Sandy Byers was born in Monterey, California in 1956 in a house a few blocks from the beaches of Seventeen Mile Drive. Though she did not live there long, the water she was born close to was the beginning of a lifelong bond with the sea. The daughter of a Navy officer, Byers’ younger years were spent moving often with her family. The most adventurous of which was a move, at age eight, to Cannes on the French Riviera. On the family’s trans-Atlantic return trip aboard the Leonardo da Vinci, they were tossed about in high seas as their cruise liner tried, in vain, to rescue the British freighter Ambassador as she sank in turbulent waters a thousand miles off the coast of New York. Even this tragic experience did not wane her love of the sea.
Byers showed an interest in drawing from a young age and, at thirteen, her parents enrolled her in private oil painting lessons. Thus began Byers’ love affair with painting. Her style, from her first painting, was of a realistic nature and it is what she is still known for today. As a young adult, she pursued a career in the software industry and continued painting as time allowed.
Byers’ retirement from the software industry in 2002 enabled her to pursue a full-time art career. She now lives on picturesque Whidbey Island, in Washington State, with her husband and their two cats. Her children are married and live in nearby Oregon.
Byers has worked in a variety of media and now concentrates mostly on producing works in oils and pastels. Many of her landscapes and seascapes include scenes from her local area on Whidbey Island. Byers is also well known for her heartfelt and expressive paintings of animals and is dedicated to supporting animal welfare organizations.
In 2004, Byers entered her first competition: The Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100 Competition. She won two awards in that juried competition and continues to submit new works and gain acceptance into juried shows.