Artist Statement

My mother recognized ‘something’ in me when I was a young girl and enrolled me in Saturday art classes at Illinois Wesleyan University. One day I found an easel assembled in my bedroom with a full set of oil paints…

My life has had many twists and turns. For instance, after 14 years of painting en plein air, I felt that my artistic voice had become void of passion. Responding to my aesthetic needs, and instincts I happily returned to abstract painting. Now, I enjoy the challenge of transforming a memory into art. I find a hook (eg. a shape or burst of color), and develop an abstract composition relying on structure as the most important underpinning element. I have an emotional tactile connection with oil; it also reveals under layers of decision-making. My process typically begins with a memory and sketches. I then allow myself time to percolate. Often, I problem-solve on a daily walk with my dog, Frida. I love the process of struggle with each painting, because the immense satisfaction I will receive at the conclusion is so sweet. I learned very early to trust my instincts. Life is a series of portals, opportunities to be identified, decisions to be made, and risks to be taken. I make sure my art passes through every doorway as part of me… of my passions, of my struggles, and of my joys.

Martha Sando