Sadie Lee Poels, born in Winnipeg in 1995 to an artistic family, drew TV characters as a child and by
Grade 6 had completed a graphic novel in anime style. Though she took art classes in school and
follows Miles Johnston’s art on Instagram, she is proudly self-taught.
Now she does mixed-media drawings combining pen, coloured pencil, graphite, pastels, oils, and
watercolours – mainly on paper but occasionally on canvas. Sadie’s models are photos, poems, and
her own dreams. Realistic anatomical elements appear in a highly detailed, decorative, and often
surrealistic treatment containing fantasy themes and abstract ‘psychedelic’-style expressions of cosmic
spirituality. The work alternates between – on one hand – idealized and lyrical forms, and – on the other
– distorted images of terror, disorder, and suffering. “I switch back and forth in my work between black
and white moods,” says Sadie. “But I do also combine these elements within some pieces to show
balanced emotion.” Recently, Sadie has embarked on a new ‘Rock of Fame’ series, which consists of
highly realistic and positive portraits of stars ranging from Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon
and Kurt Cobain.
Sadie’s technical craft is highly developed, and she says she takes a lot of time perfecting each piece.
“When I see almost anything, I imagine just how I would draw it. Art is everything to me; I think about it
all the time.”