July 3, 2024

I am delighted that my interview series continues to grow and that so many creative people are answering my questions. Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Sandra Alisch, an artist whose work radiates pure joy.

Sandra paints with an impressive variety, from abstract works to realistic animal portraits. Her colours are vibrant, intense and inspiring. She describes her art as the painting of joy and this is reflected in every brush stroke.


What is your name?
My name is Sandra Alisch.

Where do you live?
I live and work in Rauenberg. That's near Heidelberg.

What kind of art/creativity do you mainly do? (Painting, sculpture, photography, digital design, etc.)
Painting and drawing is my passion. I don't really like to limit myself to one style, medium or way of painting. I do very realistic animal portraits in pastels, pencils and occasionally watercolours. It's almost like meditation for me. Looking closely and drawing until the paper reflects what I perceive. Especially during and after my trips to the sea, I put my holiday motifs on paper. I am particularly passionate about abstract, very colourful paintings, because that is where my heart flows onto the canvas. I paint canvases and wooden panels, as well as children's chairs and garden benches.

Have you had any formal training, or are you self-taught?
I did not study art. I have learnt a lot on my own, and some things have been shaped by VHS or art courses. The creative community on various social media platforms has been especially helpful and inspiring. The exchange and helpful criticism from other artists was and is incredibly valuable.

Where can people see your work? Do you have a website or social media profiles you would like to share?
You can find me on Instagram as @ateliersandraalisch. I also have a small shop on Etsy that features some of my work.

Inspirationsquelle Meer: Die Künstlerin Sandra Alisch

You Are Creative. Why?

How Did You Get Into Art? Where Did Your Creative Journey Begin?

There are images and colours in my head. They want to come out. I like to play with what's there. To reshape it. To give space to my inner self and make it visible. Already in my youth, I loved to draw. For many years - during my studies - fine art was put on hold and I expressed my creativity through dance. It wasn't until my late 20s, when I no longer had to worry about "wasting" a canvas because I was earning enough money in my day job, that I regained the courage to paint. I experimented with acrylics, oils and watercolours. Trying crayons and pastels. I still have some unopened leather paints lying around to draw my character out of a white sneaker.

What Inspires You?

Quite often it's songs that speak to my heart. I listen to them on repeat and paint along with them. And of course the sea. I try to go to the sea as often as I can, with the fresh wind in my hair, the salty air in my nose and the sound of the waves in my ears. It makes me feel free and connected to God, the world and I.

Are There Certain Artists Or Styles That Influence You?

When it comes to watercolours, I really enjoy looking over Maria Raczynska's shoulder as she paints. Her painting is just magic. She conjures up the most beautiful cat portraits, romantic houses and dreamy landscapes in a special way with colour and light. In the field of abstract painting, Betty Franks has been a revelation to me. The way she handles the canvas and the paint is like a game. The process makes the painting. And it starts ugly. From her, I learned to trust that each painting matures very gradually through painting itself.

What does your creative process look like?

What are your favourite materials and tools to use and why?

For realistic animal portraits, I spend a lot of time finding a good stencil that shows the light and shadows in the face and especially in the eyes. I use special transfer paper to transfer the main lines of the model onto my drawing paper. I often start with the eyes. For me, they are the soul of the painting. I use pastel pencils and pastel crayons for the first layer and the background to create soft gradients. Polychromos are used for the details.

My favourite painting surface for abstract work is wood panels. They are stable and do not warp. After a few layers of gesso, I start with wild coloured pencil lines. This dispels my fear of the purity of the canvas and warms me up. I like to splash liquid acrylic paint on the canvas, spray it with water and let it flow. The paint then does the first work for me. After it has dried, I sometimes add small collage elements. As the process continues, I use white gesso to cover what I don't like and let stay what I do like. My favourite tool is then used for the final stage: a liner or drag brush. A few long bristles on a long handle conjure up fine lines as final accents in the painting.

Is There A Particular Project Or Work That Is Important To You?

Yes, this is my "angel of consolation". In 2018, my parents died very close to each other. During this sad and difficult time, I painted an angel and myself. It expressed the comfort I felt during that time. Today this angel hangs in the living room of a family who have also suffered a great loss. I had accompanied them for a number of years as a pastor and also organized this funeral during Corona. I can't think of a more beautiful place for my "angel of consolation". It has become a beautiful bond.

Angel of Consolation | Sandra Alisch

Angel of Levity | Sandra Alisch

What Was The Biggest Challenge You Faced As An Artist?

I guess I'm in the middle of something. For some time now, I haven't been able to create an abstract work of art that I'm happy with ...
My abstract paintings reflect my soul. And it's sick at the moment. I don't like what is visible when I paint. I know it will come back. But I suspect I will need patience. Perhaps someone will pray for me?

How Important Is It For You To Connect And Interact With Other Artists And Creatives?

A few years ago it was other artists who encouraged me to paint again. We had a little group on Facebook. Talked about colours and paper. Asked for advice on our paintings and gave tips ourselves. We challenged each other with monthly themes and deadlines. Growing together was so enriching. Some of our contacts are still with us today. And I really appreciate that.

I myself use my colourful social media clientele to feature other artists' accounts in my stories from time to time. It's a small contribution to networking and support that I can easily fit into my everyday life.

What Does Art Mean To You? What Role Does It Play In Your Life?

Art is an expression of life. I live with paintings in my head that have to come out from time to time. I suppose otherwise I would burst.

What Do You Think Is The Role Of Art In Society?

What Role Do Artists Play Within Society?

I want to give joy with my art. To make the world a little more beautiful. To give the viewer's soul a little break. Maybe even tickle out comfort and courage. Other artists manage to convey socially critical themes. To expose grievances. I am grateful to them for that. Because art can do all that and our society needs it.e.

Which Topics Are Important To You?

Is There A Theme Or A Message That You Want To Convey In Your Art?

I associate my often very intuitive paintings with very personal life experiences. They always resonate with other people. Simply because they are human. I can't do that, but it's always a great gift when it happens.

Thank you Sandra for taking the time to answer my questions.

Your chance: Be part of my interview series!

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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