Artist Statement

It seems that my work is always about movement. I don’t think about this when I am painting. I do move toward the subtle and indistinct, like a memory or the subconscious. I enjoy layering color with only the slightest shift in value or temperature, and revealing the history in the final surface.

In my recent figurative work, I am exploring the idea of currents, the flow of our life and the life around us: the living breathing heartbeat of life and paint and memory and time, the flow of our thinking and crowds, and movement through time and life. For me  everything is in flux, always in motion and changing. Even a rock on a molecular level is in motion. Even a person sitting is physically, mentally, emotionally moving and changing from one moment to the next.

In paint, I work in layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next layer of color. In this way, I build a pentimento or history of the paint and process, each layer influencing the next, and building on the last. Along the way I celebrate the surprises, the marks that add to or subtract from the image in both a representational and abstract manner. The final painting has to have mystery and unanswered questions, distinct and indistinct passages, so that viewers can enter the painting with their own histories and filters and find their own stories.



Schooled in classic drawing and painting, Sandra Speidel is known for her figurative and abstract paintings, which reveal a rich and complex surface quality and ambiguous interpretation of the subjects. Her paintings suggest a broader story, beyond a singular realistic depiction of the world.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Speidel attended Duke University in North Carolina as an English and art major, and later in journalism.

After that, she moved to California, where she studied art at the SF Academy of Art University. She enjoyed a very successful career as an illustrator before turning to fine art painting. Among her clients were Apple Computers, FTD Florists, US Postal Service, and Warner Books. She illustrated 19 books for children, including three for Maria Shriver.

After turning to fine art, Sandra continued to study painting at the SF Art Institute, Berkeley, and the California College of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited locally, throughout California, and nationally. Sandra teaches figure drawing and painting at the SF Academy of Art University and at her studio in Petaluma.




BA Duke University, with Honors
MS Ohio University
San Francisco Academy of Art University
San Francisco Art Institute

Selected Exhibitions

“Collect” Berkeley Art Center juried art auction, September 2015

“Abstractions” Gallery One, August 2015

“I Think Therefore”, solo show at Passaggio Wines, Sonoma, August 2014

“Sonoma Scapes” Gallery One, July 2014

“Recent Work” Epperson Gallery, May 2014

Invitational #8, Graton Gallery, January 2014

Invitational #7, Graton Gallery, January 2013

ProArts Open Studios, Oakland, May 2013-2014

“Haunting” juried show, Linus Galleries, Los Angeles, September 2013

Artrails Open Studios, Sonoma County, October, 2013-2015“Painting Only,” Pacific Art League (juror Charles Hespe of Hespe Gallery, San Francisco) October 2010
“Speaking of Solitude,” Marin MOCA National Competition (juror Maria Medua, Director SF MOMA Rental Gallery), September 2010
Juried Figure Show, University of San Francisco Law Library, Kendrick Hall rotunda, curated by Saiko Matsumaru, August-December 2010
Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, August 2010
Guest Artist, Graton Gallery, June 2010
“Invitational #4,” Graton Gallery, January 2010
“Tiny Show,” Studio Gallery SF, December 2009
“City Streets,” Studio Gallery SF, June 2009
“Body Work,” Studio Gallery SF, May 2009
“Tiny Show,” Studio Gallery SF, December 2008-2009
Sonoma County Open Studios, Artrails, October 2002-2009
“All Mixed Up,” regional juried group exhibit, Artisans Gallery, San Rafael, August 2007
Sausalito Art Walk, summer 2007
“Tiny Show,” group show, Studio Gallery SF, December 2006, 2007
Anticipation Art Gallery, group show, December 2006
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, September 2006
“Faces of the Fallen,” group show, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, February 2006
Graton Gallery Show, “Invitational,” September-November 2005
Giant Steps, Access Benefit show, November 2004


Faculty, Graduate School, San Francisco Academy of Art University
Faculty, Undergraduate School, San Francisco Academy of Art University