Monday, April 2, 2012

Five Minutes With Sandra Cragin

The Superior Library has a display case in which various local artists' works are given a spotlight each month. In March that space was occupied by Sandra Cragin. Her colors and abstract designs immediately caught my attention. I especially like the autumn colors and earth tones, and was reminded of Sedona. Sure enough he color schemes did have that Southwest influence.

Ennyman: When did you first take an interest on art and who were your early influences?
Sandra Cragin: My interest in art was at a very early age. Born and raised in Minong, WI., 50 miles south of Superior, our winters were cold. There were six kids in my family and it was me who wouldn't be out sledding and skating. I was indoors warm and cozy, doing crafts of some kind. It was something I could do on my own, and found satisfaction with the results.

E: Do you have a favorite style?
SC: At a young age I learned to paint from a photo. I found it hard to take criticism. I painted this perfect portrait of my older sister. Or so I thought I did. One person says: "the eyes should be a bit more gray." Another says: "the forehead should be broader."Still another: "looks more like your brother." And then my sister, of whom the portrait was of, says: "who's the portrait of?" So needless to say, I paint "Non-objective". Shapes, colors, in any which way that feels right at the moment. Either the person looking at it likes it, or they don't. I can't do it wrong, because it's not wrong.

E: Can you share a little bit about where you have been and where you are going?
SC: Just within this last year, have I gotten out to show my work, getting involved with the Superior Council for the Arts (SCFTA). It's been fun and enjoyable as it's my sort of reaching out in my retirement years. I started with the traveling art event, from Solon Springs Town Hall, on to Superior Gallery. Then onto The Red Mug Coffee House, 28 paintings on display October through Nov. 2011. I have my proposal into Erica Mock, for the Phantom Galleries Superior project. Also, I have a CD of some of my paintings ready to be sent to Madison ( , for approval to be included on their website. And for the approval to have a showing at the Superior Gallery.

E: You're busy. Who are your favorite artists?
SC: I can't say I have a favorite artist. It's the colors and shapes that draw my attention.

E: Where can people see more of your work?
SC: Right now I have three paintings at "Art in the Alley". And then hopefully more opportunities will come my way.

Painting titles, top to bottom: "Nightmare "Busy Bee" and "Wonder-Falls."

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