I love birds; I love water; I love art. I feel privileged to have found a way to combine these three elements and create images of the birds I so enjoy. I have painted with watercolors since childhood and am continually intrigued by its translucent and layered qualities. While I can be very controlled with my brush, I find that allowing the watercolor to freely flow can create often unexpected and exciting results; it can be exhilarating. As each bird takes shape, I want the viewers to find delight but also experience reverence for our flight bound inhabitants. Our environment has become fragile and transitory. It is my hope that my work will be inspiring as well as make a difference to individuals of all ages.
I am a working artist in Santa Cruz, California. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Art from San Jose State University with an emphasis in Textiles/Batik/Silk Painting. Watercolor has become the medium of choice to depict the many birds I so love. I also dabble in Nature Photography and have created a humorous greeting card line, Bearded Lady Greetings, featuring my very, hairy dog, Bella.
I grew up in a family where being creative was encouraged. Both parents were musicians. My father played the viola in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and was also a pianist. My mother took piano lessons from him; that is how they met. I remember 2 grand pianos filling our dining room in Hollywood, CA. They would play duets, teach piano lessons and my father would compose music there as well.
I was terribly torn between MUSIC and ART when I went to college. But when push came to shove, I chose ART for my college degree. I loved all the experimentation but found my real direction when I started doing BATIK. BATIK is a resist process of using hot wax and dyes to create a design on fabric. The results are often unexpected, as the crackling of the wax can make or break a piece, but that is truly what got me hooked. Working with fabric is good for my soul. I love both cotton and silk although they are very different. There is a similarity with watercolor; the flow of the paint has much the same effect as the flow of dye on silk.
My artwork was put on hold after the birth of our second child. There was not enough time in the day to do it all. Then about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. During my chemotherapy, I had many moments of clarity and realized I deeply missed being creative. It was at that time I “came back home” so to speak, and began creating once again. During that time I became proficient with Photoshop and learned how to create greeting cards. I also have become an avid bird watcher and created a number of watercolors inspired by the little birds in my backyard.
So at this point in time, I enjoy all 3 mediums: Watercolor, BATIK and Photoshop/Greeting Cards. Each brings me pleasure and excitement. As this website is taking shape, please feel free to view my designs at my Phanfare website: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/vtChpJo3/1/5130812 or my greeting card website: www.alexandrasanders.com.