Simone Sandelson studied Art History at Manchester University and Fashion and Textiles at Manchester Art College. She subsequently spent ten years designing home furnishing collections for high street multiples.
It was only when she encountered David Cranswick, 'a renaissance painter', that she knew she wanted to remove herself from the commercial world, to paint. She spent three years in his studio, where she learnt an intense discipline: all pigments were painstakingly ground and mixed with oils, gesso panels made layer upon layer, canvas's stretched and sized with rabbits skin glue, glazes made with egg white.
The process began by copying old masters with preliminary drawings in burnt sienna pigment and tones built up in verdacchio (a greeny brown colour). Stronger colours were then glazed into the work to create a powerful translucent appearance. These paintings took at least six months to complete. Simone Sandelson adapted this method to painting portraits of her own family. She then obtained commissions from friends and ultimately by word of mouth, to which she attributes her busy studio today
The paintings in the exhibition, while owing a great deal to her disciplined training and her response to stories both personal and universal. The colours are often muted to suggest the passing of time like faded photographs.
She has also taught painting at a London prison, hospices and more recently art workshops with Tibetan children living in exile in Dharamsala, India.