Sandra Haynes

With her baby blanket and a bobcat hide in hand, Sandra grew up with wild animals as her friends including a pair of skunks and a fox that were first “pets”.

“I was raised in Molalla, a timber town on the west side of Oregon,” the wildlife artist says. “Being around wild animals was just part of my life thanks to the teachings of Dad and his brothers as they taught me a lifetime of knowledge about the surrounding heavy timber inhabitants.”

Later, a friend showed her how to sneak up on huge herds of elk while remaining in plain sight, and how to climb cliff sides to feed apples to Bighorn Sheep rams.

It’s not surprising that Sandra–who started drawing at 3–grew into a wildlife artist, working in oils, pan pastels, graphite and scratchboard.

“Hunting wild animals for photo reference outside of animal parks is a difficult and far-from-guaranteed adventure and is the reason why most artists who do their own photo reference gathering go to game parks or farms,” Haynes said.

While she does visit animal parks, a photographer friend and she take the time now and then to go into the wild and do things the hard way.

It’s hard to tell where Sandra is the happiest–in the studio or out in the wild–but in both places she feels very much at home. The child who loved to draw, immersed in the world of wildlife and the woods, has grown into a mountain woman herself, one who shares, through her art and through her wisdom, the beauty of the world she knows.

Excerpts of an article, written by Carolyn Henderson, are included in this biography.

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