Originally uploaded by sandiwhetzel

Sandi Whetzel is seduced by the captivating, graceful forms she finds tucked away in nature. Her fascination with the discovered shapes compels her to enhance their graceful contours, infuse them with luscious color and feature them prominently in her paintings. Whetzel’s contemporary acrylic paintings embrace the nuances of shapes and patterns inspired by the plant world. Her current focus has been an intimate view of succulents; embellishing their engaging shapes with vibrant hues and sculptural textures.

Sandi paints in her home studio located at Days Creek, OR. She instructed community education art classes for Umpqua Community College from 1997 - 2013. She studied with accomplished artists, Kevin Macpherson, Tom Browning and Harley Brown. She treasures most the continuing association with her mentor artist and friend, Bonnie Hill of Roseburg, OR.

Several of Whetzel’s works have been used to promote the wine industry through wine-themed events in southern Oregon. Her work appears in Northwest Artists: A Collection of Works by Notable Artists of the Northwest. Her paintings are in private collections in Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota and North Dakota. She has exhibited in solo and numerous group shows during the last several years, including two shows at the Coos Art Museum, in Coos Bay, OR.

During her childhood, Sandi’s family changed residence frequently to follow employment in the logging industry of southern Oregon and northern California. She attended many small elementary and high schools, none of which offered any art education. As a teenager she enjoyed paint-by-number oil sets and she became interested in drawing briefly around the age of thirteen. After that, Sandi didn’t have much contact with art until later in life.

For years after she married, her only artistic pursuits had been machine sewing garments and home decorator items. A friend invited her to a fashion T-shirt painting class and she thoroughly enjoyed it. At the same time, Whetzel was mesmerized by PBS TV painting shows.

Near Whetzel’s fortieth birthday she purchased new home furniture but wall art was not in her budget. Sandi had grown up with a motto that had served her well whenever she couldn't afford something. It was, “…Necessity is the mother of invention.” She always derived a certain satisfaction with inventing her version of the desired object. She thought, “How hard could it be to do the paintings myself? After all, I have been painting T-shirts and watching the instructional videos on TV.” Sandi immediately started painting all on her own, making discoveries through trial and error. During that time frame, she also ran a child day care business at home. While the three toddlers took their midday nap, Sandi took out her paints and painted for an hour or so during the weekdays. Eventually she took art instruction from a very talented and devoted community college art instructor, Bonnie Hill of Roseburg, OR. In 1997 after only a few years of instruction, Bonnie recommended Sandi to replace herself as instructor of the classes. Bonnie became Sandi’s close friend and mentor; a treasured source of inspiration and knowledge. Whetzel instructed art at Umpqua College from 1997 to 2013.

When speaking of her art, Sandi has remarked, “I hope my art warms the spirit and inspires people to pursue their dreams. Art that does that for us helps to make our working and living environments more of a sanctuary in stressful times.”

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