About Sara

We are all individuals. Our differences exist in how we choose to live the life we’ve been given and what gets us out of bed in the morning. I love to paint, facilitate creativity and generate collaboration. My drive to share this passion with others is propelled by an enthusiasm for the arts and a recognition of their value in enabling people to connect with themselves, each other and the world around them.


Sara Downham Lotto is an abstract painter and freelance workshop leader with over thirty years’ experience exhibiting and teaching around the UK and abroad. She loves diverse places and ideas, making connections with people and building creative projects that link the whole lot together. Integrity and direct, accessible language are core to her approach, whether in her teaching, collaborations or in the paintings themselves.

Sara lives in South Devon where she is Director of Arts Lab, Dartington whilst also welcoming regular visitors to her studio and home gallery .

As an artist, it is important for me to know that people take something of value from my paintings. I am not striving to make a realistic representation or a statement, build a narrative or be intellectually high brow; beauty is my thing. My approach is direct, honest, energetic and intuitive. Through experimental techniques and pushing boundaries, I try to create something new in each work. Art for me needs to be exciting but with a depth of soul and intrigue that holds the eye and spirit.

“The work is like the artist herself – sparkling with polish, charm, and inventiveness, with a great sense of discipline and craft.”

Alistair Lomax – Oxford, UK

My drive is to bring high quality teaching and facilitation through art to a broad range of groups and individuals, creating opportunities to enrich their lives, both professionally and personally.

“At a time when creativity is becoming more and more highly valued, it is a great time to study art,” says Tim Wightman.

“Sara is a talented artist and tutor who has a unique delivery style.”

Tim Wightman – Head of Creative Arts at KEVICC, Totnes

Steve Jobs suggested that the point of us being in this universe was (in his words) to put a dent in it. My way of affecting change of some kind – through art, ideas and teaching – is by fostering connections with as diverse a group of individuals as possible. In our increasingly fragmented world, I’d like to help bring people together through art, ideas and doing. See my latest blog posts.

“Connecting the worlds of art and ideas and involving you in the process, helps to raise an awareness of the importance of sharing and celebrating beauty.”

Beauty in art and music. Beauty in people. Beauty in the natural environment. Beauty in the process of making and building. …. And beauty in how they all connect.


Fantastic stuff - and thank you so much for the opportunities that you have provided for my students to engage with wider arts practice this year!
Dan Paolantonio, Plymouth College of Art