Katherine Sandoz: Just Looking for Some MagicJanuary 25th, 2011 by Amy Zurcher
|Artist Katherine Sandoz, photograph by Adam Kuehl|
|Photo by Adam Kuehl|
Katherine: I joke around that I “do it all” when asked this question, which sounds so pretentious. But I do not feel bound by materials. High or low “art,” I’m engaged in making in an image and in recording an idea or thought with any given media. I am just as happy with crayons and cut paper as I am with the most expensive and well mixed oil paints.
“Treescapes Duran no. 2″, water-based media on panel, 24″ x 24″, $2400
Amy: What are a few words that best describe your work?
Katherine: This is a difficult question. I’ll try not to answer this one. I realize that what I present is one animal to one person and not even an animal to the next. Whether an image-maker or a musician or a homemaker – whatever one creates – we make something and give it to the world. The recipients are tasked with describing their experience.
|“Blooded”, watercolor, prismacolor, white out pen|
|“Treescapes Church Bloom”, water-based media on panel, 24″ x 24″, $2400|
Katherine: My favorites are too numerous to list and I’d be forgetting some of the brightest just because the database of my appreciation is Lake Superior deep. One longstanding favorite is Meredith Pardue (B.F.A., painting, 1998) for color and for communication of what I might call “ardor.” Pamela Wiley’s (SCAD fibers professor since 1990) sketchbook and fibers work always gives me a little pinch on the arm; her mark-making surprises and excites, and I end up feeling as though I have discovered some never-seen-before artifact. I respect the paint quality of Troy Wandzel’s (B.F.A., illustration, 1995) work very much but, in my opinion, it is the event of watching him paint and talking with him while he does that is the true art. Anything Eleanor Davis (B.F.A., sequential art, 2006) makes is magic but the line quality of her drawing is a unique language, efficient and beautiful all at once.
|“Treescapes Duran no.1″, water-based media on panel, 24″ x 24″, $2400|
|“Untitled”, crayon, pencil on index|
|“Treescapes from Rooftop”, water-based media on panel, 24″ x 24″, $2400|
Katherine: I haven’t. I say, “Just looking for some magic.” I wonder when or if someone is a “real” artist and what the prerequisites are for that. Still working on that one. I sometimes like to think of myself as being a problem solver. As I’m not a CPA and can’t arrive at the “right number” on any given day, I do feel satisfied if my work has contributed or adds to something. I also like using the parameters staked out by a client; we are partners and collaborators (maybe even conspirators). And that seems a promising enterprise no matter how you shake it.
|“Very Optimistic”, cut construction paper|
|“(Waterway) Low Tide”, water-based media on birch, 7.25″ x 7.25″, $1000|
|“(Waterway) Stand”, water-based media on birch, 7.25″ x 7.25″, $1000|
Katherine: I am recording something – for myself and for you, but they might not be the same something.
|Katherine’s sketchbook, photo by Adam Kuehl, styling by Amy Zurcher and Kyle Millsap|
Katherine: When I came to SCAD in 1995, we both had a mission and it was the same one. I also taught at the college for about nine years, and that made me an ambassador for the college’s mission. Fifteen years later, we’re still on the same mission and supporting it is more riveting than ever. There is no portion of my life or work that is untouched by SCAD’s influence. Paula Wallace, along with hundreds of ex-students, staff and a lot of the faculty – all have taught me so much about making work, but also about the power of tenacity and about the power of “yes.” I knew about the “hard work” part. But it’s all a joy, even the hard stuff. And that was part of the plan, too. I purposely joined my life and my work, hoping that both could be meaningful to me and useful to others.
|“(Waterway) Beachscape”, water-based media on birch, 7.25″ x 7.25″, $1000|
Katherine: It’s almost Vernonburg and almost the country. If you haven’t been, there are two places anyone living in Savannah should see: Vernonburg and Beaulieu.
|Katherine’s home, featured in Perfect Porches, photo by Adam Kuehl|
Katherine: We live in a 1931 arts-and-crafts special. I add the “special” part because it is made entirely of cypress. And we also have very special neighbors who are dear to us. We feel very lucky that our realtor (Lori Judge) insisted we buy it. The house and the location are a perfect match for our needs that in 2005 centered on making art, hunting and fishing, and distance/proximity from town. Now we have children who like to make art, hunt and fish, so it’s also special for them.
Amy: Describe your studio for me.
Katherine: I have a studio in the barn behind our house. I have an apothecary-type dresser that holds a lot of my materials. I have a desk, shelving with all my sketchbooks and reference/art books, a mini-kitchen and an even more mini-bathroom. There are three walls of windows and one wall of push-pin-esque (but heavier) material. I call the studio my “shrinking empire” because it’s small – smaller than I ordered – but it is all mine.
|Photo by Adam Kuehl for Perfect Porches|
Amy: Do you ever hold on to any of your paintings to adorn your own home with?
Katherine: Rarely. I hang almost entirely local, regional and/or SCAD artists. But sometimes one of mine will be hanging in the house because it’s on its way to storage or is getting ready to be shipped. Or I’m studying it in order to do it better the next time I take a stab and/or learn something.
|Katherine’s front porch, photo by Adam Kuehl, styling by Amy Zurcher and Kyle Millsap|
Katherine: I’ve recently made a fibers installation that went to SCAD Hong Kong. I enjoyed fiddling with the engineering it required. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about better ways to build the pieces, and new ideas bubble to the surface at the same time. I just finished a series of paintings, abstract landscapes, called the “keystone series,” featuring an area near Vernonburg that will become a bypass between Abercorn Street and Whitfield Avenue. I’m working on a series of very detailed paintings of Lacoste, France paired with abstracts of the same location. Generally, I’m very excited about my work. I adore drawing and I have a long and studied romance with paint. I can hardly remember the last time I wasn’t thrilled to get after it.
|Katherine’s former intern, Yiqiao Wang (SCAD MFA candidate in illustration), assisted with fiber installation for SCAD Hong Kong|
|Landscapes by Katherine, photo by Adam Kuehl|
Amy: Are you a full-time artist?
|Prized skull on porch, photo by Adam Kuehl|
Amy: Anything you do to supplement your income that you would like to share?
Katherine: That is my sole means of generating income. I do think from time to time about selling all of my stuff online and living in rooms painted white with lots of sunlight, little furniture, one piece of sculpture or a painting and expertly draped somewhere an exquisite cut of fabric.