Drawn To The Tranquility Of Watercolors

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Sandy and Wally Obrecht built their home to let in the light for painting.

In elementary and middle school, Sandra Obrecht would draw horses on the backs of books or any paper she could find.

Now, her watercolor paintings often depict scenes, if not with a horse, one the viewer might imagine a horse roaming through to graze beside a stream.

"I try to be loose, but not abstract. I like to do impressionistic things while still being realistic," Obrecht said.

When Obrecht was a senior in high school, her family moved out West from New Jersey to Colorado and her dream leapt off the drawing tablet.

"I was so excited to get "Dude," my quarter horse," she said.

She was used to riding English, so someone loaned her an English saddle and she put it on Dude.

"When I rode him fast down the driveway, I went one way and Dude went the other, so I learned it's not a good idea to put an English saddle on a Western horse," Obrecht said.

Despite an inauspicious beginning, horse and rider spent many hours together and Obrecht even taught Dude to shake hands.

Marriage and motherhood came next for Obrecht. She studied watercolors as an adult in the 1960s, showing and selling her work in a gallery in Colorado and in California's Conejo Valley.

She has served as an officer on the Westlake Village Art Guild, Arts Council of Conejo Valley and the Payson Art League.

Her husband Walter is also an accomplished artist.

Presently, she enjoys teaching her nearby grandchildren, Noah, Chloe and Lena to paint.

"They are quite the artists," Obrecht said.

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