Whidbey Island artist Sandy Byers displays a collection of landscape work in the gallery during the month of June.
Join us for the artist's reception Saturday June 6th from 5-7pm.
Sandy Byers was born in Monterey, California in 1956 in a house a few blocks from the beaches of Seventeen Mile Drive. Though she did not live there long, the water she was born close to was the beginning of a lifelong bond with the sea. The daughter of a Navy officer, Byers’ younger years were spent moving often with her family. The most adventurous of which was a move, at age eight, to Cannes on the French Riviera. On the family’s trans-Atlantic return trip aboard the Leonardo da Vinci, they were tossed about in high seas as their cruise-liner tried, in vain, to rescue the British freighter Ambassador as she sank in turbulent waters a thousand miles off the coast of New York. Even this tragic experience could not wane Byers’ love of the sea.
Showing a strong and earnest interest in drawing from a young age was proof enough for Byers’ parents that Sandy would likely do well in private oil painting lessons. With the first stroke of her brush, Byers’ passion for painting began. Her natural style was of a realistic nature and it is what she is still known for today.
As a young adult, Byers pursued a career in the software industry and continued painting as time allowed. Her retirement from the software industry in 2002 enabled her to pursue a full-time art career and she began honing her pastel skills. In 2004, Byers entered her first competition: The Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100 Competition. She won two awards in that juried competition and continues to gain acceptance and win awards in juried shows. Her works have been published in numerous magazines and hardbound books. (A current list is available here).
Although Byers has produced works in a variety of media, her current focus is working with oils and pastels. Many of her landscape and seascape paintings include scenes from her local area on Whidbey Island, in Washington State. Byers is also well known for her heartfelt and expressive paintings of animals and she is passionately dedicated to supporting animal welfare organizations.
During the day on Saturday June 20th, Sandy will be in residence at the gallery, doing a demonstration painting. Later that afternoon and into the early evening, join Sandy for a wine and cheese artist salon.