Sarah grew up in Teesside and studied graphics and illustration at Leeds Metropolitan University. She's previously been a graphic designer in Glasgow and a primary teacher in Blyth, but is now settled in Morpeth working as an artist, and is very happy to be moving into a studio at Gallery 45 in Felton.
Sarah's preferred medium is watercolour and she loves to paint landscapes, townscapes and illustrated maps. They begin as pen drawings and evolve into busy, layered compositions which reflect her love of detail and colour. Much of Sarah's work is commissioned, and it includes maps for the National Trust, Alnwick Garden and Howick Hall.
What inspires Sarah Farooqi?
I remember copying pictures out of bird books when I was tiny, I grew up drawing the blast furnace at Redcar, and when I settled in Northumberland I was spoilt for choice with the windswept Northumberland coastline and its lighthouses, castles and wildlife. There are also many interesting stories to tell about the towns and cities of the north east.
Many artists inspire me. These include the Cornish sailor Alfred Wallis who started painting on bits of old card when he was 68, the Victorian Arthur Rackham who did my favourite illustrations for "Wind in the Willows", and Grayson Perry. I also find the stories, symbols and patterns in aboriginal art fascinating.
Sarah Farooqi's Top North East Tourist Tip:If you want peace and quiet, stunning seasonal displays of snowdrops, daffodils and tulips, a long walk down to the sea through a beautiful arboretum, and the best cup of tea (and slice of cake) for miles around, then head for Howick Hall Gardens. In between Alnwick and Craster, it's one of the North East's hidden gems.