Sandy O'Connor

“I like to look at things that draw me in with dramatic contrasts of light and dark, calm me with a sense of solitude or have nostalgic significance. And I love depicting subjects that are often overlooked like an ocean wave at sunrise lapping at my feet, an oyster shell buried in the sand or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a paper plate. Every time I begin a new painting I strive to make something beautiful that I want to spend time with and that others will be drawn to on an emotional level. Many are captivated by my approach to watercolor because of the striking realism that results. I’m inspired by the work of Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, William Turner, John Singer Sargent and Edward Hopper among others.” Sandy O’Connor was born in Hackensack, New Jersey not long after her parents emigrated from Great Britain. She spent her youth on a small farm where changing seasons and the freedom to explore nature inspired an affinity with the environment and a passion to create. Her work reflects years of study and practice as a landscape architect, graphic designer and art director. It is this combination of a naturalist’s eye and the discipline of a formal design education that shapes her realistic style as a devoted artist today. 

After several years of living and working as an artist and instructor on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington, O’Connor moved back to New Jersey in 2016. She considers herself a bi-coastal artist and remains active on both fronts. She is the recipient of many national awards. In 2015 she was awarded the Silver Medal in the Northwest Watercolor Society’s 75th International Exhibition and became a juried Signature Member. She is a juried Artist Member of the Copley Society, the Hudson Valley Art Association and a Master Artist of the Cape Cod Art Association. She has been published in several issues of American Artist, The Artist’s Magazine and Watercolor Artist magazines and on their web sites as Artist of the Month. O’Connor’s work appears in several notable hard cover books including "Splash Retrospective - 20 Years of Contemporary Watercolor Excellence". Published in 2013 by North Light Books, it is a beautiful hardbound showcase of the best in contemporary watercolors. A sample of her original paintings and prints can be viewed at She can be contacted at

Selected Works