After earning a BFA in drawing and painting at the University of Colorado, establishing a career as an educational illustrator, self publishing cookbooks, and then having 2 children in California, I began using watercolor in a life drawing class. The teacher got me equipped, introduced me to the medium and I was hooked. I loved the luminosity of the paints so much that I went on to execute all sorts of conceptual illustration course assignments as watercolor paintings after I moved to Seattle, getting more and more familiar with the planning and execution of a painting while I was expanding my portfolio. I love the sensuality of the medium, the glow of the colors and the fact that the paint can move and flow on its own while wet, intermingling with other colors.
Use of watercolor in my illustration work became part of my signature style that has been contracted for use on book jackets, logos, advertising, events, posters and in many publications all over the US and in Canada. To be more widely marketable and contemporary my illustration style departed from the realism I’d worked hard to master into a simplified process and uniquely stylized look which still looks contemporary. Here’s my illustration web site link. sandyhaight.com.
As a teacher of the watercolor process I’m rediscovering the joys of building a nuanced painting again, rich with built up color and texture as I launch my students into the process of creating watercolor art. I narrowed my own focus to the subject of flowers, particularly a macro view, that I call Floralscapes. They represent the inner landscape of the bloom in an up-close and personal way. The intense colors and sensuality of this subject continues to astonish me. I’m learning to paint bigger works, loving how they confront viewers and immerse them in beauty and color.
When I attend life drawing sessions I bring along my watercolors and sumi materials in an attempt to capture the figure. Sumi has been a challenge with the figure as there’s no traditional process to practice. I’m still feeling my way and love it when the simplest line can reflect an emotional gesture or tell a story. Both my watercolor and sumi life drawings have been shown in and around the Seattle area with their unique and refreshing approach to the figure. Some are visible on this site and many more are available to purchase through my Etsy shop linked on this site.
In October 2012 I qualified to become a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society after being juried into the requisite number of exhibitions. The initials NWWS now follow my signature on my watercolor paintings.
During the 2020 pandemic I decided to try out acrylic paints for the first time since college. It’s been a challenge and fun and not as strategic and methodical as my careful watercolor process. Check out my first series of some mailboxes in my Bainbridge Island neighborhood, a friendly part of my pandemic walks.
I hope you enjoy the artwork on my site!
Follow me on Instagram: @sandyhaight17