Sandy Makokis was born in a small Ontario town near Lake Simcoe. Her mother worked to help support the family of four, but in her spare time she painted. Sandy has a natural talent that was sparked by her mother's oil paintings, and, before reaching high school, she had won first prize in a province-wide competition. During the 1960's, there didn't seem to be a lot of opportunities to be self supporting in the arts and her family could not afford to send her to post secondary. She married young, had children and doodled with her drawing and painting.
She moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1980, then a single mom with three young daughters. Working full time, she went to night classes at ACA (Alberta College of Art, now ACAD). She did not continue for a degree but the classes helped to spark her artistic interest. In 1998 she organized a silent art auction, dinner and dance to raise funds for the Atlin Art School in B.C. where a fire had destroyed a two storey art studio and in 1999 she attended the art school for a month of inspiration and teachings.
Sandy has mastered several media, pencil, pastel, acrylic and, most recently, oils. Now, living in Lac la Biche, Alberta, she lives on a small farm with her husband, two Great Pyrenees dogs and three cats. She has a studio where she explores different media. As President of Lac la Biche Art Club for the last eleven years, she has been passionate to get recognition for local artists, creating large scale art shows in conjunction with other events happening in the community. She stepped down, this year, January 2023, to focus on her own art.
I met the last surviving member of The Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson when my class went on a field trip to the McMichael Art Conservatory in Kleinburg, Ontario. It was elementary school and I was very young but I loved the artwork and I was fascinated with Mr. Jackson. I was a painfully shy person and called myself a "closet artist" because I kept my art in the closet. I was encouraged to show my art to others after taking some night classes as an adult in Calgary. I love the art styles of the Group of Seven and Bev Dolittle. I have finally retired from working and from the lead position with the Lac la Biche Art Club, to focus on my art. I find that I surprise myself when I've created a successful piece of art. I took a two day workshop with a local artist who does oils and I rediscovered how much I like working with oils. I learned that I have a natural talent to do portraits. Some of the oils in my paintbox are from my mother's kit and are fifty years old, but still good!
I finally did it! I have my own web page! Check out http://www.bluemoosewomanart.com
This is my latest endeavor. I love doing candid portraits. This style is completely new to me and I am enjoying the journey.
I love using oils. Before I discovered how much I like doing portraits, I did landscapes and birds.
I spent a lot of time exploring the mountain forests in B.C. I took a lot of photos, camping rough with my three daughters.
I came across an old photo that I'd taken during my mountain hiking and camping days with my three daughters. It was very faded, the colour quality poor but I had kept it because of the composition. I used my memory to enhance the colours from that day.
I moved to Lac la Biche, Alberta with my husband when we changed jobs. We bought a small farm and I went exploring the fields and forests of our domain. I found this pond, the tamarack trees in full fall glory, the poplar trees bare.
I used to live in Calgary. I loved to go for drives to take pictures for art reference. I was driving north on Simon's Valley Road, one of the more beautiful spots close to the city. I was dismayed to see the picturesque hills on the right, being ripped apart for residential development. I looked left and there was a lone coyote standing on top of the hill, looking at the machines that were tearing up his home.