Artist of the Month: Sandy Meyer

Sandy Meyer, our Artist of the Month for March, says, “Light has always been the trigger to inspiration for me. In recent years this has gone deeper into how light causes colors to change.”

by Bob Bahr

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Red Squares No. 5
2007, watercolor, 18½ x 26½.
Collection the artist.

This painting recently won first
place in the West Michigan Regional Competition.

Sandy Meyer, our Artist of the Month for March, says, “Light has always been the trigger to inspiration for me. In recent years this has gone deeper into how light causes colors to change.” Nearly 10 years ago Meyer began keeping a journal on color, jotting down any information she could find from such disparate sources as Kandinsky, Rothko, Matisse, Hans Hoffman, Joseph Raffael, Wolf Kahn, and Josef Albers. “I couldn’t get enough of it,” says the artist. “I studied the psychology of color, the optical effect of color—and it continues to this day. I am on my third journal now, all of them packed with notes, quotes, pictures, and sketches in marker, watercolor, or crayon.

“Today, everything I paint is filtered through my color mind,” she continues. “I am always asking myself, ‘How can I make this object, landscape, or person become more alive by the colors I use?’”

Meyer has spent almost all her life in Illinois and much of her recent life residing in log cabins, which has had both a direct and an indirect effect on her art. The artist says she needs to feel attached to a place and to the land before she can invest emotional content in her work. A typical example of such a connection is her watercolor Red Squares No. 5.

“The quilt pattern featured in this painting is called ‘log cabin,’” explains the artist. “It was the first quilt that I ever made. At the time we were living in a log cabin that had been built in 1836, so it seemed appropriate to have a log-cabin quilt on the bed. In the log-cabin pattern, the center block is always red, representing the fireplace–the heart of the cabin. I carefully arranged the quilt on the floor of my studio so that the layers were visible. The white areas of the painted quilt were the most challenging parts to paint. To keep the ripples held high during the week of painting I stuffed rolled-up hand towels between the layers. Incidentally, when another painting, Log Cabin, was hanging in my booth at an art fair, I heard a gentleman say, ‘The lady who made the quilt is the real artist.’ I politely thanked him and he walked away without another word.”

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Two Apples and Cherries
2006, watercolor, 13 x 19. Collection Jack and Martha Ketchum.
Breakfast Rolls
2006, watercolor, 9 x 13, Collection Patrick Louiselle.

Meyer is a signature member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society and Transparent Watercolor Society of America. Her art has been featured in numerous magazines, and she has conducted workshops in watercolor and served as juror for exhibitions throughout the Midwest. The artist is represented by Inman’s Gallery, in Quincy, Illinois, and Gallery Uptown, in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Bob Bahr is the managing editor of
American Artist.

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