Sandi Johnson, this month’s Featured Artist is originally from Clay and Whitley Counties, over in eastern Kentucky. 1 grandfather was a coal miner/cobbler/farmer and 1 a college professor born in Scotland and transplanted to our continent as a very young child. Her mother taught in 1 room schools in the late 40’s, riding a mule to get to school, before she decided to wed. Sandi’s father, son of that professor who moved his family to eastern Kentucky to provide education for those without, was an electrician, who wanted to raise horses and cattle. It is interesting to note that Sandi did attend the 3rd and 4th grades in a ‘4 room’ school (2 classes in each room), complete with a well hand pump out front and an outhouse up the hill. And she crossed a swinging bridge to get to school, with lunch in a paper sack and a nickel for ice cream from the candy store on the back of the school house. What can I say, this stuff shapes a person!
Sandi says she had her 1st lesson at age 7, from her big sister, on how to mix brown to paint a tree trunk. She graduated from, Cumberland College, now University of the Cumberlands, with a teaching degree, a BS In Education with an Area of Concentration in Art and went on to teach for 2 years, until she married a ‘Kentucky boy’ engineer and they started moving around the eastern US. They moved to Georgia for their 1st job and over 30 years circled through GA, NC, OH, TN and finally home to Kentucky…other end of the state, but home nonetheless.
Sandi seems to have a great deal of trouble making up her mind. No one is quite sure what her problem is. She works primarily in oil and colored pencil, but, then there is graphite, and ink, and pastel, and recently water color as her newest and iffiest venture. But oil and colored pencils are her primary mediums, working in layers in any medium, to build and develop the painting a little at a time. Then there is her subject matter. She has long been torn between realism and fantasy, liking portraiture, animal art, still life and landscapes, but also loving fantasy where anything is possible. Lately she has been focusing on the imagined.
Her favorite Art Movement was the Pre-Raphaelites, with 2 of her non Pre-Raphaelite artists being Maxfield Parrish and Caravaggio. She feels really connected to what is now called Imaginative Realism. Sandi is currently working on a series called The World of the Huntress. And these paintings are the subject of her Featured Artist show for the month of February. Make sure you pop in this month while they are all together on one wall.