Nature is the Holy Muse; it offers inspiration, healing, joy, and peace. Living along the shores of Lake Superior inspires me to be a water and sky watcher, a weather observer, a rock gatherer, and a bird, flora, and fauna enthusiast.
Daily, this wildly beautiful and precious Earth moves me to reflect upon Life’s brevity. “You can’t take it with you”, they say. Thus, I draw and paint and make and carve and print to focus on my observations of this Life, of Nature around me.
The results of which are celebratory blessings created in the spirit of gratitude for this gift of time called Life. My best advice is: Tune in and resonate to the Harmonics of Mother Nature, whereupon all manner of things shall be well.
My Master of Fine Arts graduate degree is in Printmaking from University of Tennessee – Knoxville; my undergraduate degree in Art Education is from University of Wisconsin – Stout. My expertise is in drawing and fine art printmaking. Having taught university studio art classes for forty years, I now very much love my professorial Emerita retirement, for there’s so much yet to do in Life and in Art, both in the studio and en plein air, all in dwindling time. Every day is a gift.
One might wonder what inspires an artist to do what they do; here’s a bit of information which may help you to see relationships between subjects I find inspirational. For twenty years I have been fortunate to live alongside Lake Superior. And for thirty-three years I’ve been returning as often as possible to Scotland because I’m head-over-heels enraptured with Scotland’s innumerable archaeological sites. Were it not for this coronavirus pandemic stopping all travel, I was to be residing this year in Scotland May through September, and was to be an artist-in-residence in at the UNESCO heritage site of Orkney’s Neolithic Ness of Brodgar archaeological dig for all of July and August. Instead, I am here in Herbster, Wisconsin…things could be far worse, right? Two essential things that unite my love of both Lake Superior and Orkney are water and rock. I simply cannot resist the urge to pluck beautiful stones from Lake Superior; aye, I’m a rock collector from way back. Similarly, the Neolithic standing stone circles and the Neolithic stone-built villages and burial tombs in Orkney are archaeological wonders that make my heart sing. The life-giving forces of water, be it salty or fresh, and the presence of stones which were once the molten core of Mother Earth, will forever inspire me.
These things I know: Be strong like stone but let water be your teacher, a healer, a mirror. Individually, we are each but one drop; together we are an ocean. May your Life flow like a river, relentlessly, persistently on and onward, and like a river spill forth into the great ocean of Life. Go with the flow, surf the waves of Life. When Life places rocks in your path, be the Water. When water meets an obstacle it cuts a new path for it is fluid, soft, and yielding. Yet given time, the persistence of Water will wear away the strongest of stone. This is the paradox: what is soft is also strong. Everything comes full circle, even five-thousand year old stone circles will someday submit to the power of water, be it by rain or sleet, hail or snow.
Life, like Lake Superior, will at times be calm and serene, or wave tossed and powerful, and surely everything in between. Life is a Journey you will know by living it; may your Journey become fluid with purpose and rock solid with gratitude.
We are thankful to technology for allowing us to share our work when in-person visits just aren’t feasible. Enjoy the below virtual gallery which contains a curated selection of Sandra’s stunning artwork. Check back on August 15th to view the complete gallery of Sandra’s work, shop her pieces, and view the virtual tour of her studio.