Sandra Martinez

A symbolist painter from Milwaukee, Sandra Martinez renders works on paper that reference human, plant and shelter forms. Her designs evoke a shared human experience that points to our connective root.

Select studies, chosen in collaboration with Wence Martinez, are handwoven into tapestries. Sandra’s mixed media works are float mounted in shadow box frames. Framed dimensions are listed.

  • Alice in Wonderland
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • Valentine Wolff
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • Fanny Levy
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • Lace of the Heart
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • Servant
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • The Love Letter
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    20'' x 17''
  • Torrent
    Mixed Media, antique book page
    14.75'' x 12.75''
  • Suspend
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • River Staff
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Amplify
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Ancient Soul: Dante's Bubble 2021
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Restless Fury: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Inward Flight: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Crying Woe: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Before the Wind: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • What Ancestors Were Thine: Dante's bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • There I Stood: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Onward: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Only So Far: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Brighter Days: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Book of Souls: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Whom Anger Overcame: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Regalos Horizontal
    Tyvek
    10'' x 24''
  • Sift
    Tyvek
  • Siren Dixon
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Wandering Dixon
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Release Rio
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • They Say There is a Waterfall
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
    18'' x 15''
  • Left Eye
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
    18'' x 14''
  • Useless Deed
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
    25.5'' x 18.5''
  • Juggle
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    48'' x 26''
  • Tribute
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    68'' x 36''
  • Chalice Pg. 15
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' x 30.25''
  • Emerge Pg. 0
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' x 30.25''
  • Council Pg. v
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' x 30.25''
  • Tuttle Lake pg. 10
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Cuna Study
    Painting
    31.25" x 20.75"
  • Niño Study
    Painting
    29.75" x 28.25"
  • Totem Study
    Painting
    32.25" x 23.25"
  • Flora Study
    Painting
    17" x 17"
  • White Mesa
    Painting
    18.25" x 15.5"
  • Discusíon
    Hand spun
    48.5” x 37”
  • Figuras Corto Gold
    Hand spun
    67” x 29”
  • Abrazar
    Hand spun
    57'' x 30''
  • Volar Indigo
    Hand spun
    58.5'' x 22''
  • Fragment of a Queen
    Hand spun
    42'' x 38''
  • Fragment of a Queen Gold
    Hand Spun
    42'' x 38''
  • Piñon Gold
    Hand Spun
    49'' x 27''
  • Viento
    Hand Spun
    59.5'' x 24''
  • Milpa Red
    Hand Spun
    60" x 27"
  • Mujer Gold
    Hand Spun
    54.5" x 23"
  • Figuras Corto Turquoise
    Mill spun
    30” x 66”
  • Fiesta
    Hand spun
    34” x 54”
  • Saltillo Doble Green
    Mill spun
    46" x 38"
  • Abrir Turquoise
    Mill spun
    58" x 36"
  • Abrir Red
    Mill spun
    58'' x 36''
  • Juego
    Hand spun
    72" x 86"
  • Flora
    Hand spun
    72" x 72"
  • Volar Tweed
    Hand spun
    59'' x 22''
  • Pilot Blue
    Hand spun
    59'' x 22''
  • Brethren: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Abrazar Weaving Study
    Tyvek
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Staff and Shield
    Mixed Media
    9.75'' x 6.5''
  • Sanctuary Tuttle
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Eccentric Connection
    Mixed Media
    6.5'' x 9.75''
  • Ignition
    Mixed Media
    9.75'' x 6.5''
  • Cultivate
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • The Door
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Pilot Red
  • Milpa Gold
  • Lost Again
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
    17'' x 25.5''
  • What Landmarks?
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
    15.5'' x 21''
  • I Can See It From Here
    Acrylic, dirt, calligraphy documents, Tyvek
  • Figuras Runner
    Hand spun
    30'' x 113.5''
  • Volar Green
    Mill spun
    60'' x 21''
  • Volar
    Hand spun
    60'' x 22''
  • Milpa V.1
    Mill spun
    60'' x 24''
  • Figuras, weaving, Flatweave, tapestry,
    Figuras Corto Red
    Hand spun
    30'' x 63''
  • Flora Gold
    Hand spun
    36'' x 36''
  • Semillas Green
    hand spun
    48'' x 35''
  • Semillas Black
    hand spun
    48'' x 35''
  • Juggle
    Hand spun
    58'' x 30''
  • Passage Shore
    Hand spun
    64'' x 30''
  • Penacho Passage
    Hand spun
    78'' x 29''
  • Nimble
    Hand spun wool
    57'' x 38''
  • Nimble
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    51'' x 36''
  • Dusk
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    31.5'' x 42''
  • Passage
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    77'' x 36''
  • Flux Pg. vii
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' x 30.25''
  • Hover
    Vellum and Wire
    19'' x 4.5'' x 4.5''
  • Piñon Red
    Hand Spun
    49'' x 27''
  • Discusión
    Hand spun
    50'' x 39''
  • Pierced
    Mixed Media
    13.25'' x 11.25''
  • Tuttle Lake Long
    Mixed Media
    18.25'' x 11.25''
  • Maiz Figura
    Mixed Media Collage
    18.25'' x 11.25''
  • Fiesta Rust
    Hand Spun
    34'' x 54''
  • Cauldron of Hecate pg. 30
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Wounded Rake pg. 32
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Wolf Lake pg. 5
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Notorious Lies pg. 39
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Tuttle Lake pg. 12
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • Explain pg. 24
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • The Walk Home pg. 7
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • About the Time pg. 20
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Flora Rust
    Hand Spun
    36.5" x 35"
  • Figuras Runner Turquoise
    Mill spun
    30” x 113”
  • Kiss Gold
    Mill spun
    48" x 40"
  • Sumo Stand Gold
    Mill spun
    42" x 36"

My process is meditative and explores automatic drawing and writing as a vehicle for spiritual focus. What begins as stream of consciousness content transitions into layers of ink, ash, dirt and acrylic washes that reveal human, plant, and shelter forms.

One of my earliest art memories is digging in the sandbox to discover hidden layers of clay which I then shaped into objects. My immediate, obsessive response to this material led to formal study in ceramics. Halfway through my bachelor’s degree at University of Wisconsin Green Bay, I discovered a love of meditative drawing that opened new paths for my life.

My wide range of influences included Haitian cut metal sculpture, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Keith Haring, and Surreal and Conceptual artists who broke free from traditional methods and materials. My mentor, David Damkoehler, affirmed my pursuits and encouraged me to develop my own symbolic language to give visual expression to my emotions and ideas.

At age twenty-eight, a friend suggested that my drawings would translate well into weavings. A weaver in Oaxaca named Wence Martinez jumped at the challenge. His woven translation of my drawing sparked a desire to meet this man. At our first meeting in person in 1988, I commissioned fourteen new works, initiating a cross-cultural relationship and artistic collaboration that now spans thirty years.

To view Sandra’s resume, click here.

Process

Sandra’s symbolist works on paper are intuitive and meditative. Taking inspiration from surrealists, her process begins with loose contour drawings that can be read as abstracted human, plant, and shelter forms.

Often using book pages and antique manuscripts as her blank canvas, Sandra’s favorite painting materials are sumi ink, marker, acrylic, dirt, sand, ash, and recycled fragments of earlier paintings. Handwritten text is sometimes present but usually obliterated or obscured.

Gestural washes with a minimal palette build up in her work. Some areas are rubbed, erased, cut, collaged, or laden with dirt. The resulting surfaces range from sparse to thick.

Select drawings are expanded into larger painting series and some become weaving studies. She then draws the full-size cartoon weavers use to mark her design on the loom’s warp.

Sandra finishes her paintings by float mounting the work in shadow box frames. Framed dimensions are listed.