Sandra Martinez

A symbolist painter from Milwaukee, Sandra Martinez renders contemporary works on paper that reference human, plant and shelter forms. Her designs evoke a shared human experience that transcends borders, race, and language. 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.

  • Nimble
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    51'' x 36''
  • Juggle
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    48'' x 26''
  • Cluster
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    50.5'' x 36''
  • 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''
  • Flux Pg. vii
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' x 30.25''
  • Toss
    Vellum and Wire
    19'' x 5'' x 5''
  • Semaphore
    Vellum and Wire
    18'' x 6.25'' x 6''
  • Lucy
    Vellum and Wire
    25.25'' x 4.5'' x 4.5''
  • Ensign
    Vellum and Wire
    22'' x 6.5'' x 6.5''
  • Regal
    Vellum and Wire
    61'' x 21.5'' x 7''
  • Nobleman
    Vellum and Wire
    52.5'' x 22'' x 6''
  • His Majesty
    Vellum and Wire
    50'' x 13'' x 5''
  • Third Eye
    Vellum and Wire
    46'' x 11.75'' x 4.5''
  • Flutter
    Vellum and wire
    32.25'' x 20'' x 8''
  • 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''
  • Pivot
    Mixed Media Collage
    14.25'' x 11.75''
  • Relief pg. 42
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Desirable pg. 26
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Monk as a Windmill pg. 41
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Polling pg. 54
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Figure is Introduced pg. 51
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • Tuttle Lake pg. 10
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Fanny the Phantom pg. 38
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Explain pg. 24
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • The Walk Home pg. 7
    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"
  • Fragment of a Queen Study
    Painting
    42" x 34"
  • Rise Study
    Collage
    13.25" x 13.25"
  • Etch Study
    Collage
    15.25" x 15.25"
  • Lift
    Painting
    21" x 17.25"
  • White Mesa
    Painting
    18.25" x 15.5"
  • Fragment of a Queen
    Hand spun
    42'' x 38''
  • 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''
  • Juggle
    Hand spun
    58'' x 30''
  • Passage Shore
    Hand spun
    64'' x 30''
  • Nimble
    Hand spun wool
    57'' x 38''
  • Fragment of a Queen Gold
    Hand Spun
    42'' x 38''
  • Piñon Red
    Hand Spun
    49'' x 27''
  • Piñon Gold
    Hand Spun
    49'' x 27''
  • Discusión
    Hand spun
    50'' x 39''
  • Viento
    Hand Spun
    59.5'' x 24''
  • Fiesta Rust
    Hand Spun
    34'' x 54''
  • Milpa Red
    Hand Spun
    60" x 27"
  • Flora Rust
    Hand Spun
    36.5" x 35"
  • Mujer Gold
    Hand Spun
    54.5" x 23"
  • Flora Green
    Hand Spun
    36" x 35"
  • Figuras Corto Turquoise
    Mill spun
    30” x 66”
  • Kiss Gold
    Mill spun
    48" x 40"
  • Fiesta
    Hand spun
    34” x 54”
  • Sumo Stand Gold
    Mill spun
    42" x 36"
  • Cress
    Hand spun
    70" x 34"
  • Saltillo Doble Green
    Mill spun
    46" x 38"
  • Saltillo Doble Blue
    Mill spun
    46" x 38"
  • Saltillo Blanca
    Mill spun
    57" x 24"
  • Abrir Turquoise
    Mill spun
    58" x 36"
  • Abrir Red
    Mill spun
    58'' x 36''
  • Discusión Red
    Mill spun
    48" x 37"
  • Mujer
    Mill Spun
    48" x 24"
  • Shimmer
    Hand spun
    54" x 28"
  • Juego
    Hand spun
    72" x 86"
  • Flora
    Hand spun
    72" x 72"
  • Volar
    Hand spun
    60'' x 22''
  • Semillas Black
    hand spun
    48'' x 35''
  • Penacho Passage
    Hand spun
    78'' x 29''
  • Dusk
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    31.5'' x 42''
  • Passage
    Tyvek, acrylic, sumi ink
    77'' x 36''
  • Hover
    Vellum and Wire
    19'' x 4.5'' x 4.5''
  • Shield
    Mixed Media
    13.25'' x 11.25''
  • 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"
  • Vocation pg. 18
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • Notorious Lies pg. 39
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Tuttle Lake pg. 12
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • About the Time pg. 20
    Mixed Media
    36.25" x 30.25"
  • Figuras Runner Turquoise
    Mill spun
    30” x 113”
  • Sumo Stand Turquoise
    Mill spun
    42" x 36"
  • Flora Turquoise
    Mill spun
    36" x 36"
  • Fragment of a Queen Red
    Mill spun
    43" x 38"
  • Contorno
    Mill spun
    47" x 38"
  • Abrir Dark Gold
    Mill spun
    60" x 36"
  • Discusión Green
    Mill spun
    49" x 36"
  • Figuras Runner
    Mill spun
    30" x 114"
  • Pilot
    Mill spun
    60" x 24"
  • Milpa
    Mill Spun
    60" x 24"
  • Volar Quad Green
    Mill spun
    36" x 36"
  • Luz
    Mill spun
    60" x 36"
  • Saltillo
    Mill spun
    68" x 28"
  • Cress Runner
    Hand spun
    88" x 33"
  • Piñon
    Hand spun
    46" x 24"
  • Twins
    Hand spun
    51" x 36"
  • Conectados
    Hand spun
    49" x 34"
  • Agua
    Hand spun
    42" x 28"
  • Tronco
    Museum of Wisconsin Art
    95" x 54" Hand spun
  • Desfile
    Painting
    10" x 21"
  • Madre Criolla
    Painting
    36" x 16"
  • Vessels Study
    Painting
    45" x 31"
  • Vessels Shift Study
    Painting
    10" x 16"
  • Juego Study
    Painting
    15" x 16"
  • Figuras Runner Study
    Painting
    10" x 22"
  • Pilot Study
    Painting
    12" x 7.5"
  • Codice 101
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Codice 100
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Codice 89
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Codice 79
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Incar
    Painting
    37" x 27.75"
  • Codice 233
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Codice 231
    Book Page
    14.5" x 12.5"
  • Tronco Study
    Painting
    44.75" x 27"
  • Agua Study
    Collage
    11" x 10"
  • Flora Split Study
    Painting
    17" x 17"

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.