About the Artist, Sarah Soward


Sarah Soward is an oil painter with a focus on endangered wildlife and color. She holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts (view her art C.V.). Her work shows in the United States and in Europe. Her artwork and writing were published starting from an early age. One of her paintings was acquired by the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. More recently, her work was accepted into the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 and 2015 exhibitions at the Mall Gallery in London, England, with her giraffe painting, Sky Creature, ending up in both the Londonist and the BBC Wildlife Magazine. She currently has two rhinoceros paintings traveling with the Artist4Rhino exhibition in Italy. 

Some of her endeavors outside oil painting include teaching design theory, web development, UX/UI, and the Adobe Creative Suite at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), AcademyX, Sonic Training, and for on site custom trainings for a decade. She designs print and web collateral, web based animations, and was the developer and consultant on many web projects. Clients of note include Cal Shakes, Samsung, Kaiser's LMPartnership, and SalesForce Foundation. Sarah was a technical editor on the HTML5 Mobile Development Cookbook and coauthored the WordPress and Flash Cookbook. She did the Flash animation and coding on the Inspire Change Online Storytelling Tool for Kaiser Permanente that won a Gold Quill Excellence Award in 2013.

Read "About my Backbone" for a more personal side to Sarah Soward's art story.

You are also welcome to view Sarah's design portfolio.


Below is an excerpt from Sarah's artist bio about the Rhinotopia® series:


I’ve been painting rhinos off and on and in fits and starts since 1999. I am obsessed with them: Their shapes and negative spaces, their wrinkles and horns, the hairy ones, the armored ones, the stoic ones rolling in mud. The first paintings were made because a friend needed a wedding present. In my process of research and study, I fell in love.

Those first paintings were, for the most part, even more surreal and often more abstract than my current series, Rhinotopia®. The very first three rhino paintings I made had amorphic backgrounds and were a bit abstract. One of them was even called Marriage. The painting that my friend and her new husband decided on was not that one. They chose a different painting altogether. It was made after a fire in my studio apartment and was very...flame oriented.

The Rhinotopia® series is about form, paint, light, and composition. However, it also takes storytelling and my desire to share into larger account. In each painting, I tie the rhino to the sacred. Sometimes a painting will have a specific myth gently mentioned within it. Other times I look to general characteristics of an archetype/deity and portray those in the painting. I am not an expert in world religions and mythology. I’m a student of it all, and I like to share what I learn.

In my paintings, I immortalize the rhino. In real life—outside my canvases—I donate a percentage of what I am paid for each piece of rhino art to the International Rhino Foundation (www.rhinos.org). In addition to being an artist, I’m also a conservationist.

Exhibitions Of note:


For inquiries, please contact Sarah at sarah@sarahsoward.com.