Meet the Artist- Sarah Simon from The Mint Gardener

When it comes to painting flowers and plants in watercolor and gouache, Sarah Simon is the queen.

Known on Instagram as @TheMintGardener (a joke, she tells me, because mint is so easy to grow), her portfolio is filled to the brim with dreamy watercolor-and-gouache florals, inspiring quotes, and mesmerizing process videos. And when the season is right, she shares close-ups of the home-grown flowers that inspire her art.

Sarah loves to teach (she’s been featured in two of our summits!) and is the author of The Plant Lady, a floral coloring book; Modern Watercolor Botanicals, an in-depth guide to painting gorgeous watercolor florals; and the super-unique Watercolor Workbook, which makes the creative process so easy by allowing you to paint right on its pages.

To film her workshop for the Watercolor Summit®, we traveled to Sarah’s home in Seattle, Washington — and got to see her infamous garden first-hand! Flower beds, vegetables, a greenhouse, and even a chicken coop all sat on a rare plot of land smack-dab in the middle of the city. Stepping in from the street, the buzz of a major metropolis suddenly seemed miles away.

In her in-depth Watercolor Summit® workshop, Sarah walks through the process of transferring line art onto thicker watercolor paper, preparing a palette and mixing colors, and painting leaves, flowers, and berries. The final class project is a gorgeous modern floral composition that’s totally frame-worthy.

In her Watercolor Summit® Gouache Edition workshop, Sarah dives into the magical combination of watercolor and gouache (an opaque watercolor paint pronounced like “gwash.”) The theme of this workshop is “Fun and Fearless Florals,” and Sarah teaches several new techniques, including “mark making,” how to draw line art from live flowers or a reference photo, and how to use watercolor and gouache together. Throughout the workshop are several mini-projects to practice the techniques, including a watercolor and gouache wreath and the cutest little “window scenes” that will get your creative juices flowing!

Our students always rave about Sarah’s teaching style, and her calm demeanor makes you feel like anything is possible. The key to growing as an artist? Showing up consistently, Sarah says — even when you don’t feel like it.

Watch our exclusive Meet the Artist video interview below to get Sarah’s best tips and peek into the garden that inspires her work! 

Want to learn more? Check out our free Watercolor Favorites video series, featuring Sarah plus six other fabulous artists, and the Watercolor vs. Gouache Showdown Series, which also features Sarah and another round of incredible artists.

Sarah’s in-depth, professionally-filmed workshops are available as part of the Watercolor Summit® and the Watercolor Summit® Gouache Edition.

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