Copper in the Arts

March 2010

Sandy Jackson Fine Art: Reflecting Life Through Copper

By Rebecca Troutman

Sandy Jackson Sandy jackson in her studio

Photograph courtesy of Sandy Jackson

Sandy Jackson relies on the power of intuition and a deep trust in her methods of invention to create her art. Her signature patinated copper paintings are done unconventionally-using chemicals and heat to derive warm, fluid colors representing significant experiences in her real life.

Often she doesn't know what the final outcome will be until the final lacquer coats the piece and the colors come to life. But don't let that fool you into thinking she broods silently during her long hours in the studio, meditating on the expressions of sad moments or deep sea adventures; she can usually be found leaping around the room, dancing to disco!

"I think I'm going to come across very strange with my disco dancing," she divulges. It is an important part of her process to set the mood in the studio-so much so that when she shared space with another artist, her work suffered for lack of dancing around the room. "It's a happy process. I want someone to look at my work and have a nice, relaxed feeling when they look at my patina paintings."

Part of that relaxed feeling comes from her themes of water, inspired by her real-life scuba hobby. Her patina painting called "Thermokline" is about the phenomenon of diving into the ocean and seeing the warmed water from the surface meeting the cooler currents underneath. And "Night Dive" is also inspired by the underwater creatures that are hit by glints of residual light, creating a feel of a magical place she visits during her scuba experiences.

She loves to use copper in her art because she says it has a life of its own. "If you draw a line on canvas, that's it: just a line. If you do a line in copper, it creates its own natural reaction," says Jackson. "Human hands can't create it, it just happens by the nature of the metal."

Copper Patina Painting Night Dive, on copper, by Sandy Jackson

Photograph courtesy of Sandy Jackson

Most of her art work is custom-made for corporations and professional décor, such as the Marriott and the Four Seasons hotels. She is most passionate when working in dialogue with a client because she loves the challenge when there is a desire for a certain feeling or conveyance of meaning. "All these ideas pop through my head like a giant slideshow," she says about her reaction to her clients relaying what is important in their companies. "I get really excited during the creation process."

Although her first paying gig as an artist was designing Mardi Gras costumes, Jackson has continued to grow and experiment with her very sophisticated taste and an eye for reintegrating recycled materials. Her first bout with copper was inspired by her artist partner and ex-husband, Jack Johnson.

Sandy Jackson is a force to be reckoned with, as someone who knows herself well and isn't afraid to experiment to see what she might invent next. She likes to believe that she has invented her own individual processes for the treatment of her fine art because she has never received formal training. She just loves to keep everyone, including herself, guessing, much like the intricate patinas she creates.


Sandy Jackson Fine Art, 444 17th St. Unit 704, Denver, CO, (720) 284-1922

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