Sandi Gant’s first introduction to creating art was not a positive experience, considering her high school art teacher was not interested in teaching art to girls; however, that didn’t stop her. She traces her interest in art to high school, but not in art class.
“My inspiration came from artwork on album covers. I knew I wanted to be part of that kind of creativity,” she reminisced. “After pursuing an undergraduate degree in art, I found my skill set to be a hindrance. An art instructor encouraged me to use photography to get around my inability to draw well. Then I branched out into silk screen printing and pottery.”
While she was pursuing her interests in photography, she had some success. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tulsa. She and some other talented artists were chosen by then Oklahoma governor, George Nigh, to exhibit their photos in the Oklahoma State Capital building.
The artist’s life was temporarily put on hold when Sandi married and had a daughter. “Being a mom and a wife and raising a family, I didn’t have time for myself or my art. But when my daughter went off to college in 2005, I had so much time on my hands. I went to Midwestern State University and took some classes in sculpting,” she recalled. “Some of the processes scared me in my first year.”
Eventually, she had success with her sculpting. Her first sale was to the then President of MSU, Dr. Jesse Rodgers. The sculpture was a dragonfly. One of her wood sculptures is also now part of a permanent display at Red Bull Gallery in Houston.
And as far as drawing went, she just didn’t understand it. “I had a friend explain it to me much later. I enjoy drawing now. I sketch what I am going to paint or sculpt,” Sandi said.
Sandi added painting to that skill set. Her paintings are lovely, often with playful characters living life. She has one with girls playing, and another with a grandfather and grandson. She also has a painting of a man deep in thought called “Contemplation”. That painting is now in Breckridge, Texas. It has been accepted into the 27th Annual Juried Art Show Competition and Sale. It is quite an honor to have art accepted in this show.
Sandi’s mom passed away 4 years ago and as a way to work through it, Sandi painted this painting one night during the grieving process. She describes it as a “Very emotional painting. I work through my emotions through my art. My art is reflective of how I feel about the subject or what is affecting me. It is about me.”
Sandi started painting after taking art lessons from Judy Braddy at the Kemp Center for the Arts. Judy was teaching painting with acrylic paints. Sandi wanted to try her hand at painting with oil paints, so she began taking lessons from Kay Miller. Sandi took those lessons for 2 years. She quit taking lessons from Kay, but “still needed some coaching” and is now taking lessons from Janelle Michonski at the Seventh Street Studio.