her early years were spent in Darrouzett, Texas, close to Perryton in the Texas panhandle. However, she graduated from Aline-Cleo High School in northwestern Oklahoma.

"I have loved art ever since kindergarten. I can remember drawing unicorns with horns the size of witches' hats," she said.

"My mom was really instrumental in pushing me to grow in my artistic side. We would do arts and crafts at home and she would always encourage me to continue drawing," Edsall said. "And also, my grandmother, my dad's mom Patricia Kinsey, she was a painter as well. I learned little tips and tricks from her, and looking at her artwork really inspired me."

It is fortunate Edsall had all that art help at home because she went to school in a lot of small towns that didn't offer art classes. She went on to pursue a bachelor's of fine arts at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

"When I went into OPSU, I kind of went in with big eyes and wanted to learn everything I possibly could. And I certainly did. I spent five years out there at Goodwell and got my degree," Edsall said. She had an emphasis in drawing and painting and also had a minor in education, Most of her family was in education, and she thought she might like to teach art.

Unsure of where she wanted to go with her artistic career, Edsall started looking into grad school. She decided to attend West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. She spent two and one-half years there. "I learned a whole lot of other things I hadn't learned at OPSU. It kind of opened my eyes to a little bit different part of the art world," she said. With the encouragement of a professor, she agreed to teach as a grad student. She taught Drawing I under his supervision.

"After I finished with my master's degree in December 2019, I actually applied for a job at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, right next door, right on the campus of WT, and was accepted," Edsall said. "I started working in February 2020 there in the education department. That was a great experience.

"We got to travel to a bunch of schools in the Texas panhandle and teach kids art, some that may not have had art classes available to them. I felt a special connection with those kids because growing up I didn't have any art classes in high school. We would bring a trunk of supplies and teach a little art lesson. It was so great to see the kids' faces light up. That was a great experience, loved it."

After her marriage and her move to Woodward, Edsall continues to paint and draw and keep art in her life. "I am working in a little place in Woodward right now where I currently have my art on display. I still love acrylic painting. That was my first love. I did my first acrylic painting back when I was a freshman in high school."

Edsall has found a new source of ideas for her paintings. "So currently I've been inspired by photographs from my grandma's collection. They're very old family historical photographs. Many of them she has written on the back so we know who they are. But some of them are mysteries," she said. "A few of the pieces that I have on display here at the Graceful Arts Gallery are inspired by those photographs.

"A couple of them, I don't know who is in the photograph but that is what draws me to use those as a reference. Because once we pass on and pass those down to younger generations and there's not the handwriting on the back so we don't know who it is, that person is kind of lost from memory. There's no one to ask 'who is this person?' So I'm trying to keep those people ... alive in my paintings so they can live on a little bit longer."

Most of the paintings displayed at Graceful Arts have a little western flair. Edsall didn't grow up in the country "but I did grow up with a dad who's into cattle, he still has cattle and now my parents live out in the country." She has also pulled photos from her husband's grandparents for reference which follow the cowboy and western theme.

Many of the photos are in black and white so she has to choose the color palette which may or may not be correct. "That's kind of the fun part of it. Getting to use my artistic license and add color where there was not color before," she said.

To learn more about Edsall and see more of her work, check her out on Instagram at Sage.Edsall.art or look for her on Facebook at Sage Kinsey Edsall Art and Photography.

A video of her interview may be seen at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.


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