Sarah Lacy

Home: Ottawa, Ontario
Title: Unlabelled (Doreen)
Media: Oil on Arches oil-primed paper
Dimensions: 50 x 50 cm

Artist Statement

I spotted Doreen at my husband’s work Christmas party. Tall and striking, there was something captivating about her face. She seemed so at home in herself, so self-assured. I wanted to explore that strength of character through painting. Portraiture, for me, is an act of un-labelling. I wanted to paint the woman beneath the external labels – mother, daughter, wife, and employee. We all carry our verbal definitions with us every day, and Doreen was no different. Without labels, portraiture becomes about connecting to and truthfully painting the character that lays just beneath the surface our features. Faces reveal so much about who we truly, deeply are. They tell stories, whisper secrets. They impart our truths – are we kind? Cruel? Content? Generous? Angry? Bitter? We all want to be truly seen, to be witnessed as we really are, beneath our labels, beneath our titles. And we all deserve to be seen honestly, with dignity and grace, at least once in our lives.


I am a traditional realist painter and draughtswoman who makes art about humanity, grace and connection. I work primarily from life and the human figure in oil & pencil, drawing on several concepts and theories from Baroque & Rococo art.I have been in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, and my work hangs in private collections in North America & Europe. From 2011-2013, I studied classical contemporary painting & drawing in France under master artists Timothy Stotz and N. Michelle Tully at their atelier, Studio Escalier.