By SHEA STANFIELD
Much like the master painters of the American West such as Thomas Moran, Edgar Payne and Charles M. Russell, local artist, Sandi Ciaramitaro, exquisitely captures the mystery and magic of today’s natural landscapes in true en plein air, alla prima style (in the fresh air, in one go).
Mesmerized by the vast expanses of red sandstone formed over centuries by swirling wind and rushing water, the daily routine of native inhabitants and the simplicity of life that teems on the land’s surface today, Sandi finds great joy in off-road adventuring into the open areas of Arizona, New Mexico and California.
This vast, silent landscape and simple lifestyle is a long way from East Detroit, Mich., where Sandi grew up and worked for 15 years for one of the top three automakers. Her training in auto body design, with a styling specialty, eventually landed her a top spot as coordinator of small truck design. Her free and imaginative painting style today would give you no hint of her draftsperson, engineering roots.
Alas, not finding her “most creative spirit” nurtured by the button-down world of auto manufacturing, Sandi enrolled in several painting class. It wasn’t long before Sandi realized if she were going to “truly release that artist within” she would need to strike out on her own, developing an individual creative path.
Sandi has found her passion in a variety of paint mediums. She describes her watercolor process as extremely delicate and takes months to complete. For this reason, she works on in her studio loft overlooking the Tonto National Forest where she lives in Arizona.
Each year she also creates a few paintings in oil from field studies she develops on location. In keeping with the “close to the earth and natural” theme, Sandi’s crafts handmade frames from 25 to 100-year-old reclaimed Arizona wood. Her original works are truly original, a quality highly valued by her many collectors.
A few years ago Sandi introduced bronze reliefs to her collection. In this process she uses natural materials to provide unique textures to each piece, (such as stone, granite, mesquite, pyrite, etc).
This process was developed from a series of watercolors and oils that Sandi has titled “With Respect.” Her subject is the Pueblo of Walpi on First Mesa in Northern Arizona, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited pueblos in the North America, dating from 900 A.D.
She has recently moved into bronze sculptures depicting an intermittent variety of Western subjects capturing common scenes on the ranch.
If all of this does not keep Sandi busy enough, she is also is the author of four coffee table art gallery/cookbooks that contain her work and her Tuscan Family recipes. The series is entitled, “Cook with Love & Paint with Passion,” volumes I, II, III, IV. All four are available for purchase on Amazon or by visiting her shows during the 2018-2019 art season.
Sandi is participating in the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, Studio #18, Pat’s Glass Studio, 26420 N. 82nd Street during the last two weekends in November 2018 (sonoranartsleague.org). Also, the Scottsdale Celebration of the Arts, Studio #226-227, from January 2019-March 2019 (celebrateart.com).
To view a variety of projects Sandi is engaged in, publications where she has been featured, contact her with questions, or purchase her art, visit her website at SandiC.me.
Sandi also is a strong believer of “giving back” to rescues she works with, as she describes it, “Real animals and real-life stories that I use for subjects in my pieces.” Some but not all include, Triple R Horse Rescue-Spur Cross Ranch and Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary in Prescott.
Stop by and visit with Sandi during this season’s arts exhibitions, her energy is infectious, her stories are fascinating, and her art pieces are incomparable!
Contact Arts Columnist, Shea Stanfield, on her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.