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Sandra Brestel


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Underworld Passage

Underworld Passage
Limited Edition Giclee (30 x 48)

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Artist Biography


Over the years, Sandra's art career has carried her through several mediums, styles, and techniques. Many artists go through these phases of development before they find where their passion truly lies. In 1995, Sandra found this passion in the petroglyphs and pictographs of ancient Native Americans. These ancient people left the traces of their lives upon the earth's architecture of rock. It is here, in the southwestern desert, Sandra finds a continuing source of inspiration for her unique style of acrylic paintings.
Sandra's ability to blend color, shape, and texture enables her to create the illusion of an actual cave wall or cliff face. Within this illusion of rock lies a composition of anthropomorphic symbols and shapes. The images portrayed in Sandra's paintings are inspired by authentic petroglyphs and pictographs. Using her amazing talent for color and composition, Sandra paints these images in her own composition. This enables her to create freely, an original theme in each of her pieces.
The mirage like appearance of these sacred images and the spiritual mysticism of an ancient time is what brings Sandra's paintings to life. Sandra's art appeals to many people who have commissioned her to create that perfect piece for a certain room or foyer within their beautiful homes. Her work is in homes across the country and abroad, with pieces hanging in private collections as far away as Italy and Canada.
Collectors have described Sandra's unique paintings as modern primitive. The petroglyphs and pictographs found throughout the southwest are, of course, the primitive portion of that characterization. It is in these ancient time-worn images that Sandra finds her artistic inspiration. When experiencing these petroglyphs in their natural environment, one cannot help but think about these ancient people and the original artists of these works upon stone. Their lives were so closely connected with the natural order of nature, they were actually a part of nature. It's enlightening to realize these people existed side by side with the bear, coyote, the majestic elk, and many other great spirits of the natural world.
Petroglyphs and pictographs, these vestiges of the past, are our witnesses to the magic and mystery of these ancient people. The reverence that the Native Americans had for nature can be seen within these images and a trace of shaman magic still glistens upon each etched, pecked, and painted rock surface.
As for the modern in modern primitive, it describes not only Sandra's natural talent for color and composition, but also the way in which she handles her acrylic medium. Her painting techniques create a depth of color that is vibrant, and at the same time, translucent. These colors upon colors create a playground for light and although these colors are all found in nature, there is a surrealistic quality to Sandra's paintings. The free-form shape of each panel enhances the illusion of depth, and it is this illusion of color and shape that invokes the deep spiritual mysticism of an ancient people.


Sandra Brestel

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