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American Art Collector

JUNE 2016

Self-taught artist Sandra Pratt is exploring new paint application methods and more of a focal-point expression in her latest works, done in an alla prima style. "I have been using a brush and palette knife work to bring a deeper quality to my subject matter. It's tough to make something look effortless, but that's the magic, I think," says Pratt. "I'm hoping to convey the unexpected, the peaceful; a picture that makes an impact can hold you and keep the eye interested." Pratt's paintings for her upcoming show at Selby Fleetwood Gallery will be done in oil in various sizes, focusing primarily on smaller works to invoke a more personal effect. "I am seeking understanding of edges and value through these works, making a mark and leaving it alone," says Pratt, "keeping a freshness and spontaneity present. Inspiration for these pieces can be traced throughout various parts of the country, including the mountain ranges near her home in Boulder, Colorado. Still, she is greatly influenced by a previous trip abroad. "I went to Ireland a few years back and still go through photos and remember what an inspiring, beautiful place it is—a good excuse to use green," says Pratt. "Paintings from Aran Islands and southern Ireland can be expected and harbor scenes from Belgium." For Pratt, having a baby has put into perspective the amount of time spent painting." Before my son Soren came along, I had ample painting time. Now it's two hours a day, which is a good thing in some aspects—having limited painting time shows me the contrast in getting it right the first time," says Pratt. Collectors of Pratt's work often appreciate the emotion, freshness, geometry, texture, and beautiful color the artist brings to the canvas." I think my collectors are people who enjoy something a little different than the usual."

American Art Collector

June 2008

Thick paint and blended edges are the key elements of Sandra Pratt’s newest work, inspired by both her world travels and her imagination.    “ I want to keep the paintings as simple as possible. Clean, yet complex, while blending the edges, that’s in all of these paintings,” says Pratt. “It’s mostly thick, palette knife painting in style I would call abstract impressionism.”   In this new show, some of the works feature aging structures, fences, and barns set in the rugged countryside that Pratt chose to preserve on canvas.   “Barns are disappearing. I like their symmetry, and there can be so much expression in a building that I think is so cool, especially the ones in the South, with different roofs and rounded shapes,” says Pratt. “The paintings of barns also have more in-depth color schemes.”   Using color, texture, and the relationship between shapes and edges to draw the viewer into the painting, Pratt creates scenes that are at once mysterious and familiar. While some locations are purely imagined, others are inspired by recent trips around the country and to Costa Rica, Ireland, and Sweden. 

  “I’m drawn just to go outside and start painting, or I’ll paint from memory or inspiration, just trying to figure out colors,” says Pratt. “With a palette knife, it’s enjoyable to try to blend everything with on single stroke, keeping it simple.” 

Pratt hopes her collectors pull an indefinable, intuitive feeling from her paintings and that her evolution as an artist is evident.   “ I want to create feeling in the viewers, and I hope that comes across in my work. I’m working on being more aware and letting paintings flow from me versus trying to force a painting to come about,” says Pratt. “I’m going with the flow, staying true to myself. It’s about staying in alignment with inspiration. It’s good to stay focused on what I want to do-grow and express as an artist.”

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