Sandra Duran Wilson
Sandra began formal training as a landscape oil painter at the age of five, painting alongside her great aunt, Santa Duran. As a teen her art interests expanded to dance, music and writing. She painted murals, made jewelry, cut gemstones, carved sculptures, wrote songs and played guitar. Even when she was working as a jeweler she would draw and sculpt. She came full circle back to painting about 25 years ago.
"I have synesthesia which is a crossing of the senses. When I listen to music I see colors and numbers have different frequencies and tones. I create paintings to specific music and sometimes numbers become the basis for my work, which are frequencies and that is what I paint."
"I studied cognitive science and chemistry and I got my science degree at the same time I received my fine art degree. My work is influenced not only by my early childhood but also by my love of science. Abstract scientific concepts in physics, biology, astronomy and chemistry find expression in my work. The pure fun of exploring what paint can do and my natural curiosity keeps the work fresh and lively. I focused on traditional print-making while in art school; and later developed my own techniques to achieve the same results using natural non-toxic methods. My work is represented in the US and Australia and is found in many corporate, civic, private and educational collections worldwide."
Which current art world trends are you following?
I love the development of digital and video art. I am working on incorporating sound to create music based on my paintings. Because of the synesthesia I can create to music. Now I wish to create music from the paintings. I am using digital sound sampling and synthesizers to work on this project.
What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
The artist keeps humanity honest. I feel that artists can provide direct feedback in social and political discourse and I have no fear of creating objects of beauty.
Tell Us More About Your Life Experiences.
I grew up in a place of unlimited imagination. The open ranchland of the Mexican border was an empty stage on which to perform, and my brothers and I created many worlds. We could be explorers in unchartered territories hacking our way through the underbrush with machetes, or we could battle the fierce winds of the desert with the trash can lids as our shields. The animals and stories of the people always entertained my imagination, and my father’s microscope held the universe within my view. I still live in such a place in my mind. The imagination is limitless and is populated with sounds, stories and memories.
Growing up on the land and having two older brothers also taught me to be fearless. This has helped me in my life to keep going, pushing the boundaries and charting unfamiliar territory. I have done and been many things in my life, but I have always been an artist. I grew up in a family of artists and scientists, and I was comfortable in both worlds. I never had issue with wondering if I was an artist or not because I knew from the start that I was. Being a scientist took a bit more effort, but I approach both with the same sense of curiosity and wonder. I have degrees in both fine art and science from the University of NM and I have lived in Santa Fe, NM since 1977.
Article by Mary Carrol Nelson, founder of The Society of Layerists in Multi-Media.
In her career, Sandra has written six books. Five of them are on up-to-the-minute techniques, which have a scientific feeling to them since they are both experimental and specific, relying on materials not available until recently, and some that are not usually thought of as art materials. She has made herself a veritable expert on making textures, transfers, and color. Her latest book is on spirituality in art which draws upon the years she spent helping others. The mission of the book is to teach artists to connect art to their own spirit.
How does one put into words the extent of Sandra Duran Wilson’s work? The overall direction is abstraction, but the attention is on formal aspects of making art: dividing the surface into interesting forms, playing with new materials, keeping the emphasis on the fact that the creation is not so much about something seen in nature as a work devoted to the creating of it, the process of achieving a work of art.
"I teach workshops, I have written 6 books on art techniques and I have several instructional DVDs. I teach in Santa Fe, NM at my studio and around the US, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Check my website for the complete schedule and be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date."
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