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Steamboat Magazine

Awe-Inspiring Artists

11/14/2017 11:13AM ● By Alesha Damerville

Images provided by Sandi Poltorak

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – In 2013, Sandi Poltorak, inspired by the Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces," left a nearly-30-year career as a forensic artist and scientist in Tennessee. Poltorak, who had been frequently visiting Steamboat to ski, made the life-changing decision to dedicate her life to the arts. 
"I began to feel the stress and strain of the job," Poltorak says. "As a composite artist, I listened to victims talk about the event that would change their lives. Working in the crime laboratory and processing crime scenes is physically and mentally demanding. I loved my time in forensics but it was time to enjoy a happier life."
 Poltorak works predominantly in graphite but occasionally includes some charcoal and colored pencil. "I discover something new with each drawing and I am still experimenting with different types of paper and pencils," Poltorak says. "My goal is to reproduce images so well that one wonders if it is a photograph or a drawing. Although I have tried other mediums, I always come back to graphite and charcoal drawing. I seem to see much of the world in degrees of light and shadow, and love the gradation of grays and blacks."
Most of Poltorak's commission pieces are of family and pets. However, other subjects such as homes, landscapes and a still lifes are also in her repertoire. "I love drawing the doggies and dog people are so much fun to work with," Poltorak says. "My favorite part is when I look at the drawing and know I've caught the pet's personality. The dog/pet drawing is personal and meaningful to the pet owners and friends. 
 A dog or cat is part of the family and since they aren't with us for our entire lifetime, a portrait is a perfect way to keep them with us forever."
"I'm inspired by the other artists at Pine Moon Fine Art and those in the area," Poltorak says. "Yampa Valley is just drenched in artistic talent and I am proud and honored to be part of it." Poltorak earned several awards for her artwork in Tennessee and has been accepted into shows
featuring a Western theme. In 2015 she placed third in the Art Steamboat contest with a drawing of a native american mother and child entitled, “In Her Arms.”


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