Featured Artist – Sandra Lapham

april 2022

Featured Artist - Sandra Lapham

I am a retired physician who specialized in internal medicine, with a focus on addiction medicine. In 1996 I formed a not-for-profit research center in Albuquerque that studied behavioral health and tested new medications to treat alcohol and drug use disorders.

Throughout my life my greatest joy has come from immersing myself in natural settings, which often includes travel to remote locations, and observing wildlife and the beauty of natural landscapes. The beauty of nature also helps activate the right side of my brain, dormant for much of my past. I like the technical challenge of photography and the part it plays in nurturing a sense of my own creativity and unique perspective.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

At age ten I asked my parents for a camera. They gave me a Kodak Brownie on my next birthday. Since then, my love of photography, paired with an ever-present hankering for travel, has given me lots of opportunities to capture images of the world around me. While in medical school I took photographs of Mexico, South America, Africa, Europe, and Canada, while on a shoestring budget. Now retired I have the luxury of indulging my passion.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

I chose photography as my primary medium. It simply came naturally.

What other media have you used?

In the past five years my interests have expanded to creating mixed media works using wax (encaustic photography). The application of melted wax to photographs preserves them, and gives them a surrealist cast, softening and muting hard edges. The encaustic process also enables the artist to incorporate other elements, like plant material trinkets, into the piece.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

Art that fosters a personal connection with the natural world.

What inspires your work?

I believe that nature connects us to the earth and each other. Just viewing a photograph depicting or suggesting natural scenes can help people heal emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.

My hope is that my art will foster a personal connection with the natural world, motivate efforts to preserve our natural environment, and by so doing better our community’s mental and physical health.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would spend a day with Leonardo Da Vinci. Why? He was an inspirational artist, engineer, inventor, compassionate animal lover, and had one of the greatest minds the world has known.

Do you show your work commercially? If so, where?

My work is available through my website, can be viewed in person by appointment, and is exhibited regularly through local art shows.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

My dog, Scout, a Belgian Malinois and I are volunteers on the Sandia Search Dog team.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

Join a club, network, and find a mentor who can guide and support you.