A preeminent realist painter, Sandy – as do all great masters – carries on the traditions and canons of classical art ideology practiced from the Renaissance down through 19th century. Her paintings and drawings demonstrate her virtuosity, a manifestation of unparalleled technical excellence, which result in great works of lasting beauty. Sandy’s unsurpassed knowledge of anatomy, color theory and design, facilitate her portrayal of the human condition – in all its complexities – with breathtaking elegance and mastery. Sandy’s feels privileged to paint her testimony through her love of the scriptures, and passion for religious figurative painting.
Sandy’s husband is writer, Dave Gagon. They have three children.
The Lord often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate a principle. The story of the widow of Zarephath is an example of life-threatening poverty used to teach the doctrine that mercy cannot rob sacrifice any more than it can rob justice. In fact, the truer measure of sacrifice isn’t so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give (see Mark 12:43). Faith isn’t tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn’t create one’s character—it reveals it. The crisis is the test (“Tithing-a Commandment Even for the Destitute” Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005).
Much of the inspiration for my paintings comes through experiences I had when drinking the biter cups of life. This is especially true of this painting. It is during these defining moments of adversity – famines, if you will – that I have come to understand “sacrifice brings forth blessings.” It is my desire to visually convey that true faith always manifests itself in faithfulness. The message of the Widow of Zarephath has tremendous relevancy today; it is through our choices we ultimately come to know God. (Scriptural reference: 1 Kings 17: 9-15)
Inspiration for my paintings often comes when I’m thinking back on the trials our family has endured. It’s true that everyone has adversity; however, it’s sometimes overwhelming when it's personal and has no end in sight.
One stormy day, my husband and I were out driving. By chance, I saw two little girls running with their jackets flipped up behind them. They were pretending they could fly. The thought then occurred to me that we sometimes refuse to embrace the storms of life. Instead, we allow the squalls and tempests to beat us down.
I painted She Remembered She Could Fly as a reminder to us all that we can rise above the circumstances of our lives and find joy. We all can fly.
I dearly love the scriptures, and am passionate about painting sacred moments from the lives of those women who left their indelible mark upon the pages of holy writ. These women of the scriptures were strong and righteous; their testimonies were fervent and unswerving. I received inspiration for Tabitha Arise during the time our daughter was undergoing multiple surgeries to repair the ravages of cancer. Just as Tabitha was healed through the power of the priesthood, my Tabitha expresses love and gratitude to the Lord for the life of our daughter. His healing hand was made manifest, once again, through His holy Priesthood. (Scripture reference: Acts 9: 36-42)