Dogs of the Southwest – art by Sandy Magrath
Who is Sandy Magrath?
She grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 1987, she moved to Texas and 10 years later, started Texas Autosports with her husband. In 2011, they sold the business and traveled the country in a motorhome. Now she’s back in her hometown of Norman and has started a new career as an artist. With colorful acrylic paints and large canvases, she creates her happy dog portraits.
Sandy’s a happy artist. You can thank her dogs, Lacey and Jade. They provide her with daily doses of creative inspiration.
You paint dogs! Which dog inspired you to start painting?
The first dog I painted was an Australian Shepherd named Scooter that I adopted from the local shelter. He had lots of personality and one bum eye, but I painted him with two good eyes because I didn’t want anyone to think I was a bad painter ha ha! He was a great dog!
How many dogs claim you and what are their names and ages?
I have had dogs by my side since the 2nd grade. I still feel a connection to each and every one of them and miss them all dearly. Currently, I have two rescued Border Collies named Lacey (6 yrs old) and Jade (3 yrs old). They enjoy agility training/competing, hiking, and keeping me company in my studio.
Your paintings have so much personality!
Thank you for that compliment! I just paint the dogs as I see them. So, the personality actually comes from the dog. Even though my style is contemporary as opposed to being realistic, you can still see the individual personality of each dog. In my paintings of Lacey, her shyness steps forward. Jade’s personality is pure goofiness, which I think always comes through in the work I do of her.
Have you ever painted cats, or any other animals?
Yes! I have a crazy love for dogs, so most of my work is of dogs. But I absolutely love all animals and have also painted a cow, horse, wolf, chicken, pig, cat, and a parrot.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received on your work?
The best compliment is always the smile I see on the faces of the people observing my work. When someone approaches one of my pieces and a big smile pops up on their face, I know that I have accomplished my goal.
Are your subjects tough critics?
That’s a great question! They LOVE everything I do … and a few good treats don’t hurt! But seriously, this unconditional love is available to anyone at their local animal shelters. Save a stray today, you won’t regret it!
A meet the artist reception was held for Sandy, Thursday, May 9.
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Located at 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway in Duncan. Call 580-252-6692 for information. It is an official “Best Heritage Attraction,” an Oklahoma Outstanding Attraction, a National Day of the Cowboy ‘Cowboy Keeper” and a Top Ten Western Museum – True West Magazine. Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Association is a 501c3 non-profit.