Plymouth artist Sandy Wager is a member of the Association of British Naive Artists, and has exhibitions in Totnes and St Ives lined up. Sandy also runs the Plymouth and Devon artists Facebook Group. Here’s her Arts+Culture Q&A
Who are you and what do you do?
Hello! My name is Sandy Wager and I am a visual artist with disabilities. I live in Plymouth, Devon.
Why do you do what you do?
I paint out of sheer pleasure. Painting and creating art is a wonderful therapy for the mind and the body. I have so many ideas in my head for new paintings, and I could probably say that I have enough work in my mind to last me for the next three years or even more!
How do you work?
I use acrylic paints as my main medium, but also use watercolors, felt-tip pens, coloured inks, graphite, and I love to recycle items such as dress-makers webbing, food wrap, balsa wood and anything else I can find to use in my paintings. I am not fortunate enough to have a studio to work in, but use my coffee table and easle.
What’s your background?
I owned and ran my own successful housekeeping and ironing business until the spring of 2007. I had to give up my business through ill health and became medically retired. Over the following months I became depressed and would not even go outside. The following Christmas my husband gave me an art set as a present and that changed my life!
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
It is important for me to be out and about in art-related establishments and to meet other artists. This is still hard for me to do, but it is very important to be more involved with other like minded people and this is also a great motivator. I gain new ideas and inspiration by getting out!
What role does the artist have in society?
I was recently accepted as a member of the juried Association of British Naive Artists (ABNA). I have won several art awards and have recently exhibited in an art gallery in Oxfordshire. I have also been invited to exhibit my work in Totnes and St Ives.
I am a member of DAN, Devon Artists Network.
Recently I was proud to have sold a specially made art work for the PlymFest charity auction.
I run an art group in Facebook called Plymouth & Devon Artists. In this group I promote other local artists, calls for artists, exhibitions, art contests and much much more!
What has been a seminal experience?
A commisioned piece of work I finished a few weeks ago gave me the confidence to expand my ideas and market my work. The feedback from just one art work has given me new drive and new ideas for forthcoming exhibitions.
Favourite or most inspirational place (in Devon)?
Places where there are people! I love to photograph people in different natural poses and situations such as fairs, rallies, cafes, fetes, etc and use these photos for my paintings. The coastline of Devon is particularly beautiful and gives me so much inspiration to paint or sketch.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I was given was to set up my own website to display my art.
What’s your hope for the year?
My hope for the coming year is to stay mentally healthy. I hope I never damage my hands or my eyes.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
My goal is to eventually have my own studio, a place big enough for me to paint more than one art piece at a time!
What’s your tip for a great day out (in Devon)?
The best way to see Devon is via motorbike with a few friends, beach hopping!
What wouldn’t you do without?
I could never go without my art equipment.
Sandy Wager, many thanks
Find out more about Sandy Wager on her website