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Medford resident shares her love for oil painting

Sandra Chase will be hosting solo exhibits of her artwork on Oct. 12 and Nov. 9.

Sandra Chase is pictured in her home studio with student Sally Lavallee.

The stroke of a paintbrush was all it took for Sandra Chase to reinvent herself.

Chase’s interest in art originally peaked high school where she was the president of the art club; however, she was led in a different direction after high school — achieving a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland.

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She also went on to gain her teaching certification, where she taught at Medford Memorial Middle School for approximately three years before having her first child.

When Chase was in her 40s, she decided it was time to go back to school to pursue her passion of art. With two sons still enrolled in school themselves, she decided it would make the most financial sense to take two to three courses at a time.

After achieving her associate’s degree in art from Rowan College at Burlington County (formerly Burlington County College), she registered for classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Her journey did not come without challenges — and working alongside a younger demographic made Chase question herself at times.

Chase’s dedication overpowered any self-doubt that arose, and after 10 years she completed her degree.

“It took me 10 years, but I’m most proud of that degree,” Chase said. “Perhaps due to my persistence and the encouragement from friends and family.”

Chase stated that by taking a few classes at a time it presented her with more time to study and take her time to complete assignments, allowing her to attain the most knowledge possible from those courses.

Throughout her schooling she has taken courses in different types of painting, drawing and sculpting, and found her niche in portraits after completing an assignment of an oil painting of her dog. Upon showing the instructor her painting, Chase recalled he said “that’s what you should do, that’s where your skill lies.”

With proficiency in animal portraits, Chase has perfected her technique over the years, taking a traditional approach by completing underpainting in one color, then going back and adding thin layers of paint on top to give the painting depth.

An oil painting by Sandra Chase.

“I loved each of the different disciplines, but I have to say my first love is oil painting,” Chase said.

Chase has previously been a part of two exhibits at RCBC, an exhibit at Frostburg University and has had three pieces shown at the Medford Memorial Community Center.

After entering those pieces into the show, Carol and Glenn Sinclair extended the opportunity for Chase to host a solo exhibit at the Center, where she will present more than 20 animal oil paintings, and one painting titled “A Pint of Daffodils” as a tribute to her late mother.

“I felt really honored, I did, I thought it would be a great opportunity to show my work,” Chase said. “Of all the things I’ve done in life, art is the most fulfilling.”

Her first solo exhibit was held on Sept. 14, and she will be hosting an additional two exhibits on Oct. 12 and Nov. 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Her artwork is also being shown as a part of the Medford Arts Center ArtWalk, held on the second Friday of every month starting at 6 p.m.

Chase’s artwork can be viewed on her website, www.fineartamerica.com.

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