Classically trained as a painter and illustrator at the Rhode Island School of Design, Sarah has since enjoyed a successful career in the graphic arts, with projects ranging from the design of marketing materials and branding systems, to the development of e-commerce websites. In 2019, Sarah expanded her graphic design services to include letterpress printing, utilizing antique equipment and techniques to create a beautiful line of handcrafted stationery, available at Affetto Press.
Today, Sarah works as both a graphic designer and a contemporary realist painter, with a focus on capturing still life subjects in oil. Perhaps most at home in her garden, she finds botanical subjects a delight to arrange and paint. What is more beautiful, albeit transient, than a flower?
“Painting flowers from life presents a unique and gratifying challenge, locking me into a short window of time, a fleeting moment before my subject begins to fade. And after the petals fall, the painting remains — flowers suspended in time.”
Painting is a very personal experience for Sarah, and her work is about personal connections to her subjects. She is inspired by the natural world in her botanical paintings. Her most recent works include paintings of family heirlooms. Here, Sarah seeks to capture the life of an object passed down—the worn beauty and characteristics, mood and associations that an object may carry for the beholder. Close study of her subjects and bringing them to life is what Sarah enjoys the most about painting.
Sarah Cassani paints out of her studio at The Art Center in the Washington Street Mills in downtown Dover, New Hampshire. Alongside her painting, she continues to operate Affetto Press, creating handmade letterpress stationery and custom paper goods on an antique printing press. When Sarah is not painting or printing, you can find her foraging for flowers and making bouquets with her daughter, Ella, which they sell at their small roadside stand in Eliot, Maine.