Paint My World

Inspired to Paint from Everywhere I have been inspired to create colorful landscapes and have been painting expressionistic canvases for over 20 years. The landscape design and construction business that my husband and I run together has provided us with a great life and my art has provided me with emotional happiness. Bob and I have been able to travel and follow our passions because of our hard work and the success of our business. With my husband’s support, I have felt driven to pursue my artist dreams! I love coming up with creative ideas of visually stimulating landscape and paintings. My journey to create beauty has always been fun!

As a young adult I dreamt of living in SOHO in New York City, where I would live minimally in a loft apartment and paint thick, vibrant color on big canvases. I dreamed about being featured in an art gallery. However, logic and reason rose to the occasion and my occupational direction became landscape architecture. Not only was it the logical choice since I was an avid plant collector, planned, planted and grew herb and flower gardens but my art skills would come into play. It would give me a decent lifestyle.

So now I consider myself a landscape artist. This profession has allowed me to grow three dimensionally and not just one dimensionally as a painter.

I think I developed my life’s goals early, around 10. My Grandma who lived in Los Angeles gave me the opportunities to visit her in sunny colorful flamboyant Venice Beach and Santa Monica California. Her garden was always full of a lush array of the most amazing tropical plants – lemon and limes, avocados, hibiscus, fuchsias, etc. My mom saw my interest and nurtured them by planting and growing gardens, teaching me how to drive a tractor, and harvest the apples from the old lighting struck apple tree.

In college it took more than interests and gardening skills. The professors were hard. It did not matter how hard it was, I was committed to landscape architecture and had to stay on course. Changing course meant more time and more money.

After college I jumped right into my profession of landscape architecture working in southern California assisting with the yard designs of celebrities. Then I continued my work in Central Oregon where I am currently an owner of a landscape construction business. Moving fast each day I have had many unique work challenges such as scheduling, budgets (unrealistic sometimes), visions, and employee dynamics. In my profession I can be an artist by creating landscapes that I see as living sculpture for people to enjoy.

However, the profession I have chosen has also given me the freedom to continue my love of painting. Two of my clients who are professional artists have encouraged me never to let go of the art. Dinah James, who I painted with every Monday for 2 years, said to not stop. “You are good and need to create big paintings! Life gets busy with kids and you have to save the time to paint.”

So I painted my world and Whose World Is it? This painting was a turning point where I let my imagination run wild and began my signature thick paint application with a palette knife. And wild it is – a scene with animals – monkeys, elephants sprouting out of skyscrapers, giraffes, and cheetah walking on water, flamingo, and eagle swooping into the city. I painted it with thick bright intensity.

Norma Holmes, another professional artist and friend of mine encouraged me also. Before she was a professional pastel landscape painter, she owned 2 beauty salons and a cattle ranch in northern California. She had a degree in fine art and always took lessons and painted at least once a week. I thought if Norma continued her love while running 2 businesses and a ranch then I could.

Art made its way back into my life after having kids. I decided to jump back in and take classes from Norma and she has been my mentor ever since. I have learned so much about color and composition. I have always kept the income happening as a landscape artist.

Then I got the bug to teach art in the elementary school when my son Angelo started school. I believe kids need to have an understanding of art and its relevance in history and they need to express themselves. There wasn’t and isn’t much art education in our schools unless the child is fortunate to have a teacher who sees the importance. Angelo’s teachers were very open to it and gave me full reign to create an art curriculum. Wow, I had a lot of energy! Some of the projects we tackled were big and had potential to get out of hand. For example with 3rd and 4th graders, I painted abstract art with catsup bottles and brooms on the playground asphalt, did Art Literacy in several classrooms for many years, and directed many Family Art Nights in our public elementary school. I still get excited walking into the classroom with the art cart. The kid’s faces beam with big smiles. It makes me happy when they see me in town and say, “there is my art teacher”.

One of my recent art ventures is a dog series called Traveling Dogs. It started with Yelapa Charlie the Basset Hound who guided my husband and I to our hotel while vacationing in Mexico. I keep painting dogs both from Sisters and my travels.

My current paintings are of my travels from northern to southern Italy – Venice to the Aeolian Islands. After spending five weeks there with my family, I have been painting the towns, people, dogs, and the landscape of Italy.

Next on my painting bucket list are paintings of the Caribbean Islands — People of Puerto Rico, and the Hawaiian Islands — Maui Clarity. In the meantime, I keep designing and Bob keeps building clients’ dreamscapes so that we can satisfy our hunger to travel to the many places that I can paint. Yes, I still do want to be the next female Picasso. Like Picasso who painted until he was 98, I too will keep filling the canvas with vibrant color.

Sandy's Resume

  • Village Interiors – In-house artist and First Friday Art Walks
  • Exhibits – Village Interiors and Wildflowers Gallery and Frameshop
  • Tumalo Coffee House: Landscapes and Still Lifes
  • Village Interiors: in-house artist and First Friday Art Walks
  • Italy Experience in First Friday Artwalk in October
  • Exhibits – Village Interiors and Wildflowers Gallery and Frameshop
  • Tumalo Coffee – Roosters, Sheep, and SnowscapesTumalo, Oregon display the month of May
  • Tumalo Coffee – Cows & MoreTumalo, Oregon
  • Sotheby’s – Roosters, Sheep, and SnowscapesBend, Oregon-First Friday Artwalk in November
  • Northsole Footwear: Cows and MoreBend Oregon-First Friday Artwalk
  • Nancy P’s: Cows and MoreBend Oregon
  • Thump: Cows and MoreBend Oregon – First Friday Artwalk
  • Bliss Salon – Cows and More, Maui Clarity Sisters, Oregon
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Clearwater Gallery Miniature Show
  • Pastoral Scenes displayed at the Sparrow Bakery
  • Cows and More, Caribbean Islands the people of Puerto Rico, Paintings of Hawaii – Maui Clarity
  • Painted scenes from Italy and other travels
  • Participant Sisters Forest Service Pleine Air Paint Out
  • Painting chosen as the Sisters Forest Service Pleine Air Paint Out Poster Competition
  • Dog Show at Sisters Artworks (3 paintings displayed)
  • Displayed Dog Painting Series at the Sisters Library
  • Displayed Dog Painting Series at Bend Art Walk
  • Displayed landscape paintings and collection at the Bend Art Walk
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Dog Show Painting at Sisters Artworks – Beggar Dogs used as the marketing poster
  • Displayed landscape paintings and collection at the Bend Art Walk
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Dog Show at Sisters Artworks (Yelapa Charlie featured)
  • Participant, Sisters Forest Service Pleine Air Paint Out
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Co-director of Sisters Elementary School Art Literacy Program
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Clearwater Miniature Art Show
  • Green and Gold directed 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade students artwork that were auctioned at the fundraiser
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Green and Gold directed 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade students artwork that were auctioned at the fundraiser
  • Sisters Library Art Exhibitor
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Green and Gold directed 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade students artwork that were auctioned at the fundraiser
  • Sisters Library Art Exhibitor
  • My Own Two Hands Exhibit
  • Sisters Elementary School Family Art Night Director
  • Designed John Tuck Elementary School Interpretive Garden
  • Art Literacy Volunteer in the classrooms at John Tuck Elementary, Sisters Elementary, and Sisters Middle School
  • Landscape Designer and Co-owner of Response to Nature, Inc. and oil painter
  • Landscape Designer in Bend, OR and painter
  • Landscape Designer in Santa Monica, California
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture – Ball State University, Minor – Fine Art Ball State University, Minor – Earth Science Ball State University