🌺In our feature, now live, we discuss her painting life, teaching, inspirations, dream projects, memorable responses and more!
🌺Saunder’s work is another artist who brightens my feed.
🌺“Colour is everything to the work that I do. I believe the ability to use colour well, and at the amount of it that I use in a singular piece is an over-looked skill. The challenge of balancing the energy of many colours without ending is mud is something I really enjoy.”
🌺She describes her work in three words as “Spirit, colour and heart.”
What 3 words would you use to describe your work?
Spirit, color and heart
Who or what are your inspirations? How do these show themselves in your work?
I’ve always had an heart for the underdog. The one fighting and pushing and growing despite. Luckily for me, they are everywhere. Everywhere I look there is a strong person, dreaming a big dream and putting in the work. I’ve more often than not felt overwhelmed with inspiration. There are so many beautiful stories that I believe deserve to hang in a place representing this time in History. These spirits, most often women in context to my paintings, show themselves as who they are in my work. They inspire the color, the movement and the composition. We talk, we share, we build… almost as if its a collaboration. I do not have to create or imagine a painting out of thin air, I just have to pay real attention to the people around me and then try my best to tell their stories.
What has your experience been of the creative world so far?
As strange is this may sound, its my truth - I do not yet feel like I am a part of the “Creative World”. Not only do I not have a visual for what this is exactly, but more so, even when I do imagine it (and I have in daydreams) I do not feel like I am a part of it. Most often I paint at home in my own little bubble, and I come out of it for a short moment to share and engage. I want to be a part of the art community on a large scale, Im just not sure what that will look like for me.
Tell me about your studio? What are your essentials?
The type of lighting is critical. Natural light is the dream but not always accessible, so more often than not I’m struggling to create some kind of mood with my lights. Sound - rather music or a movie playing in the background and I’m a sucka for a rainy paint day. Hair pulled back. Comfy socks and and coffee or wine… or should I say, coffee than wine.
Tell me about your life before being a full-time artist And your teaching and your relationship with youth?
My first serious engagement with painting was attending the High School for Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia. I then attended Tyler School of Fine Art for two years before having to leave for medical reasons related to the birth of my son. I attended part time for many years but it never amounted to a degree. As a single parent, I put art on hold and became a financial analyst for about 6 yrs or so, to provide a stable home for my son. After losing that job due to corporate cuts, I launched my business, PassionArt Designs, a firm that represents my work and supports the work of the art community at large. A part of that larger work included teaching art at non-profit organizations and public schools. I have been a full-time practicing artist for more than a decade now.
Your coloUr palette is so fresh and vibrant. Tell me, is coloUr important to you?
Color is everything to the work that I do. I believe the ability to use color well, and at the amount of it that I use in a singular piece is an over-looked skill. The challenge of balancing the energy of many colors without ending is mud is something I really enjoy.
What are you working on at the moment?
On the easel there is a few new heart paintings from a series I started years back, there’s a portrait commission that is due to become a book cover and lastly the portrait of a young man that tragically lost his life at age 16 who was also the son of a family friend.
What would be your dream project?
There are many, and it is very difficult to choose one. I would like to one day design a residency program for Creatives who are mothers. A co-working, child friendly space designed not only for the creative moms to dive deep into their craft but that will equally pour into the lives of their children so that the mothers can focus on the work that we so desperately need from them.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
There was a husband and wife who attended my last showing. There was a painting called “Planted” on view and the wife was brought to tears. She gave the best hug and spoke to me about how they had both lost their mothers that year. They decided to buy a custom canvas print that day. When we installed the finished work at there home, she came down the stairs and screeched loudly. It was very heartwarming and encouraging.
Which artwork would you like people to remember you for?
Going from my existing body of work… the painting, “And they jumped into the streets, some”
What are some values and beliefs you live your life by?
Show Up - that is my favorite…. for yourself, for the ones you love, for the world at large. Just Show-up, whatever that looks like for you. And keep going and keep trying. I believe in living in my vision as opposed to my reality, meaning, what I believe God has for me, what my hard work will reap… I think on those things over my current obstacles.
What do you do for fun?
Paint! lol, seriously…. for fun I paint. Binge a show with my family. Then there’s the beach- my favorite place. And yoga, not sure I would call yoga fun, but I love it.
Favorite Historical female artist?
Favorite current practicing artist?
- Shanina Dionna & Cluvie
Who should She Curates interview next?
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
- I would like to take this moment to thank you for compiling such a great list of questions and for including me in your work.