Sarah Rakes is a self-taught artist who challenges a more established type of naive painting. Strong, bright, layered colors are the primary means of communication in her paintings and sculptures, with lines and patterns used as the symbols. The frames are handmade and painted. Imagery in the paintings is often the narrative. Born in Arkansas's Ozark Mountains in 1955, Sarah Rakes has always lived in a rural environment.
When she was eight, the Nelson Rockefeller “Artmobile” visited her school, which was her first exposure to art. From that point, Rakes knew she would be an artist. Her early media were crayons, acrylic on wood, oil pastels, gouache, and other mixed media. Continuing to educate herself about art, she visits museums, reads, and studies. Rakes lives in an isolated area of Georgia and her work reflects this. Away from the mainstream, she has developed an artistic style that is truly her own.