Artist Profile: Sandy O’Connor
“‘My best work is always inspired by what I have seen and experienced personally. I filter those experiences and try to capture the emotional connection that stirs my own senses when seeing something for the first time. I am constantly drawn to strong natural light and deep shadows no matter what the subject matter especially during dramatic, transitional moments of the day and seasons of the year.’
“Sandy O’Connor grew up on a small farm in northern New Jersey where changing seasons inspired a life-long passion to draw. She won her first art competition in second grade with a painting of a sunrise. Her love of the natural environment led instinctively to a degree in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University. It is this combination of a naturalist’s eye, the discipline of a formal design education and years of professional practice as a graphic artist that shapes O’Connor’s style as a representational fine artist.
“With a meticulous attention to detail, the realism present in each one of her watercolor paintings has become the trademark for this award-winning artist. O’Connor was also selected by American Artist’s Watercolor magazine as one of 10 finalists in their 2007 and 2008 cover competitions. In 2009, she was juried as an Associate Artist member of the prestigious Copley Society of Art in Boston where she recently won a ‘Juror’s Choice’ award for her painting Pearl of Cotuit. The recipient of multiple awards from the Cape Cod Art Association, her painting titled The Wonder Years, which garnered a ‘Peoples Choice Award’ from the Association, appears in the North Light Books publication, Splash 11: New Directions, available May 2010. The same painting won the Ferdinand R. Petrie Memorial Prize in the prestigious Hudson Valley Art Association’s 78th Exhibition. This led to a formal invitation to join the Association. Her painting, Back to the Sea, will be featured in Splash 12: Celebrating Artistic Vision, available in May 2011. Her painting, Sitting Pretty, was recently chosen for the front cover of Medicine & Health Rhode Island, Publication of the Rhode Island Medical Society, August 2010.
“A resident of Cotuit, Massachusetts, O’Connor is a co-founder of the non-profit Art of the Cure for Juvenile Diabetes, an active volunteer at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit and a juried artist member of the Cape Cod Art Association where she garnered first place and the ‘People’s Choice Award’ in the 2009 All New England Exhibition for her work titled High and Dry. This same piece was accepted into the Transparent Watercolor Society’s 34th Annual National Exhibition last spring and has also been accepted for inclusion into the New England Watercolor Society’s 12th Biennial North American Open Show, which will take place at the North Shore Arts Association, Gloucester, MA, from Sept. 24 – Oct 24, 2010.
“O’Connor trades under the banner of Red Hill Studio, named after her mother’s family home in Dunoon, Scotland. Her work is now part of several private collections in the United States, Germany and Great Britain.”
Editor’s Note: Sandy O’Connor is one of the featured artists in the National Marine Life Center’s upcoming Art for the Seas event. The above biography is from her website, www.redhillsudio.com. ~kaz