Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Sandra Koberlein: Local Green Artist

South Jersey-based artist Sandra Koberlein paints abstractly, creating a dialogue between color, shape and material. Her paintings show her interest in mark making, pattern and texture. Her artwork is inspired by nature and travel and is composed in many intriguing layers, similar to the layers of her life. 

Koberlein recreates imagery of places she has seen, in keeping with the experiences she’s had in those places. Her current painting style is primarily encaustic—from the Greek word enkaustikos, meaning “to burn in”—due to the materials’ sustainability, its ancient history, uniqueness and the creative challenges it brings to her work.  

The process involves melting natural bees wax with dammar resin (crystallized tree sap) in creating an encaustic medium. It can be used alone for its translucent qualities or colored with pigments. The historic technique has been used since before 500 A.D. and remains a sustainable medium due to its environmentally friendly qualities.  

She was first drawn to encaustic painting while viewing Jasper John’s paintings in a college art history class. The approach offers an appealing range of options to explore: the ability to layer, to obscure and excavate, to engrave and inlay lines, variations in transparency and opacity, saturation and subtlety of color, and the transitory liquidity of the heated bees wax medium. It’s a very rich material.

Koberlein’s artworks are composed of multiple layers, including original drawings, photos, handmade papers and ephemera. Occasionally she attaches found objects in creating what she calls constructs. Her paintings become complex, enticing the viewer into further investigation. As an artist, she is particularly drawn to abstraction that encourages discovery of the artists’ story.

She exhibits her work in competitive galleries and art centers, both locally and nationally. Her work has won numerous awards and is held in private collections. She is a certified K-12 art teacher and encaustic instructor, and conducts workshops at art centers and in her Woodstown, New Jersey studio. She serves on several nonprofit boards, supporting visual arts and arts education.

She earned her Associates Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art and in Art Education from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. She added a minor degree in Early Italian Renaissance Art History at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. Most recently, she earned her Master of Art degree in Art Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. 

For more information, email [email protected]or visit