Sandra Schroeder

About Sandra Schroeder

I have been painting watercolors of southwestern landscapes for 25 years. Since my retirement from a research faculty position at Rush Medical University in Chicago, I have devoted much of the last 10 years to painting 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 and plein air painting.

Style and Inspiration

My paintings are impressionistic, 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 which I see as feminine in form and possessing healing powers for many ancient as well as contemporary peoples.  For me, it is easy to sense the presence of the Great Mother here. Her imprint is everywhere—on the great salmon cliffs formed from ancient seas of fish and shells, on the turquoise sky stamped with crisp white clouds, and on the crescent moon rising over the Sandias. My paintings ground and connect me to this timeless beauty.

Evolution of Current Work

I really feel that the land itself taught me how to paint it since I never had any formal training in landscape art. As I went 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 plein air for hours holed up under a juniper tree or any other snatch of shade I could fine. I felt so compelled to paint even though I frequently had no idea what I was doing technically. But, because I felt so deeply connected to what I saw, it just seemed to come through my eyes and hand and onto the paper.

Later, I began more experimental renderings of the landscape to capture very personal reactions to places that drew me back again and again. I have begun using watercolor collage because it can impart a more three dimensional feel and permits more complex compositions while still preserving the translucency of the watercolor medium. Also I have enjoyed painting with fluid acrylics on canvas and cradle board.

Watercolor Workshops

Currently, I teach watercolor at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM and Continuing Education in Albuquerque, NM.

Exhibits and Galleries

I have been a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society since 2008. I have exhibited in two one-person shows in Chicago and New Mexico as well as numerous juried shows in New Mexico. I have exhibited paintings at Weems Gallery, Albuquerque, NM and at the Laughing Lizard in Jemez, NM, Second Street Studios and Back Street Bistro, Santa Fe. I currently exhibit in my home gallery, available by appointment: 505-363-7020.