I asked Sandy for permission to show her paintings on this blog back in April.
In the meantime, I went through a bit of personal downtime, an almost unbearable fire drill at work that lasted more than 3 months and a very welcome lazy month to make up for those.
For a while I thought it would be a bit weird to write the article so late (it is December now).
Nevertheless, feeling a bit like an elephant on ice, I am going to venture into describing what I loved about her work.
I am trying to remember what I learned reading her blog.
She is a watercolor painter. I remember she was experimenting a lot with textures.
Textures obtained peeling off masking tape.
Textures obtained using webbing, streaking or scratching with a plastic blade.
Textures based on melted wax.
She also uses already textured paper (arches) or a texture medium on smooth paper (Yupo, which, she explains, does not let the paint soak in, keeping it brilliant and strong).
She mentions a couple of times the Nicholas Simmons’ batik effect. Here’s her description of this technique:
“Fluid watercolor acrylic paints were poured onto wet paper. There are two pours of colors over the whole area, and I made sure that blossoms and run backs happened each time before spraying off the paint just before it dried. Nick calls this effect his ‘watercolor batik’ look, and it’s a very cool way to make great textures. Some drizzles of water and paint were added to the deck boards to add more texture before the miskit was removed.” (excerpt form the article ‘Seeing Red“)
Here’s is a very good example, a demo piece with (left) and without (right) the effect.
The one I like most is London Bridges (large one to the right). There’s some kind of heavy silence to it.
The ladies walking away from the viewer as if they are leaving the scene bring a feeling of solitude and melancholy.
They leave me wit a diffuse feeling that this is the end of something.
Maybe the end of the summer being chased away by the cold tones of the autumn.
Maybe the end of a nice vacation (one of the ladies is carrying a backpack, maybe she is a tourist).
The reflections of the wet ground are very well captured. The rainy London weather too.
The dominant blue tones have that effect. Actually, all colors are shifted towards grey tones though at least the clothes were probably more cheerfully coloured.
They all contribute to the foggy and wet look of this entire scene.
The rough texture an irregular geometric shapes in the back are probably meant to express the feel of a busy city.
Or maybe not a city since I see no tall buildings.
There is though a crowded feel to the back of the shot, and it gets more crowded as you move away from the clear front end.
Here are some more works.
Her blog was two years old in October.
Pay her a visit, I am sure you will like what you will find there.
Many of the articles are full of details on her technique.
She captures the process of creation with many intermediary shots.