I paint in the American Impressionist and plein air tradition, focusing on color, light, and atmosphere. I pay close attention to the key of the light at the specific time that I’m painting (whether it’s a bright sunny afternoon, or a cloudy overcast day, or a hazy orange sunset).

I particularly love painting in the late afternoon and evening. In that time after the sun sets, between full daylight and complete darkness, there's a really unique quality to the light. On painting trips, I’ll begin with one small panel, and then start another as the light changes rapidly in the evening, resulting with a series showing the progression of the sunset. I love the magic of this mysterious blue hour. It’s a space existing between dream and reality, and a place of change and promise.

It’s amazing to me (and insightful) that the same landscape that was full of bright greens in daylight can become deep red and purple as the sun sets, and after.


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Sarah Wardell was born and grew up in Fairfax, VA. She studied at Virginia Tech, graduating in 2002 with a B.A. in Graphic Design and a minor in Humanities and the Arts. After moving to Annapolis in 2002, Sarah has studied with nationally known portrait painters Cedric and Joanette Egeli, as well as talented impressionists John Ebersberger and Abigail McBride, and with classical realist Edward J. Reed.

She currently lives in Crownsville, MD, and enjoys painting in the Annapolis, DC, and Baltimore area. She visits and paints in southern VA and in Provincetown, MA.

Sarah shows her work at the Egeli Gallery in Provincetown, MA, at the McBride Gallery in Annapolis, and at the Benfield Gallery in Severna Park. Her last solo show, Airscapes II, was at Gallery 1448 in Baltimore.

She is one of six artists in The Maryland Colorists, a group of like-minded painters who paint and exhibit together in the Maryland area. She is also currently a board member of the Maryland Society of Portrait Painters.

Artists that have influenced and inspired her include: John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Henry Hensche, Claude Monet, Alphonse Mucha, and Wolf Kahn. Also, teachers and renowned artists Cedric and Joanette Egeli, John Ebersberger, Abigail McBride, Edward Reed, Robert Liberace, and Danni Dawson.