Biog - Page 5

 

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Sandra Reeves - Biog.

I was born in 1960, in Surrey, England, the eldest of three sisters. I was encouraged to ‘look around with the eyes of an artist’ from an early age and grew up enjoying a large garden, and woods. My mother dealt in antiques and antiquarian books, ran a bird hospital and was a successful racing cyclist. My father was a mechanical engineer, is highly practical and creative and together my parents rescued dogs.

I have two younger sisters and they are both a great inspiration to me. My youngest sister Jennifer Kafetz is a very successful business woman and mother to our three gorgeous nephews of whom we are all very proud. Hazel is an accomplished figurative portrait sculptor - please see the link to www.hazelreeves.com on this site - her work is excellent and I have had the pleasure of working alongside her on a number of occassions. Most recently I modelled for her along with Jennifer on the Cracker Packers bronze statue just unveiled in Carlisle. Hazel's current commission is a large bronze statue of Emmeline Pankhurst due to be unveiled in Manchester in December 2018.

In 2017 in relation to Hazel's latest statue commission I travelled with Hazel and Jennifer up to Carlisle to attend a day's workshop where we interacted with current and past 'Cracker Packers' (a term of endearment for the women who work/worked on the production line of what is now the McVitie's (Carrs Biscuits etc.). This was the first biscuit factory in the world and all those involved in Carr's are rightly proud of its history. It was wonderful to spend a couple fo days with my sisters and the opportuniy to meet and interview these women was really very special - they are known for their humour and we weren't disappointed! I was there primarily in my professional capacity as an illustrator to capture the essence of these women past and present in order to aid Hazel in her sculptural commission. Whilst Hazel and Jennifer were interviewing Cracker Packers I worked my way around making quick sketches inspired by what I was seeing but also by the stories recounted by the women. There was much role playing, dressing-up in period costumes and laughter! My illustrations were used for brochures, travelling exhibition display panels and will be kept as part of the factory's historic records at Tullie House Museum Carlisle. www.tulliehouse.co.uk.spiritofthecrackerpackers

My grandparents were musical and creative. Louis Haghe, lithographer and printer - best known for his work with David Roberts (The Holy Land etc.), married into the paternal side of my family back in the 19th century.

My Godmother Valerie Baxendine (also a racing cyclist) modelled as various ‘Flower Fairies’ for Cicely Mary Barker when young, this inspired me and still does - how magical - I really can say I have a ‘Fairy Godmother!’

When I was a teenager a family friend the late Kenneth J Wood - much published bird artist, painted a beautiful Peregrine falcon in flight on my bedroom wall - he gave me plently of advice, emphasised the importance of attention to detail and suggested I apply to attend art school.

A close family friend Bill Gibbs artist and photographer always encouraged my creativity, and painted wonderful clouds on my bedroom wall to compliment Ken Wood's Peregrine falcon. More recently he kindly gave me a lot of his art equipment which I continue to use daily. Bill's late wife Mary also encouraged me, she was a highly creative seamstress and cook.

My mother enrolled me at The Crawley Arts Workshop when I was fourteen where I enjoyed the performing arts, printmaking and scene painting. The director Sue Oakes and her husband David Aspley took me under their wings and also helped me compile an impressive portfolio on the merits of which I was accepted into art school. I am so grateful to these dear friends. Very sadly Sue Aspley died in her early 50s and David who had continued to support me as an unofficial patron died suddenly aged 59. They believed in me so deeply and I still feel their presence and influence in my work today.

I attended Reigate School of Art and Design for four years from age sixteen, gaining an H.S.D. in Graphic Design and Illustration. I was commissioned by ‘Woman’s Journal’ Magazine, to illustrate ‘The Alchemist’ for Amanda Hemingway, just before I left. I worked on a freelance basis for a number of publishers including Oxford University Press, producing marketing/point of sales material such as brochures, posters, limited editions of three-dimensional show cards for bookshop window displays and author signing sessions, and exhibition display panels.

I have exhibited in the United States along the GulfCoast - Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. I studied Silver Jewellery Design with Sarah Pulvertaft International Jewellery Designer/Maker and I hold a London Hallmark.

I love to draw and I am without a doubt happiest when sketching/illustrating. If I were marooned on a desert island along with sketch pads, paints and pens I would be in my element! 

I live out on a peninsula on the south coast of England with my gorgeous cat Seamus who is a constant source of inspiration along with a wonderful variety of garden birds, Herring Gulls Sid, Gertie and friends, and hedgehogs who visit each night. I have studied the teachings of Abraham-Hicks for many years and continue to appreciate the synchronicities brought about by the Law of Attraction at work in my life.