Sarah Cassani has worked as an artist and designer for nearly 20 years.
Classically trained as a painter and illustrator at the Rhode Island School of Design, Sarah worked in southern Maine and New Hampshire art galleries upon graduating. Her work then transitioned to graphic design, and she was employed by publishing and tech companies in the Boston area. In 2006, Sarah opened her freelance design business, Sarah Cassani Creative. She has since enjoyed a successful career in the graphic arts, designing children’s books, marketing materials, trade show displays, branding systems, and websites. In 2019, Sarah expanded her services to include letterpress printing, and launched Affetto Press — a line of handmade stationery.
While Sarah enjoys working as a graphic artist, she has also longed to return to the fine arts and create more personal work. This became more necessary than ever following the unexpected loss of her Mom — it was then that Sarah discovered painting as an essential form of her own self care, as she struggled with the heavy emotions of grief. For Sarah, creating is a therapeutic act, a way to slow down and process emotions and experiences while transferring the subject to canvas.
Sarah focuses primarily on the still life in her paintings. Perhaps most at home in her garden, she finds botanical subjects a delight to arrange and to 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. I am inspired by the beauty of the natural world, and throughout the painting process I allow my mind to wander, reflecting on personal experiences, nostalgia, joys and anxieties. As much a result of grief as a result of love, I see painting as a meditation of sorts, after which I feel light again.”
Sarah Cassani paints out of her studio in Eliot, Maine. Alongside her painting, she continues to operate Affetto Press, creating handmade letterpress stationery and custom paper goods on an antique printing press.