PORTLAND — We sit tonight to write Sarah’s obituary. Bach is playing. Her paintings fill the room. The details of her life can and will be enumerated, but Sarah rose above the details of life. Her vision was transcendent. She overcame the shackles of illness and continued with her drawing, painting and writing until her last day. Her work was fueled by a love of life. So she painted flowers.
The flowers open to blue skies and ocean meadows. They sing in the chorus of color and form which Sarah felt somewhere deep in the kind, passionate and thoughtful person that she was blessed to be.
Blessings are bestowed. What we make of them is the quilt, the fabric that we weave. Sarah’s quilt covers many, her family, her friends and her caregivers. Sarah wove with appreciation, love and the wonder of living, of living a full and contributory life. We all remain warm and secure under the quilt she has left us.
Sarah Elizabeth Look was born the day of a howling snow blizzard, Feb. 17, 1952, Bangor. That ominous entry set the tone for her capacity to appreciate and engage in life. As she often referred to herself, she was the middle child, entangled between two sets of brothers and sisters; she, the go-between, peacemaker…the ‘blonde’ one.
She attended the University of Maine, Orono and Augusta, having been a student at both Jonesport and Narraguagus high schools. Since a child, Sarah doodled, trails of pen and inks following her throughout her life. Those doodles led to the beginnings of her life portfolio, from her intricate depictions in biology lab workbook to her canvases of oil, acrylics, charcoal, pen and inks, pastels, now hanging worldwide in private collections, galleries, libraries, schools, hospitals.
Sarah’s pursuit of the painterly life led to study under master artist Bill Moïse, of Hancock. Under his tutelage, she commanded the impressions of nature in her watercolors, rendering delicate botanicals, stormy seascapes, pastorals. Her passion and energy for expression led to a warehouse of work, later becoming her own art gallery in Ellsworth.
Sarah’s creative muse didn’t stop with painting, however. She consulted low-income women in how to ‘dress for success,’ designed a line of women’s fashions, threw clay, produced a line of greeting cards, modeled a brief stint in Boston, worked retail in Palm Beach and Boston, ultimately accepting a position of lead designer for an international home goods company in Portland.
After 10 commercially successful years there, Sarah combined her visual sense to the literal world, writing and illustrating her works of poetry and prose and consulting others in the field as well.
Pastimes for Sarah included football (forever Brady fan), basketball, golf, creative cooking, caring for her many cats, being with her family but especially creating and just having fun with her dear friend, creative collaborator and spiritual sidekick Dr. John Driscoll.
Sarah’s devotion to her family, particularly to her nieces and nephews and her nephew’s children, ‘her babies,’ was unwavering, as was her dedication to her place of worship: St. Luke’s. Her dry and sarcastic wit, sought and savored; her talents, unbounding; her zest for life, unstoppable ’til her last breath.
Sarah was born with incurable heart disease, overcame breast and ocular cancer, was projected by doctors to not live beyond the age of 2, possibly 3 years old.
Sarah’s family especially thanks Dr. Kaminow, neurologist, and cardiologists Dr. Sawyer, Dr. Corsello, Dr. Shao for their caring and empathy and most especially, Dr. John Love, for his care, guidance, support and love given to Sarah.
Sarah is survived by sisters Jane Abbott Look and Kathryn Grace Caler; brother Robert Arthur Look; nieces Hannah Elizabeth Abbott Look and Kristin Caler Hernandez and husband Timothy; nephew Christopher Robert Caler and wife, Stephanie, and their children Andrew and Addison. She is predeceased by her parents Virginia Abbott Look and Oscar Lowell Look Sr.; brother Oscar L. Look Jr. and nephew Vance Emerald Caler.
Services will be held at St. Luke’s Cathedral, Portland, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. and at Community Church, South Addison, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. Flowers accepted and/or donations given to the Maine Heart Association, Scarborough.
Please visit www.advantageportland.comto sign Sarah’s guestbook and leave memories and condolences for the family.