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People often ask me, "Sandy, how do you stay inspired to make art?"


It's an absolute joy to walk through the garden, or spend time in nature and feel inspired!  Then, to be able to go into my art studio, close the door, turn up the music and paint is pure bliss!


However, the truth is that it's not always this easy!  Yes, I do get very inspired in nature, but there are some days when I feel bummed out with what's happening in the world, in our US politics and feel fear for my kids' futures.  I can feel quite bleak inside and to be honest, the last thing I want to do is go make art.


It is at these times though when I know that although I don't necessarily want to go into the art studio, I NEED to go into the art studio!




Because making art is meditative for me.  When I paint a still life, I am able to slow down, focus all my attention on the details of the subject, I let go, relax and breathe.  I am able to connect inwardly and that's when I get new insights into life.


And when I paint larger paintings on canvas, and tune into my creative source and let it flow, I am accessing my higher truth.  I am reminded of the beauty that does exist in the world.  The mixing of colors, the movement of the brush on canvas and the imagery that appears wakes up my sense of optimism....that there are greater powers at work, a feeling that I don't have to 'figure everything out' because there is a kind and loving universal force that has my back.  A feeling that everything is going to be OK and I get a renewed spirit of optimism.


It is this energy - of grace, peace, and optimism, that I hope is captured in my paintings.  It is my sincerest hope that the paintings radiate with this energy and the viewer feels uplifted and a sense of joy.






I believe that meaningful connection is healing and the world needs more of it.  As an artist, it's my ultimate goal to make themed bodies of artwork that have powerful narratives.  To take it a step further, I host The Art Inspired Salons to exhibit the work.  The Art Inspired Salon is a new and interactive way that engages the viewer to participate in an interactive experience that inspires thoughtful conversation and meaningful connection to happen.


All of the themed series are laced with metaphors and symbols that allow me to express my personal response to what is happening in the world and my place in it.  



Through the botanical series, such as the "Wonderland Series" and the "Into the Light Series," I am able to express my personal journey of cultivating my own inner strength and source of self-love.  The "Into the Light Series" is rooted in my journey of finding the courage to step out from the shadows (ie: from being a contibutor behind the scenes) and step out into the light to be seen as a strong and powerful woman who desires to help others find and love their own authentic truth.


The Black Heart Series is a personal narrative that celebrates and acknowledges the pain and trauma that all people encounter on the road of life, and how strong and resilient our inner spirit is to heal again and shine our lights even brighter than before.


The upcoming "AND" series explores the concept of the healing power of the word 'and' versus 'or' and 'but.' The word 'And' is expansive, inclusive, abundant, accepting, uniting, offers possibilities and opportunities, and more!


For example, if we look a situation as it's either black or white, we are missing out on a whole range of opportunities and possible solutions!  If we use the word 'and" instead, then we acknowledge the spectrum of gray that also exists.  In the gray area lies the land of possibilities!  Furthermore, if we say, "I feel excited, but I'm nervous" the word 'but' discounts the feeling of excitement.  If we replace 'but' with 'and'... "I feel excited, and I'm nervous," then both feelings are valid.


The "AND"  series will be the focal point for the first Art Inspired Salon event.  It is an interactive art inspired conversation and connection experience.  


If you would like to be invited to an Art Inspired Salon, please join the mailing list!





Sandy Takashima Shaw was raised in a small town, Lexington, Ohio.   Growing up, she dreamed of traveling the world and painting.  She graduated from the University of Akron and one week later boarded a plane for Japan. She lived and worked in Japan for a year and half.  Being half Japanese, she always wanted to know that side of herself more.  In Japan, she fell in love with Japanese culture, the art and aesthetics.   She is inspired by the Japanese art of Ikebana, Shodo and especially Ukiyoe, wood block prints.  She also admires Gauguin, Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe and Tiffany.


After living in Japan and traveling around Asia, she moved to San Francisco where she worked as a marketing executive in the technology industry at the height of the dot-com hay day.  Although she worked full-time, she continued to paint nightly, in the evenings after work. Over time, she amassed a large collection of paintings and began exhibiting in the San Francisco galleries.  In 1999, she decided to resign from the corporate world and pursue her passion for art and painting full-time.

For the next year and a half, she traveled to Europe and Central America, painting all the inspiring beauty around her, and sent her paintings to the U.S galleries to exhibit.

In 2001, she married and started a family.  Although she continued painting, she took time off from the exhibiting to focus on her family.  Now that her children are in school, she has more time to devote to her artistic career.

She is thrilled to be back in the art studio daily, and is deeply inspired by the vitality of the garden.  In particular, she is drawn to the vibrant color, beauty and inner strength of the flowers and feels that she can creatively express her inner world through the abstract representation of them.

In addition to working on her own creative endeavors, she feels honored to share the gift of creative expression through teaching.  She feels privileged to teach middle school art at Mt. Madonna School.  She also loves teaching small classes for high school teenagers and adults at her private studio.  Her intention is to provide them a creative haven to feel safe to experience the joy of creative freedom and expression.

Sandy Shaw currently resides and works in California, and continues to travel regularly on surf trips with her family. In addition to painting, Sandy is passionate about coaching women to thrive in all areas of their lives!  Sandy is a Certified Life Coach and to learn more, please click on  

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