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q&a: sascha stannard

What’s your signature? What themes do you pursue? 

The themes I pursue exist in the natural world. I love finding playful gestures in botanicals and depicting moments of human connection. I aim for my signature to be honest paintings of everyday life. 

Tell us about your favorite medium. 

I love watercolors! They are tedious and challenging. I love using watercolors to hint at form, and the moments when colors unexpectedly bleed together. The pools of water still look wet after they've dried. 

You use a ton of different means to showcase your artwork- linens, murals, ceramics, face masks, etc… So far, which has been your favorite and what have you not done that you’re itching to do? Do you have a dream project?

I would love to design more on fabric. My dream is to one day own a digital printer and create a line of linens for the home made from recycled fabrics and sheets.I would also love to own a kiln and explore the world of hand building in ceramics. 


When it comes to housewares- what are your steps from receipt of the item to completion? What about with linens?

With house wares I submerge myself in images. I start working from photographs to anchor myself and get a feel for the given theme. Sometimes I'll draw out the housewares and then design the patterns on paper, but usually I'll just go for it and glaze the ceramics directly,  I prefer this spontaneous approach. As I continue in the process, I become less dependent on visuals and paint freely and hopefully reach a flow state where ideas for designs come freely. 

With linens I will start with a color way. And then compose images in that color. A lot of the times the patterns are earnest attempts to paint the theme correctly, so at the end the final pattern will exist of my attempts to draw one flower, for example. 


Describe the best piece you’ve ever created. 

I really love the cabinets I painted over the pandemic in my kitchen. There's an orange tree right outside my kitchen window and I wanted to extend the fresh colors of the oranges and green indoors. After priming the cabinets, I began painting oranges and dark green leaves in a scattered and playful pattern, working all over the space at once. It was a really important project during a time when I was feeling isolated and looking for ways to maintain my practice.

You share a studio with 2-3 other artists. Do you find it helpful to be involved in this community? 

Moving into a studio was the best decision for me because of the sense of community it has offered. Because the studio can be a vulnerable space, my studio mates and I support each other through creative decisions and personal issues too. Working alongside other women has been a great gift in a practice that can otherwise be isolating. I would absolutely recommend this for other artists, a built in network of other artists who have committed themselves to their work is invaluable.

How do you collaborate with other artists? What’s that process like usually for you?

I love to collaborate with other artists.  The process usually consists of an organic back and forth. I am very open to feedback and working together with folks to create something original and unexpected. Recently I loved collaborating with Claire Woolner who started a line called Dress Forme, she designed and sewed clothes from old sheets that I designed and then screen printed a pattern on to. When I feel connected to the artists then the work comes naturally.

Describe how art is important to society. 

I believe that art is essential to society as a means of communicating our stories. The more we share our stories the more we become connected, which is so important during divisive and painful times like these. I also believe deeply in the decorative arts, beautiful designs and murals are celebrations of life and great visual comforts. 

You teach kids and do family classes. What's it like to work with kids?

It's really tiring but ultimately inspiring and gratifying to work with kids. Kids create from an honest place of self expression, I am always striving to get back to this place. It's wonderful to see children create for the sake of the process rather than the product. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

In college my beloved drawing teacher would say, "take that line for a walk," and all these years later I continue to follow my line. 

Name something you love, and why.

I love cooking! I came to cooking later in life but I've found it to be rewarding, creative and a profound gesture of care and love. I love cooking for bringing people together, and as a means of procrastination.  

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? Did impact your decision to pursue art?

Memories of going to the beach in September after school after a long hot summer are precious to me. The beach and water are themes I come back to again and again in my work. There is something so human about gathering at the water, we gravitate to it to heal, to play, and to rest. 

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