Sandy Clough is a fourth generation artist who began painting at a very early age. Both her talent and her creativity were developed in a home where things were made and created--not just bought--and materials for creating were always available.
Sandy’s father, a billboard sign painter who was gifted in both lettering and pictorials, was her first instructor. Under his guidance, she completed her first oil painting—a gold finch—in the second grade.
Her mother further developed her creativity by teaching her needle arts and sewing. Sandy believes that the gift the Lord gave her was not just painting, but was the creativity that her parents nurtured.
Sandy arrived at college with a plan to register as a Latin major. Because her high school curriculum was heavily focused on college prep courses, she didn’t have a prepared portfolio to justify a major in art. But she soon found out that all she had to do was pay the money and sign up as an art major!
On a college trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, she first saw in person the work of a realistic painter. Once she saw his skill and ability to paint, she embraced realism as her own goal.
Using art for her talent, Sandy won her local pageant ans was second runner-up in the state Miss Mississippi Pageant.
Sandy graduated with a major in Art, trained as a painter in both oil and watercolor, and with minors in Latin and Education. Even before graduation, she started exhibiting in outdoor art shows to sell her art. Twice since graduation, her college has selected her as Art Alumnus of the year.
While painting professionally, Sandy studied under Robert Meredith and as a young mother returned to her Alma Mater to earn her Master’s Degree in Art Education. In an early career interview, Sandy expressed her goal to be a nationally known artist.
Sandy’s first licensing opportunity came quite by surprise. A craft company had seen her painting of sunflowers and asked to license it for a needle point kit. This first opportunity opened the door to a whole new world of possibilities for her art to add beauty to many products.
As her work began to be offered in limited and unlimited edition prints, it did indeed begin to spread nationally and her husband, Rick, began to manage the Sandy Clough Studio on a full time basis. One set of small prints, offered in a chain of stores, sold over 100,000 prints.
It was in one of these stores that her art was discovered by someone who presented it to a publisher to be featured in their first gift book—“If Teacups Could Talk” by Emilie Barnes. To date, that book has sold 300,000 copies. This began a relationship with the publisher where Sandy has either illustrated or both authored and illustrated twenty nine gift books.
In 2012, she was presented the Harvest Gold Award for 1,000,000 books sold.
Versatility and a keen sense of design in her art has made Sandy continually successful in art licensing. Her art has appeared on hundreds of products—rugs, pillows, books, stationery, calendars, ornaments, figurines, tabletop, textiles, glass, garden flags, puzzles, craft kits, quilt fabric and more.
This has carried her work not only nationally but also internationally to Canada, Australia, South Africa, Russia, China and Turkey.