Sarah Amanda Jones creates minimalist, abstract watercolor paintings in limited color palettes. She paints to communicate the beauty of God through themes in nature, humanity, and the changing of the seasons.
Her work is collected by companies and private owners in London, Los Angeles, and all over the United States. Sarah is also a poet and writer, and the founder and CEO of coaching business, Introverted Alpha.
At the first stirrings of a new work, Sarah plans the theme, colors, and overall feeling she intends to convey.
On painting day, she lays several watercolor blocks on high counters all around her, as she likes to stand and move while she works; or if she’s doing big canvases, she lays them on the floor and walks around them to paint.
Just before painting, Sarah reviews her sketches and intention. Often with just one song on repeat in the background, she dives in, applying water or pencil to her first painting.
Then she deposits more water and color onto the paper, stopping as soon as it might be finished. (She takes cookies out of the oven the same way! She believes everything is best when fresh and given breathing room.)
As the paintings dry, she occasionally works more pigment in, but most of the action has already happened, all at first. When done, she writes an article about the series’s inspiration and shares everything with her audience, which is her favorite part!
I grew up in Alabama, under trees and traditions.
I loved the trees, especially when it rained and they glistened. In school, I fell in love with drawing and writing. As an art major in college, I discovered Japanese art; its minimalist beauty struck me.
Soon I started painting with watercolor and ink as prayer, and I enrolled in an art and theology program at a seminary in Los Angeles, to distill my faith. My family had gone to lots of different churches growing up, and I wanted to get to the essence of what was real.
At seminary, I learned that a mystic was someone who only wanted oneness with God. And a heretic was just someone who didn't gel with established tradition. “I’m a heretic-mystic!” I said.
For class, I wrote papers comparing Taoism with Christianity. In the library, I pulled books on Buddhism and Chinese medicine.
There were so many perspectives out there.
My world had been small, I thought. Maybe I was just a Christian because that's what I'd grown up with.
Soon I left seminary and the church altogether like a sweater that didn’t fit. I told my sister, “I want to know what the truth is. Whatever it is, I’m open, but I am going to find it.”
I continued painting about nature and spirituality, especially the ocean nearby, but soon my art dried up. Worship, which had been my only real impetus to paint, was gone.
For eight years, I read about the law of attraction, went to festivals in the desert, and sought to understand why we were all here or if maybe we were an accident of evolution. I was determined not to rely on fantasy to feel good.
When I would visit Alabama and go to church for family occasions, silent tears streamed down my face the whole service.
It seemed humble and beautiful.
But I thought that to believe what they did, I’d have to turn my brain off. And I wasn’t willing to do that. In San Francisco, I told my friend on her sofa, “I miss having something to worship.”
It was a painful season. I just wanted to know the truth so I could orient myself to that and find enduring purpose beyond my own pleasure or legacy or even what I could do for others in my lifetime. I loved what I was making with my coaching business, but I wanted to be part of something bigger.
One day, I moved to New York where I met someone who seemed larger than life to me. He told me new paradigms about people, the world, and "God souls," and it wasn't long until whatever he asked for, I gave him. We moved to Los Angeles and it was there, in Hollywood, that I discovered who he really was.
At that point, all the worship I’d been storing up in my heart towards him went straight onto God.
I flew back to Alabama, and the next day I was holding hands with my sister on the sofa. She said, “I know this has been painful, but I feel like God has been pursuing you this whole time.” That was exactly how I felt! Everything was brand new.
She and her husband gave me a Bible, and I felt scared and excited to open it.
One night in bed, I found a verse.
It was about how God’s kingdom is like a treasure in a field that we find and joyfully sell everything to get. Then the very next verse says we are like a pearl of great price that he, the merchant, joyfully sells everything to get!
“You’re my big treasure and I’m your little treasure!” I said. “And now we have each other.” I lay my head on my pillow. This was everything I ever wanted.
But I had questions. So every morning, I’d sit in my grandmother's living room where the light washed in through the bay window. I talked candidly with God, Bible open in my lap. I got to know him.
I asked him about himself, things that had kept me distant for all those years, and he showed me! I’d read, talk with him, and scrawl down inspirations. Later, I’d run out of the shower dripping to record impressions on my heart.
The days went on this way.
Today in my life, the best part of every day is him. He makes everything special, and he is stunningly beautiful.
As the artist of the universe and great lover of every human heart, all he wants is real intimacy with us. It is the privilege of a lifetime to communicate that the best I can through paintings, poems, and writings.
Thank you for being here, and get in touch! I'd love to hear from you.
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