We Love Sandy Ostrau, and You Will, Too

On Thursday, April 19, Meyer Vogl Gallery will release several new works by Sandy Ostrau. In anticipation of the new paintings, we talked studio rituals, favorite artists, and perfect days off with the California artist.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Tell us about your studio space!

Sandy Ostrau: My studio is in Mountain View, California. I share a space in a light industrial area with another artist. It’s about a 6.5 mile bike ride from my house, and I can take a bike route and path through my city of Palo Alto almost the entire way. It’s a lovely ride, and I try to ride as often as possible.

I work on several paintings at a time, which are in different stages of completion and rotated around the room, onto and off of my two large working easels. When they are not being worked on, they line the wall, hanging on nails so I can easily pull them down.  My son and husband made a nice palette cart that wheels around my studio conveniently. It’s big enough to keep big mounds of paint handy. I have a stock of brushes and palette knives to choose from. My favorites are the very worn out brushes that create great texture.

MVG: Any studio rituals? 

SO: I usually arrive at my studio mid-morning and start my day by mixing paint. It’s a great way to warm up and start thinking about the work ahead.  It’s a physical exercise as well, and it helps spur my creative thinking. I mix all of my colors; I don’t use paint straight from the tube. I always listen to music that has a good beat and energy.


MVG: Your perfect day off from painting: 

SO: A day spent at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast or in Yosemite are pretty perfect! I enjoy hiking and running with my family and friends. I love the beach and have spent time on both the West and East Coasts. I also love a day spent visiting museums or galleries. I try to take a day each week for gallery or museum visits, usually in the San Francisco Bay area, but also on trips to New York or Washington, DC.  I also enjoy touring around Italy and try to visit every couple of years.

MVG: Fill us in on upcoming and recent exhibitions.

SO: I will be exhibiting all new work in Laguna Beach at Sue Greenwood Gallery this July. I’ll also be showing new work at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

SO: I am fortunate to show my work in several galleries around the country. I currently have work at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC; Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA; Peterson Roth Gallery in Bend, OR; Anne Loucks Gallery in Glencoe, Il; and Gallery North in Carmel, CA, to name a few.  I also have work in private collections in more than 12 different countries.

MVG: Have you recently discovered any artists whose work really excites you?

SO: Danny McCaw. I have seen his work over the years but have become reacquainted with it recently and really love how he abstracts the figure. The identity of the figure is unimportant and, to me, the energy is exciting.

MVG: Provide us with some background on one of your new paintings.

SO: I was particularly happy with Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink as it came together. The energy and dynamic relationship between the figures is highlighted very nicely, with the running fence along the edge of meadow; the serenity and calm of the sky creates a nice resting place for the eye as it moves away from the figures. I think the relationship between the figures is interesting too. Just enough ambiguity so the viewer can fill in the blanks and make it their own story. After several weeks of adding different layers of paint, the colors just suddenly came together.

Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
40×40 oil on canvas

Save the date: An email with Sandy’s new paintings, including Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink, will be sent out on Thursday, April 19. To see a preview of the work, email katie@meyervogl.com.