“I have a strong drive to create beauty in everything I see”: Sandra L. Strohschein

Posted by Rana Ashish Singh
June 14, 2017

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Sandra L. Strohschein is an artist based in Michigan. She has won several awards for her watercolor works. Her works have been displayed in many countries including USA, Canada and in Europe. In an Email interview I tried to undersand the story behind the artist in her:

Ashish:  What is the story behind you becoming an artist?
From her website: Sandra is a watercolor artist from South West Michigan. She began pursuing a life long interest in watercolor in 2009 after raising her family. In six short years painting Sandra has achieved a remarkable amount of success. She has won top honors in juried watercolor exhibits both regionally and Statewide, most recently receiving the Michigan Watercolor Society Second Place award for her painting ‘Lake Michigan, October’.  In 2014 she won the Michigan Watercolor Society Anniversary Award for her painting “Portrait of a Master”.  This comes after a phenomenal 16,000 hours studying watercolor in her studio and also En Plein Air.   Her painting, “Marco Island Sunset” will be included in Splash 2017 along with the most highly esteemed watercolorists working today,  her biggest honor to date.  Hard work pays off and in 2014 Sandra was been assigned a brush set with her name on them by Rosemary & Co. Handmade brushes out of England.   She also was featured in En Plein Air, online magazine, February-March edition 2014 and found herself in the pages of the magazine in their ‘Extreme Paint Out’ section.  On March 6th, 2015 Sandra was introduced as a “Revelation” in “The Art of Watercolor”  Magazine published in France and the United States. Sandra teaches annually in Italy at “The Watermill”,  and also travels each year to Bulgaria where she exhibits and teaches.  In the past three years,  Sandra has maintained a heavy travel schedule painting from Vancouver British Columbia and Alaska all the way to the South East Coast of Florida.   She has worked outdoors across many States as well as Canada, Bulgaria, Italy, and Spain.  Sandra is considered self-taught but has studied personally with Janet Rogers, Steve Rogers, Keiko Tanabe and Alvaro Castagnet.

Ashish: What inspires you to put your energy into art?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
I have a strong drive to create beauty in everything I see and hopefully others will see the beauty in the ordinary things of life.

Ashish: What materials do you use in your paintings?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
Watercolor, I use always, Holbein pigments, Fabriano or Saunders Waterford 140# CP.  Rosemary brushes (my signature line)

Ashish: How have you evolved as an artist? (your journey so far)
Sandra L. Strohschein:
I am more confident and far more advanced from the sheer number of hours I have spent painting.  Over 16,000 in six years.

Ashish: Who is/are your favorite artist(s)? And why?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
The Past, John Singer Sargent.  His ability to capture the moment and make me feel it.   Present,  Alvaro Castagnet, his unashamed ability to be who he is and paint the way he wants to paint wish no regard for traditional watercolor technique.  

Ashish: As an artist what do you think needs to be done in order to reach out to more people?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
Nothing, the internet is a wealth of information and inspiration if a person is determined to learn.

Ashish: What differences do you find in the audience of your country and abroad?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
European and Asian audiences are far more responsive, respectful and have an interest in the enduring quality of art, not the competition of art.

Ashish: Is art limited to some classes in your country? if so, what are the reasons behind it?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
No, there is no limitation in the USA…only self-limitations…I feel sorry for those who do not achieve here.  EVERYTHING is possible.

Ashish: How do you see the economics of art in general and in your country?
Sandra L. Strohschein:
Improving.  Things were terribly slow six years ago but the past three years we have seen a great turnaround.

(Photographs are taken from the website: https://sandralstrohscheinfineart.com/)

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