Sandra Bowen, a visual and graphic artist, currently living and working in her studio in Tsawwassen BC.
A broad range of life experiences has brought Sandra into the creative niche of mixed media. Having learned a foundation for art at school in Ottawa then venturing into the world of horticulture then graphic design she has brought herself back into painting with unique views and expression.
Her colourful art, mostly inspired from nature takes on unique textures with use of plaster, papers, acrylic paints, inks and a variety of paint mediums. All used stylistically by overlapping and creating layers to build levels of depth and transition in which you sink into visually. Through her exploration in workshops, classes, and experimentation she has grown into working less with conventional brushes and more with palette knives, scrappers, sponges and unconventional tools.
Though driven with a passion for painting, Sandra has also discovered an energy for steering her creativity through teaching. Having facilitated multiple hands on work shops as well as demonstration sessions since 2010. She has been sharing and inspiring others to broaden their painting skills and thoughts around how to paint by teaching the unfamiliar techniques of mixed media. It has been a gift given back to her watching people find their own creative strengths through art and all it has to offer.
Sandra currently divides her time painting in her own studio, volunteering with an art program in Burnaby BC called MAC (My Artist Corner), a program for people who live with mental health. Sandra also works as an assistant and co-teacher with Jeanne Krabbendam and currently running programs privately as well as through Coal Harbour Community Centre. She has formerly taught through Emily Carr Continuing Studies as an assistant and substitute instructor.
Art is my voice, my way of singing. It gives me my rhythm and balance. I use all my senses, personal memories, along with my palette knives and brushes together with old papers, patterns, textures, paint and inks in a array of colours to create my mixed media art works.
My nature is to be outside. I am always absorbed by what is around me, the textures, colours and the intricate structures nature puts together. I am inspired with mother and urban nature. Both let my imagination participate to tell my own story within art. For me, painting isn’t always about portraying something or somewhere specific but a collaboration of impressions and inspirations. My observations of the natural way things grow, decay and wear, whether on a mountain side, open field, in front of a poster trodden graffitied wall, or the rusty buckets and machinery on a construction site. The concepts are stored until I am ready to utilize them and with the things I collect get bound in many layers of textures and colour. Each painting comes from the many areas of my heart.
I am a believer in sharing techniques and knowledge with the others by art instructional classes and workshops. To demonstrate the many avenues that paint can be steered gives back to me a great sense of creativity. Teaching others to explore their own creativeness, offering the tools and sometimes the permission they need to be brave. By introducing people to the blending together of their own collections and to set them on an exploration of the creative process I receive in return an incentive to continually grow as an artist.
Life has blessed me with many outlets for my constant need to be creative. Pottery, a late arrival to my vocation has me intrigued as well as baffled at times. Working with my hands and the clay to express myself three dimensionally has shown me patience and acceptance of this earthy medium.
When I repurpose furniture it has often been discarded by others and considered not useful anymore. Sanding and staining colour into to a piece to take it so that it can be appreciated and seen in a new light brings me a lot of joy. I often get lost and carried away. There is something about taking the hard geometric edges, the thought process, the hands-on labour and care needed to bring new and perhaps seemingly off balance colours and texture choices to an aesthetically pleasing outcome. It is soulful.
In many ways it sums up to visually filling a desire to inspire, guide and impact those around me. Art in its many formulas are my songs of observation.