BORN INTO AN artistic family in New York, Sands’ early exposure
to art was an integral part of her childhood. Her formal education began at age 13 in her high school art room. There she learned the fundamentals of art and design, drawing, painting and printmaking. Professional recognition came early; at 16 she won an honorable mention in Seventeen Magazine’s National Illustration contest; three years later she went on
to win 1st prize.
Sands attended Rhode Island School of Design, (RISD), studying with Dale Chihuly and Jun Kaneko, among others. Throughout her four years at art school she freelanced as a graphic designer and illustrator, continuing her career in Boston after graduation. At the same time she studied modern dance, intending to perform with modern dance companies.
In early 1980, before her dance auditions, she took a trip to India. There everything changed....
“I painted, I danced, and I played flute. It had always been very clear to me that these were three different expressions of one creative source. I wanted to find the source.”
Sands stayed in India, living in a spiritual community
for the next thirteen years. She worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for the community, for Rebel Press, (Germany) and CBS India.
Additionally she continued her independent projects; writing and illustrating two children’s books, (published in 1988), and designing large coffee table books for Master’s Press.
In 1991 Sands moved to California, incorporating her experience of meditation into her day-to-day life and work. A chance trip to San Gimignano, Italy, that summer rekindled her first love ~ painting. She dusted off her brushes and recommenced, overwhelmed by the incandescent light and color of Tuscany. This led to several working / painting visits to San Gimignano, culminating in a move and the jump to full time painting in 1994.
There she painted and sold her watercolors
for the next fourteen years. In 2001 her work was featured in International Artist Magazine.
In late 2005, Sands moved to Sedona, Arizona.
March 2006, she teamed up with Jim Laws,
creating a mural for HGTV's Landscaper’s Challenge; the landscaping makeover competition. Jim’s team won, the show (and mural) aired in December 2007, and continues to be aired periodcally, as one of the Landscaper’s Challenge favorites.
To create the mural Sands developed a new technique in acrylic (called watercolor translated – watercolor effects in acrylic, a permanent medium, on a large scale).
In June 2007 she received the City of Sedona Professional Artists Grant to further develop this new technique, painting large dyptich and tryptich murals on wood panels.
January 2009 Sands recommenced graphic design, (at the request of a friend who knew her design work). Her design company, Indigo Disegno Graphic Design (www.indigodisegno.com), is attracting attention and plaudits. The ‘Zazu’ band was so pleased with the cover she designed that they have entered it in the 2011 Grammy’s in the artwork category.
In April 2009 Sands received a Marilyn Sunderman Grant to expand her knowledge of watercolor, studying with one of the all-time masters of watercolor, Alvaro Castegnet.
Today, she continues to paint, teach and design. Her paintings and lithographs appear in numerous collections, galleries and shops in Europe, America,
and around the world.
She teaches drawing, watercolor and composition at the Sedona Arts Center, and leads workshops at SAC and other Centers in the US and Europe. These include the Creative Foundations Series, a set of four intensive workshops she designed to give beginners a solid base in art, including the popular ‘Drawing Without Fear’, (teaching beginners to draw in just five days), as well as ‘Watercolor Without Fear’, ‘Exploring Watercolor’ and ‘Glow’, (five day watercolor workshops), and, new this year: ‘Tuscany From the Inside’, (a 10 day painting workshop held in Tuscany, Italy... her old stomping ground).
Sands was honored to be selected as one of the jurors for the 2010 Sedona Art Festival.
SDSW International Exhibition 2012
SVAC Faculty Exibition 2011
SVAC Members Exibition 2007, 09, 10
SAC Faculty Exibition 2006, 07, 08
SAC Miniature Exibition 2007
SAC Members Exibition 2006, 07, 09
HGTV Landscaper’s Challenge episode 1206
The Sedona Art Collection Sedona, 2006
Galleria Della Rocca, San Gimignano, 1994 - 2006
Il Pozzo, Cortona, Italy 2002 -2006
Studio D’Arte Della Rocca, San
Gimignano, Italy, 1998,1999, 2003
Cantina Divino, Frankfurt, Germany, 2002
La Bottega, www.umberto.com, 2001 - 2006
The Katonah Museum, Katonah NY, 1999
Artists Market, Norwalk, Conn 1998
Tuscan Square, NY, NY 1997
Woods Gerry Gallery, Providence RI, 1978
Carr House Gallery, Providence RI, 1977
Westchester Gallery, Chappaqua, NY, 1972