Inspired by mentor, American artist Jim Grey, Sandra Dean, a Farragut Arts Council member, focuses her talents on using watercolors to create botanical paintings.
Town of Farragut presents Dean as its featured artist for September and October. Her exhibit, located on the second floor of the rotunda in Farragut Town Hall, spotlights Dean’s watercolor botanicals and other subjects.
Her interest in art started when she was very young.
“I either had a crayon or a pencil,” she said. “That was the beginning. I really hadn’t had any formal training other than the few hours that I spent up in classes with Jim Grey [in the 1980s], and the medium I wound up with is watercolor because there were no openings in Jim Grey’s oil painting class.
“But, [watercolor] fits me perfectly,” Dean added. “I paint flowers and things like that, and I can get a delicacy [with watercolors]. It seems like oil is a bit heavier. I can appreciate it.
“Once you get into watercolor and you make a mistake, there’s not much you can do unless you can work out a happy accident,” she added and laughed. “That’s the way Jim talked about it.”
Dean starts with a detailed drawing and uses photographs of her subjects to be more precise.
“When you are a botanical artist, you have to see how the plant is made, how the leaves come out — are they across from one another or is one up here and the other up there — because if you don’t pay attention to detail, someone who really knows the subject, they’ll let you know that you did it wrong,” she said. “You have to pay attention.”
Dean also loves to paint character studies of people.
Her painting started as a hobby but her involvement in art grew after she had an opportunity to exhibit her work. She also grew as an artist through her association with fellow Arts Council members such as Marygrace Schaeffer and Pam Ziegler.
“I have enjoyed working on the Arts Council,” Dean said. “I feel being on the Arts Council, I’m giving back to the community.”
Reared in Lenoir City, she and husband moved to Farragut in 1990.
Each month, the work of an artist or group of artists is featured in specially designed cases on the second floor of the rotunda in Farragut Town Hall.
For more information about this exhibit or to access a Featured Artist of the Month application, contact Lauren Cox, Farragut Parks and Leisure Services Special Events and Program coordinator, by calling 865-218-3372, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.townoffarragut.org/artsandculture.
Farragut Town Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located at 11408 Municipal Center Drive directly across from Farragut Post Office.