Artist Alexandra Saunders is deeply inspired by nature and wildlife. For her, painting is a way to connect with the natural world and find peace and solace. She views it as a gift and a privilege to be able to capture the beauty of the world around her through her artwork.
Saunders’ paintings are characterized by their attention to detail and the stories she tells. She takes great care in creating each artwork, pouring her heart and soul into each one. She hopes her paintings connect with people’s emotions and inspire them to feel connected to the natural world.
From an early age, Saunders was exposed to the world of art through her parents. Her father was a professor at the University of Indonesia, and her family spent a lot of time traveling the world. Saunders’ exposure to different cultures and art forms profoundly impacted her creative development. Although her parents weren’t artists, they loved collecting and displaying artworks from the cultures they’d visited. Saunders was captivated by the veritable museum that was her family’s home.
Saunders studied environmental science and wildlife conservation, receiving her undergraduate degree, followed by graduate studies at UC Berkeley.
In the mid-1980s, Saunders lost her father and brother suddenly, and as a way of mourning their loss, she started to visit the Natural History Museum, which led her to take a class in animal anatomy and eventually to draw animals. However, she would put away her pencils for the next 30 years and focus her career on business and environmental non-profits.
After years in the business world, Saunders’s artistic spirit reawakened when she decided to paint portraits of an orangutan baby, a baby hippo, and three rescued chimpanzees as a way to raise proceeds for wildlife conservation. These successful projects were followed by a memorial portrait of Cecil, the young lion shot by a trophy hunter, and a painting of Asha, an elephant living in deplorable conditions in a roadside zoo. These epic pieces took her over four months to complete each and thoroughly reignited Saunders’ creative passion.
Saunders’ studio is in her home in Danville, CA. When she started painting, she had to convert her home office into a studio to accommodate her large easel. She has since built up her studio to be fully equipped with all the materials she needs to create her art.
Saunders has a methodical and slow process for creating her paintings. She starts with a sketch of her subject matter and then builds up the painting in layers of thin washes of color and glazes. This process can take weeks or even months to complete. She constantly pushes herself to refine her techniques and skills and spends a lot of time practicing.
Over time, Alexandra’s work has evolved to include more detailed and atmospheric elements, painting groupings of animals in their habitats.
Saunders has built an accomplished career as an artist. She is a member of the California Art Club and the Alamo-Danville Artists Association and has exhibited her work at local and national levels. Saunders is also a member of Artists for Conservation, an organization that works to promote and support the conservation of our natural world.
Saunders aspires to share the wonders of nature through her art and to inspire people to care about the natural world surrounding them. She wants her art to reflect her love and respect for these majestic creatures and encourage others to appreciate their beauty. For Saunders, art is a reminder that there is more to living than the hustle and bustle of everyday life and that beauty is all around us, waiting to be appreciated.
Visit Alexandra Saunders’ website to view more art: https://www.alexandrasaunders.com/