Sandra Schroeder

About Sandra Schroeder

I have been painting watercolors of southwestern landscapes for 30 years. Since my retirement from a research faculty position at Rush Medical University in Chicago, I have devoted much of the last 20 years to painting and teaching art in New Mexico. I was trained in the basics at the Art Institute of Chicago, but I believe that the success of my current work is mostly due to my strong attunement with the land.

Style and Inspiration

My paintings are expressionistic, experimental, and sometimes abstract renderings of land and nature forms. I rely on the fluidity and transparency of the watercolor medium to capture the intense high desert light, colored cliffs and immense shifting skies. My inspiration comes from the land itself, which I see as feminine in form and possessing healing powers for many ancient as well as contemporary peoples.  My paintings ground and connect me to this timeless beauty.

Evolution of Current Work

I began painting the landscape in plein air. As I’d go trekking through such places as the Ghost Ranch, Chaco Canyon, and the Jemez Mountains, I would be drawn to certain spots that would demand that I come back and paint them. So later, I would lug my art supplies to paint for hours holed up under a juniper tree or any other snatch of shade I could find.  The sheer beauty of the place seemed to come through my eyes into my hands, making up for any lack of technical skill I had in the beginning.

Later, I began more experimental, expressionistic renderings of the landscape, drawing upon the  earth images stored in my mind based on years of observation,  I have been experimenting with watercolor collage because it permits more complex compositions while still preserving the translucency of the watercolor medium.   I also enjoy experimenting with painting intuitively with fluid acrylics which can preserve much of the translucency of watercolor.


I greatly enjoy teaching watercolor, sharing my enthusiasm and knowledge with students. (See Workshop Section for more information.)

Exhibits and Galleries

I have been a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society since 2008. I’ve had one-person shows in Chicago and New Mexico as well as numerous juried shows in New Mexico. I currently exhibit with the Santa Fe Studio Tour Collective , where I am the featured artist in 2018. (See current exhibits). I also exhibit in my home studio, available by appointment: 505-363-7020.