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Sandra PlaceSandra Place   AFC Sandra Place
Pastel, Acrylic, Drawing, Photog. - Landscape,Birds,I
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The Creative Process
I have always been an outdoors person. Since childhood, I have loved travelling, wandering and exploring, taking the path a little further to the next bend to see what lies beyond. This feeds my artistic sensibility in many ways, as not only does it present me with endless visual wonders, but it sends me into a meditative state where I can absorb on a different level. I sometimes would rather hike than paint; I take photos to refer to back in the studio.

Over the years, I have grown to love plein air painting as a uniquely different kind of painting experience and connection to the outdoor world, and I enjoy the challenge of this way of working. I also love studio painting, which frees me in many ways to loosen up, try different things, make changes, play with color, let the painting rest, sometimes for weeks. I listen to music, mostly classical, sometimes singing along (I am a choral singer) which transports me to another realm.

In art school, I took two full years of life drawing, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. This imprinted on me the necessity and love of painting from life, in order to really learn to see. The camera is a useful tool, but it can only be used successfully when one has also had much experience working from life, and when one understands the camera's limitations and how to compensate for them. I have always enjoyed photography for its own sake. As a painter, photos serve as visual reminders, rather than something to be overly studied or copied. I am able, when using photos in the studio, to be transported back to the time and place where I took them; I can again become lost in the scene and thus paint from them successfully.

I also enjoy sketching and drawing. However, I have to be careful, when a painting is the goal, not to put too much effort into the drawing, or too much of my creative energy will go into it. When I begin a painting, unless the composition is very complicated, I generally sketch only a few lines to indicate composition, and then I begin painting.

I paint primarily in pastels and acrylics. Pastels are a very spontaneous and expressive medium, allowing many different working styles and an immediacy not found in other mediums. They are also one of the most permanent of all painting mediums. Because the sticks are dry, colors are not mixed on a palette but are applied directly on the paper. I work on sanded paper, which allows the use of many different colors and layers to achieve the desired effect. Acrylics afford me the opportunity to work "wet", mixing colors and painting with brushes, more in the manner of oil painting, which provides a nice balance to the dry medium of pastel.

Direct Correspondence to:Sandra Place
Sandra Place
7 Ute Lane
Santa Fe, NM
USA 87505
Tel: 505.984.0160
  Worldwide Nature Artists Group
Email: splacesfe05@aol.com
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Member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation www.natureartists.com.