Kathy Sandell Background :  When I first signed up for a watercolor painting class through CCC I was hoping to improve my own art techniques enough to share  with my students at Sunset Grade School.   However, from the beginning I felt like a “fish out of water” as I struggled to make sense of color, choice of  image, saving the white, trying to avoid making mud (sigh),  and then the impossible..... finding my own voice. Unwilling to admit defeat, I continued with classes, bought lots of books, and painted.  I do think I experienced a happy breakthrough a few years ago when I switched from watercolor to pastels.  For some reason, everything I had learned in watercolor also worked with pastels, but not necessary in the same order. Start with light, add dark...... no, start with dark and add light.  Whatever, the challenge of changing directions was turning out to be a lot of fun. It was while taking a pastel painting class that I also started using acrylics.  Definitely another change for the better.  Here again I was experimenting with ways to use what I already knew about composition and techniques, and finding so many new ways to create a pleasing piece.  It seems to be a positive transition for me as I love what I’m doing right now, painting mainly with acrylics. 

Change is good.

Artist Statement :

For subject matter I mostly use photographs I have taken as reference. This makes it easy to be diverse since I love photographing fruits and vegetables, desserts, flowers, people, animals, and places I have visited in our travels.  I can sit for hours looking through my reference photos, hoping to be inspired. I usually pick out several pictures and then can hardly wait to get started. It seems to work best for me to have several pieces going at once.  I like knowing that when I finish one piece I have another I am equally excited to begin. It would be so much easier if I thought carefully, drew carefully, and composed carefully before begin a painting.  Alas, that isn’t my style.  I learn through mistakes made along the way.  Thankfully, with acrylics, a blunder can be repaired. Also, I am so fortunate to have painting buddies willing to give feedback.  It’s good to have others say “it’s time to stop!” 
                                     Kathy Sandell
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