Sandy Ostrau grew up in Palo Alto, California, where she was an active student at the Palo Alto Art Center through high school. She continued studio art classes and studied Art History at UCSB.
After a stint in marketing communications for a Silicon Valley company, she spent several years creating silkscreen and hand-painted clothing and other items for sale through Nordstrom and other Northern California retailers. Eventually, she decided to focus on oils. Sandy has taken numerous painting and drawing classes at the Pacific Art League and the Art Center in Palo Alto, and for the last 10 years has been a student of Jim Smyth and Brigitte Curt at the California Academy of Painters.
“In each of my paintings my goal is to capture the essential elements of a particular time and place, but in a process of reduction so that where and when it was it painted becomes irrelevant. I begin by drawing the details and information that I see in nature plein-air. I then begin to pare down the image in order to organize the design of the painting and eliminate what is not essential. I call my paintings Modern Landscapes with a nod to the modernist painters of the mid century in the Bay Area. My figurative work similarly is an attempt to capture the gesture of the figure. These begin with drawings of live models, from which I hope to tell the story of what the model is doing rather than who the model is. The figures are not identifiable other than in their body language. I then try to apply the same techniques of composition and color I use for landscapes to achieve a similar concept of design.” – Sandy Ostrau
Sandy resides in Palo Alto, CA and spends a considerable amount of time on the North Coast, at The Sea Ranch, CA. Her work is collected throughout America and Europe.