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Sandra Wong Orloff

My current series of figurative pieces in ink and watercolor evolved out of practicing inking techniques for my graphic novels. After completing my first novel (soon to be self-published) and taking a break before beginning Book 2, I continued to explore drawing figures in pen and ink wash. Playing with a really awesome new set of watercolors, I started painting abstract environments around the figures, producing a series of inked figurative pieces in abstract backgrounds of watercolor. The watercolor lines represent many things for me, colorful landscapes, the weight of the times and world, the energy of the body and the universe, the unknowable aspect of the future.

How is life in the time of Covid expressed in my work? Lots and lots of masks.

The pandemic has forced me to grapple with being the parent of a teen during this time, what his life looks like and what he is losing - being denied the social life he should be having, quarantine & zoom birthday celebration, remote learning, missing prom, missing friends, the list goes on. Fact: the pandemic sucks for us all.

At the same time my son explores his independence, even within the limitations of the pandemic, I am dealing with my own challenges as his parent - reacting to things beyond my control both in terms of the pandemic and as a parent of a child becoming his own person, the challenge of letting go, of the emotions brought up by choices he makes. Working through my feelings as the parent of this teen while transforming images of him and his friends into artwork has been surprisingly helpful and revealing. I have been able to find beauty, peace and release. 

I’m exploring other ideas with figures and lines, paintings of teens with their parents, scenes from the streets, and abstract fields of lines of color without figures. But much of my artmaking in the last year has been about the teen in my life, and the friends in his. My son and his gang have been kind enough to let me use their images, allowing me access to photos of candid and revealing moments, fun posing and goofing for the camera, becoming young adults in a time like no other. My paintings are inspired by the photos they take of themselves for each other. There is a lot of flipping off the viewer, and many, many masks.


Artist Identification
Asian Euro-Caucasian

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Sandra Wong Orloff

Member since 1 year ago
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