Skaggs Island, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36 inches

Sanchez 1
Night Sky 2
, 2013 oil on canvas, 12 x 24 inches

In the mid-1980s, my husband’s softball team, The Range Animals, was invited (or invited themselves) to a summer party at writer Thomas Sanchez’s beautiful home in the hills above Santa Barbara. It was there that my friend artist Kathy Anderson beckoned me—you HAVE to see his wife’s paintings, she said. We tippy-toed into Stephanie’s studio, which was a cottage just down the hill from the larger home. I was awestruck. Here before me were small oil paintings on board, rich in venetian red, sienna and umber browns, ochres, and creams. Her style was unlike anything I’d seen—surreal compositions painted in a way that reminded me of perhaps circa 13th-century Tuscan frescoes, with subjects like The Last Supper. Subsequently, as a gallerist at the Pamela Auchincloss Gallery (now defunct), it was a privilege for me to sit with Stephanie’s paintings during her solo show there circa 1984.

Time passed. Stephanie and Tom separated, and left Santa Barbara. Then in 1992, painter Michael Dvortcsak told us about Stephanie’s show at Tatistcheff Gallery in L.A. We motored down and saw her beautiful L.A. cityscapes. That show was a treasure. When everyone else was doing something trendy, Stephanie was painting urban landscapes. Her works were unspoiled and full of integrity.

This past year, Stephanie was inspired to put some of her newest work on Facebook, and launched an updated website. Hopefully, she will add images of her older works as well as the new,  so that you can see them, too. Of all the painters I know, she just may be the best.


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