Imurj Look: Old Soul
Sandra Wimbish is an artist who works with pen & ink, colored pencil, acrylics, mixed media, tile mosaics, and hand-dyed textiles. Wimbish’s work of art, “Old Soul”, is on exhibit in the Imurj Main Gallery exhibit, MONO a MONO. Wimbish discusses her inspirations, her artwork, and her creative process.
Q: How would you describe yourself & your artistic style?
A: I am an artist and a world traveler who derives much inspiration for my artistic creations from the beauty I see on my treks around the globe—both from the natural world and in the faces of people and cultures I experience. My style is realism based, but extends to stylistic interpretation, especially in my pen & ink pieces when studied in detail—thousands of swirls and wisps and dots that combine and build to create the image of a person or animal.
Q: How would you describe your art/piece that is on exhibit at Imurj?
A: One thing that fascinates me about animals is the incredible patterning that occurs (especially in the big cats), and the ridiculous amount of diversity within a genus and species. Several of my various series reflect my love for animals. My desire is to make these animals more accessible to viewers so they can delight in their amazing beauty and diversity.
Q: What inspired you to create this piece of art?
A: As an artist I find that I sometimes get an idea or an image of a piece in my head, and slowly it works its way out onto the canvas or page.
Q: What’s the process of making your work?
A: Pen & ink is a slow process. I use a crow quill dip pen and bottle of India ink. The process is sketching in pencil, then beginning somewhere and building out and building up, layer upon layer. One dry, then adding another, and another until the intensity is strong enough. Some of the most intensely dark places in my pieces have over 20 layers of ink. For the wispy strokes, the pen barely touches the page, just a light touch and then it’s done. Swirls and curls and stipples and negative space. My ink pieces typically take between 40 and 200 hours to create, depending on size and density of ink applied.
Q: Does local Raleigh/NC culture inspire or influence your art?
A: Raleigh is a great city to live in, so much going on all the time, from music to visual art, to street festivals. I moved here 2 years ago from rural Union county, and there is so much more available to keep inspired as an artist. And of course, the city itself is so enjoyable, with the Greenway and the University and so many friendly people.
Q: Why do you love what you do?
A: I find art very fulfilling to do (even better when others enjoy it, and when they like it enough to take it home). I have been doing art since I was very young….maybe as soon as I could hold a pencil. And it has always been a part of me, even the seasons of my life where it was not one of the main things I was pursuing. I especially love to teach students and help them hone their skills and realize that art is a valuable expression of their souls. And I love using my art to broaden the worldview of those who see it—letting them see people and places they might never be able to travel to, but through the art, being able to embrace its beauty and value.