Sandi AdamsAbout the Artist

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WHO I AM, and HOW I GOT HERE

I am an artist because I love the materials! I've been involved in art endeavors since I was a child and over the years, have done work in watercolor, fiber arts, acrylics, ceramics, printmaking, collage and photography. My art education includes study during college and since then, participation in numerous workshops and classes with local artists and teachers. These include Judy Greenberg, Kathleen Brennan, Ann Baldwin, Marianne Brown and Tesia Blackburn. Observing how other artists work, their styles and techniques, and how they solve the problems has been very helpful to me. My own repertoire has expanded as a result. Travel in many parts of the world and diverse artistic traditions have influenced my continuing creative development.

I belong to several artists' associations and galleries where my work is exhibited: the Marin Society of Artists, the California Watercolor Association, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda, CA, Valley Arts in Walnut Creek, and Expressions Gallery in Berkeley. My work is included in regular juried exhibitions a dozen times every year, and I have received special recognition in 15 shows since 1998. I have had 8 solo shows in Berkeley, Albany, Alameda, and San Rafael, CA


MY PROCESSES

Much of my representational work is done in watercolor, and often I find inspiration in my own photography. Most of my travel pieces show people and places observed around the world. They come home in my camera and emerge, sometimes years later, on paper. I have spent many hours in art museums around the world and purchased more than my share of postcards. They are seldom mailed - instead I hoard them and pin them up in my painting space. Overtime they insinuate themselves into my unconscious and eventually make their way into my work.

Collage is one of my current interests. It's a "cut and paste" operation, random, yet sophisticated. Sometimes I have an idea I'm working toward and I select materials to express that notion. Other times, the materials themselves suggest a direction, and I try to capitalize on unexpected, spontaneous occurrences. I use watercolor or acrylic paints, on heavy watercolor paper or canvas. Frequently I texturize or pattern the paper first, using stamps, wooden block prints, textured papers and/or acrylic gels and resists. Then I paint some color, and arrange components: tissue and rice papers, text, photographs, magazine illustrations, objects, etc. Next comes the contemplative mode. I "look" at what's happened so far, then rearrange things, add and subtract items, add more layers of paint, etc. Eventually I glue things down, and perhaps wash a final layer of paint over the whole piece.

I tend to work in series - one idea leads to another, or an unsuccessful piece demands solution in the next. None of this operation happens quickly - some pieces drag on for years, and about half of what I dream of winds up being painted over or tossed out. I'm grateful for the successes, but push myself to try out new compositions and materials.


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