By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Thick, juicy paint combines with an inspired sense of color harmony in a signature Sandra Pratt landscape. Pratt spent a year at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to Colorado, where she began to transfer her love of nature onto canvases that explore texture, shape, and color. There is often an Edward Hopper sensibility present in her minimalist scenes, where a single building is depicted amid a barren landscape. But Pratt would be the first to say that she isn’t tied to the Ashcan School or any particular art theory or cadre of artists. Instead, she prefers to wield her palette knife with a spontaneous flair to capture a moment in time. Often the result is a painting that conveys the idea of viewing something from a distance, as if passing by in a car. Her main mission, she says, is to ensure that viewers get a fresh understanding of a place, whether it’s a bucolic farm in Ireland or a cabin in the Rocky Mountains.
Has your style or approach to your art changed since you first appeared in Southwest Art? I use much thicker paint application, better quality paints and canvases, and I have a more recognizable style.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far? Completing a really good painting that I’m happy with. And when my son was born.
Would you have done anything differently? I would have taken more workshops and studied more with other people.
What advice do you give to artists just starting out in their careers? Make a postcard or a little book of your favorite images and send it to galleries you are interested in showing with. If they like it, they will call you.
What motto do you live by? Keep on painting.
What artists have influenced you? Sergei Bongart, Gay Faulkenberry, Quang Ho, and Margarita Hahn Vidal. I also like Russian artists and painters from the Ukraine.
What are you working on now? I’m trying to improve in using the palette knife and achieving color harmony.
What’s your next big goal? To continue painting and growing. And learning to be a good parent.
Abend Gallery, Denver, CO; Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Coda Gallery, Park City, UT; Sacred Dancing Gallery, Bigfork, MT; Vail International Gallery, Vail, CO; Bennett Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA; www.sandrapratt.com.
Annual Holiday Miniature Show, Abend Gallery, December 4-31.
First appearance in Southwest Art: 21 Under 31, September 2002
Awards won since then: I haven’t received any awards since then, but all of my galleries are new since I appeared in the magazine.
Price change since then: They have probably at least doubled.
Featured in December 2009