Sandi Heller

Artist Main Picture

There are times when I’m hiking that I am captivated by a scene and can’t wait to get home to print out the pictures and capture the feeling in pastel. The Central Coast of California has wonderful mountains, abundant flowers, and, of course, the rugged coastline. I have done many paintings from pictures taken while hiking there. I’ve also painted the wonderful colors of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in fall. I’m drawn to trees, and work to capture the essence of the gnarled or stately oak, the elegant eucalyptus with the weeping leaves, the white bark and autumn colors of the sycamore. I like the values of early morning with the cast shadows of the trees, rocks, gullies, and cliffs.

I moved to pastels from colored pencil because of the intense, rich color created by the almost pure pigment. It captures the intensity of our blue skies and ocean, the colors of the many wildflowers, the changing colors of the hills. I use a variety of pastels, usually on sanded paper or pastelboard, but occasionally on watercolor paper.


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