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.

  • Compassion: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Whom Anger Overcame: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • What Ancestors Were Thine: Dante's bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Harlot: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Snakes: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • There I Stood: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • The Grave Well Marked: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • The Bubble: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Restless Fury: 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''
  • Inward Flight: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Heretics: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Crying Woe: 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''
  • Before the Wind: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Ancient Soul: Dante's Bubble 2021
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Suspend
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Amplify
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • River Staff
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Eccentric Connection
    Mixed Media
    6.5'' x 9.75''
  • Float
    Mixed Media
    9.75'' x 6.5''
  • Regalos Horizontal
    Tyvek
    10'' x 24''
  • Sift
    Tyvek
  • Cultivate
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Current Rio
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • 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''
  • 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''
  • Maiz Figura
    Mixed Media Collage
    18.25'' x 11.25''
  • Viento Blue
    Hand spun
    59'' x 22''
  • Pilot Red
    Hand spun
    59'' x 22''
  • Pilot Blue
    Hand spun
    59'' x 22''
  • Pilot Red
  • Abrazar
    Hand spun
    .
  • Volar Indigo
    Hand spun
    58.5'' x 22''
  • Figuras Runner
    Hand spun
    30'' x 113.5''
  • Fragment of a Queen
    Hand spun
    42'' x 38''
  • Figuras, weaving, Flatweave, tapestry,
    Figuras Corto Red
    Hand spun
    30'' x 63''
  • Semillas Green
    hand spun
    48'' x 35''
  • Passage Shore
    Hand spun
    64'' x 30''
  • Nimble
    Hand spun wool
    57'' x 38''
  • Piñon Red
    Mill Spun
    48.5'' x 26''
  • Fragment of a Queen Gold
    Hand Spun
    42'' x 38''
  • 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"
  • Mujer Gold
    Hand Spun
    54.5" x 23"
  • Flora Green
    Hand Spun
    36" x 35"
  • 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''
  • Mujer
    Mill Spun
    48" x 24"
  • Shimmer
    Hand spun
    54" x 28"
  • Juego
    Hand spun
    72" x 86"
  • Flora
    Hand spun
    72" x 72"
  • Brethren: Dante's Bubble
    Mixed Media
    20'' x 17''
  • Abrazar Weaving Study
    Tyvek
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Sanctuary Tuttle
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • Ignition
    Mixed Media
    9.75'' x 6.5''
  • The Door
    Mixed Media
    36.25'' X 30.25''
  • 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
  • Volar Green
    Mill spun
    60'' x 21''
  • Volar
    Hand spun
    60'' x 22''
  • Milpa V.1
    Mill spun
    60'' x 24''
  • Flora Gold
    Hand spun
    36'' x 36''
  • Semillas Black
    hand spun
    48'' x 35''
  • Juggle
    Hand spun
    58'' x 30''
  • Penacho Passage
    Hand spun
    78'' x 29''
  • 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''
  • Hover
    Vellum and Wire
    19'' x 4.5'' x 4.5''
  • Piñon Red
    Hand Spun
    49'' x 27''
  • Tuttle Lake Long
    Mixed Media
    18.25'' x 11.25''
  • 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"
  • Explain pg. 24
    Mixed Media
    30.25" x 36.25"
  • 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 Turquoise
    Mill spun
    42" x 36"
  • Sumo Stand Gold
    Mill spun
    42" x 36"
  • Flora Turquoise
    Mill spun
    36" x 36"
  • Cress
    Hand spun
    70" x 34"
  • Saltillo Blanca
    Mill spun
    57" x 24"
  • 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"
  • 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"
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.