She was born on August 6, 1906 in Framingham, Massachusetts, the daughter of a shoemaker.
At age 22, Sears was attending night school at the New England School of Design, and working as a silkscreen artist during the day. At age 25, she attended night classes at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, earning money by posing for portrait and sculpture classes. Sears took private lessons from Charles H. Woodbury starting in 1939, and in 1940 she went to Monhegan Island, Maine for the first time and studied with Margaret Jordan Patterson. She also studied with George Demetrios in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Parallel to her working and studying as an artist, she taught art beginning in 1939, when she took posi
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