Friday, April 3, 2020

Artist Spotlight Series: Sandi Parker

Arlington Artists Alliance member and Gallery Underground Director Sandi Parker discusses her artwork, technique and inspiration:
Sandi Parker in her studio
"I work in several media: oil, acrylic, pastel and gouache. My abstracts are all in acrylic and incorporate other media such as oil crayon, paint pens, stamping, stencilling and collaging. I frequently incorporate graffiti-like images and words in my abstracts, which are all highly textured. I layer on paint with a palette knife and then go back over with a scratching technique to provide even more texture. In my oils, pastels and gouaches, I work in a variety of subjects: landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes floral, and youth sports, usually working from photos but occasionally working onsite (en plein air).

One City, One World, acrylic by Sandi Parker
"I have always been interested in art and used to work exclusively in pen and ink. Around 2002, I decided to try oils and began taking classes with Arlington artist Jane McElvany Coonce, who has taught art in Arlington for over 30 years. This developed into a love for all kinds of landscapes. When my two children were participating in sports in High School, I began to paint scenes of youth sports, culminating in a solo show of local Arlington high school sports called InMotion (a portion of the proceeds from all work sold was donated to Arlington high schools athletic departments).
Josh, an oil commission by Sandi Parker
I later decided to branch out into abstracts and took classes from Arlington artist Bud Hensgen, who is known for his very large-scale abstracts. I have a great love and appreciation for street art, and this informs my abstract work. My most recent foray has been into pastels and gouache, also under the instruction of Jane Coonce. 

Probably what I find most rewarding about making art is ALSO my biggest challenge: Stretching myself to try new mediums and difficult scenes. In my home studio I have the quote "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take," a quote from Wayne Gretzky  - this spurs me on to try to paint complicated scenes such as cityscapes, which I approach with both excitement and dread. Buildings! Cars! People! Shadows! Cityscapes excite me to no end but painting them is such a challenge, with so much going on. Sometimes I want to just stop in the middle and paint a field of flowers (which I could do in my sleep, so where's the growth in that?)
City Twilight, oil by Sandi Parker
For more information on Sandi's work, visit her website and social media:

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