One Artist Inspiring Another

All art is inspired by another artist’s work, at some point in time. LeeAnn Brook Fine Art will host guest artist Sandy Ostrau in a show called “Sun At My Back”, featuring her “modern landscape” oil paintings that are a nod to Bay Area mid-century painters. LeeAnn Brook will also feature a color-inspired series of collage paintings. The show will open on Nevada City’s First Friday Artwalk, August 2, from 5-8:30 pm, featuring live jazz. The show will run through the month of August at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, 231 Broad St., downtown Nevada City. Open daily, 12-5pm, open Saturdays at 11am.

Brook came across Sandy Ostrau’s paintings over 20 years ago when they both were in a show in Sacramento. Brook recalls Ostrau’s thick use of oil paint, with layers of vibrant color in simple fields of gloss and matt varnishes.

“A landscape never seemed so simple, yet so complex” Brook reflected. “Her work stood out from the crowd.”

Brook followed Ostrau’s work for the next 20 years, including seeing several of her shows at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco, and at Spindrift Gallery in Gualala, CA.

“Sandy’s work was always so inspiring to me, so when I started to fill my roster of shows at the gallery, I decided to approach her. We are both happy to be in each other’s company once again,” commented Brook after visiting Ostrau’s light-filled studio in Palo Alto.

Inspired by the Bay Area mid-century modernist painters, Ostrau’s figurative landscape paintings are reminiscent of those of California contemporary painter Richard Diebenkorn, working in a style that reduces a painting down to only its necessary elements. This show of small works she calls Modern Landscapes will be a great opportunity to see her beautiful paintings in person.

Ostrau comments on her process, “In each of my paintings my goal is to capture the essential elements of a particular time and place, but in a process of reduction so that where and when it was it painted becomes irrelevant. I begin by drawing the details and information that I see in nature plein-air. I then begin to pare down the image in order to organize the design of the painting and eliminate what is not essential.”

Sandy Ostrau is an award-winning artist who has shown her work in Northern California for the past 20 years. With studios in Palo Alto and Gualala, CA, she grew up in Palo Alto where she was an active student at the Palo Alto Art Center through high school. She continued studio art classes and studied at the University of California Santa Barbara, B.A. Liberal Studies with a concentration in Art History. She has exhibited and won awards at the Triton Museum, Santa Clara; California Academy of Painters, Palo Alto; the Pacific Art League, Palo Alto; and the Palo Alto Art Center.

LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, featuring a working studio as well as the art of over 20 different artists, is open daily from 12-5 p.m., and is located at 231 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City. For more information about the gallery’s artists and events, visit

WHO: Sandy Ostrau
WHAT: “Sun At My Back”
WHEN: August 1-31, 2019
Opening Reception:
August 2, 5-8:30pm on Nevada City’s First Friday Artwalk
Live jazz
WHERE: LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, 231 Broad St., Nevada City, CA
CONTACT: LeeAnn Brook, 530-557-5160
PHOTO CAPTION: “Girl with Orange”, 12” x 12” oil on panel by Sandy Ostrau