A Journey Through The Mind of An Artist

By: Sierra Dyson

Ellen Sandbeck is a papercut artist originally from San Rafael, California. She went to college at the University of California in Santa Barbara with the intention of studying environmental biology. Sadly, due to her time-consuming schedule, Ellen was not able to work on her art. Within a month or so, she got to the point where she would sit in the back of her Chemistry 101 class, having vivid hallucinations even though she was not on any type of drug due to creative withdraws. Once that began she knew action had to be taken to preserve her mental well being. Therefore, Ellen changed her major to art in order to have a healthy creative outlet in which she could express herself.  Thankfully, after she switched over to an art major she had the time to do what she loved which eliminated the hallucinations she had began to have. Since then she has fully dove into the world of art headfirst and still practices her medium from her home in Duluth, Minnesota where she lives with her husband. Some of her art is showcased below and if you are interested in learning more about Ellen or her artwork follow her on Facebook at her pages called, Ellen Sandbeck and then A Buddha A Day. She can also be reached via email at ellen.sandbeck@gmail.com or  abuddhaday@gmail.com. Furthermore, her art can be viewed on artwork archives at https://www.artworkarchive.com/profile/sandbeck.

Ellen Sandbeck

This is a self-portrait of the artist as Medusa:

Medusa, self-portrait  8″ x 8″ scissors-cut paper 3 layers

 (This scan was done before the piece was trimmed to size. It has now been trimmed)

Tiger (From the series

Tiger, from the series, “Endangered Chinese Zodiac.”

11″ x 8.5″ , scissors-cut paper,  5 layers

What Are the Consequences of the 2016 Election?

“What Are the Consequences of the 2016 Election?” 

17″ x 11″  scissors-cut paper, 11 layers 

This piece was inspired by a trip to China shortly before the 2016 election. After the election, Ellen was convinced that the U.S. was going to rush headlong straight into the type of environmental catastrophe that China is determinedly speeding away from. Unfortunately, in her eyes she was right.

We Were Stardust

 “We Were Stardust”

11″ x 17″  scissors-cut paper, 7 layers

Ellen is an organic landscaper, and has been growing vermicomposting worms, and setting up indoor vermicomposting systems for more than three decades. The “We Were Stardust”  papercut is a visual representation of her spirituality. Once she was invited to do a piece for a “Religion and the Environment” symposium, and this is the best she can do as far as being religious goes.

Goodbye Diamond Match

“Goodbye Diamond Match.”

11″ x 8.5″  scissors-cut paper, 5 layers.

Ellen did it in response to the closing of the last wooden match manufacturing company in the U.S. The company had been a fixture in Cloquet Minnesota, which is near where she lives, for well over a hundred years.

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