Letter from Featured Artist Sandy Coomer

Since my style of art is abstract and fluid, the pieces I chose for the poems didn’t cling to image or any physical description within the language. Instead, I relied on mood and tone, the emotional tie that is more gut than intellect, more lyric than narrative. It was a challenge, as I studied each poem,  to reach beyond the actual words to what the words represented–loss, anticipation, memory, love–and reflect that with color, line, shape, movement. But mostly, I admit, the choice was based on “feeling.” As I searched through the art, one would emerge, stand out, as if the universe were saying, “this one!” I figured the universe could not be wrong.

A quick note about acrylic pour art: This type of fluid art is created without brushes or tactile tools. The paint is mixed with substrates in a particular ratio and poured onto the surface of whatever medium used. I prefer claybord because it is hard and smooth. The science behind this art is primarily concerned with specific gravity. Each pigment has a unique density and this property allows the pigments to sink or rise when the mixture is poured upon a surface. The addition of alcohol (lower density) and silicone oil (higher density) enhances the formation of cells, lines, striations, etc. as the paint mixture spreads. This type of art cannot be controlled or directed. Each piece is unique and unusual. For a control freak like me, this type of art is valuable because it teaches the wonder of letting go and allowing beauty to simply happen. I think it’s a good thing to learn.

Bio: Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, Ironman triathlete, and social entrepreneur from Nashville, TN. Over 150 pieces of Sandy’s art have been published in print and online journals and she has been featured in local art shows and exhibits. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Available Light (Iris Press). Another full-length collection, The Broken Places, is forthcoming from Saddle Road Press in fall 2021. She is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and her poem, “Calligraphy” was a 2019 Best of the Net finalist. Sandy is a past poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program and the founding editor of the online poetry journal Rockvale Review.

Sandy cohosts Black Dog Poetry Open Mic and Rockvale Poetry Book Club and is the founder and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN, a not-for-profit organization that exists to support and educate writers of all genres and backgrounds. She is a self-professed “idea” person, as well as a teacher, a dreamer, and an explorer. Her favorite word is “believe.” Learn more about Sandy at www.sandycoomer.com.