Sandra Pratt

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"It's the most precious moment when a painting reveals itself to me and I paint intuitively that I start producing works that have a sparkle and intensity that I can't explain."

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Sandra Pratt

ARTIST STATEMENT

"My work is inspired by an emotional response to places I’ve seen and experienced. In particular the contrasts of light and dark. I enjoy using a painting knife for the the immediate bold statement it offers. I am a self taught artist, always reaching for the new idea. No corrections, one choice and leaving it, working with main shapes to form other shapes. There is a sense of familiarity and intensity when painting, almost sculpting the paint to form a scene of color harmony and edge complexity.

I always work wet into wet, not going back into a painting that has dried. For me, the challenge is making the whole painting cohesive enough at a single session as the thick paint dries and going back is not an option. If the painting isn’t going in the direction I desire, I will start over rather than try to force it. It's the most precious moment when a painting reveals itself to me and I paint intuitively that I start producing works that have a sparkle and intensity that I can't explain.

I enjoy painting landscapes most of all, scenes typically all people can relate to at a very basic level, green fields in Ireland, Paris alleys, little white barns, all scenes I will revisit in painting, working for a more basic approach. I’m drawn to old structures, falling down barns, fences, houses, I love the sense of history, fragility and secret they exude. Artists I’m inspired by include Edward Seago, Kyffin Williams, Nicolai Fechin, Sergei Bogart, Olga Antonova. All of these painters have a very particular style and handle of paint manipulation I find fascinating.

My color palette has simplified over time, I used to use many colors, now, I stick to the basics, red, yellow, blue, sometimes I will use an earthtone or gray as the main color, creating a color harmony easily so the focus is on shape, space and edges rather than color. Overall, my intention is to show my viewer how simple a painting can be."

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

SANDRA PRATT
BORN - 1978

Sandra Pratt’s romantic landscapes and village scenes explore a potential for comfort in open, even barren spaces. Her painted places both reflect time spent in the vastness of Colorado and New Mexico as well as past visits to Western and Northern Europe, Great Britain, Canada, and New England. Sandra will often repeat motifs from these trips, life at the coastal edge of Ireland for instance or in a secluded hamlet lane in France. The sparse compositions present a countryside that is safely isolated from industry and technology. Uninhabited broad village streets draw you into her work and the aged quality of the buildings suggest rugged personalities replete with awkward inadequacies and fallacies.

In the studio, Sandra happily blends the memory of these remote landscapes with her enjoyment of pure paint and an intuitive sense of design. The personal and emotional nature of Sandra’s work is influenced by her self-taught approach to working with composition, oil paint, and the palette knife. Years dedicated to a singular mode of working have resulted in dexterous paint handling and a strengthening of her themes of home, community, and landscape. Her harmonious compositions are rooted in an ever- present horizon line and often entice the viewer through a strong use of linear perspective; drawing the eye into and through an anonymous village street or to the door of a lone house on the prairie. 

Her panels and canvases are decisively developed in bold, confident shapes of thick de-saturated earthtone colors. With nature and old architecture as her inspiration, her palette has evolved into rich reddish blacks, pale blues, creamy yellows, blue grays, and brownish tans. The places Sandra’s paints into being possess age and history as well as a particular charm from being well used and needed. 

Subjects and palettes often recur in Sandra’s paintings, who typically works in spurts, that allow her to rework and make subtle adjustments to previous paintings. She might repeat the same landscape as if haunted or obsessed by a scene, changing just small moments within each version. The immediacy of her palette knife marks and the medium to small scale of her work, provides an intimate experience of these beloved, imagined places.

Sandra’s work has been exhibited at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont, with the Allied Artists of America in NY, and at the A.R. Mitchell Museum and the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado. Sandra Pratt is from Chicago, IL currently lives in Colorado.