Sandy Steen Bartholomew


You don’t spend your life in the arts without meeting some amazing, talented people, and I know a lot of amazing, talented people.

But, once in awhile, you meet an amazing, talented person who is just plain over the top amazing, and talented, and you step back and shake your head and wonder “How the hell does she do all that?!”

And you get to know that person as a friend and fellow artist, and you find that she sometimes wonders herself “How the hell can I do all this?

And she deals with the old familiar vulnerabilities we all do, and she sometimes sticks her head in a corner and cries – as we all do.

Lots of people love her, but the one or two who don’t can bring the house tumbling down on occasion, and make her forget she is amazing and talented. Sound familiar?

I think this person can use some reminding, so I am going to make a friend blush now.

I first got to know Sandy Steen Bartholomew when she was a student in my Love This Journal workshop series (yes, folks, the series will be back when the video hosting issues get worked out).

I LOVED Sandy’s illustrations for obvious reasons – wonderful drawing, high color, and my favorite thing – whimsy. I found out she had a rubber stamp company and a store in a little town in New Hampshire.

4seasonsSeasons passed (see what I mean about the whimsey?), and we started to chat by email and phone. We became good friends – although we still haven’t met in person.

Sandy loves design and pattern, so she got tangled up with Zentangle and became a CZT so she could share the love.

This led to a series of books . . .


Which you can find on this Amazon page:

Sandy Bartholomew Books

To be honest, I was never very interested in Zentangling. It was a “been there, done that” for me because I used that type of patterning in my 70′s pen&ink work. But, when I got Sandy’s books, I understood the “meditative” side of the doodling better and became more intrigued – and there was more of that whimsy thing too.

So Sandy got some fame and started teaching at conventions, and survived the end of a marriage and the closing (and reopening) of her store, and all the rigamaroll that being published entails.

Her plate was very, very full.

Was there anything easier she could do to help make a living?

One day I suggested that an ebook might be a good idea.

About three days later, Sandy emailed her finished ebook – which is wonderful . . .

Tangles of the Kells


Right now, Sandy is taking both my iPad workshop (look out, world of iPad art!) and the Inktense Workshop. Again, I get the pleasure of seeing her wonderful illustrations . . .


Naturally, she is working some tangling into her homework too (a great combo) . . .



So, let’s see . . .

We have someone who is an artist, illustrator, teacher, store owner, book writer, blogger, online entrepreneur, and who is creative beyond belief. And her great desire is to enliven creativity in others. Really over the top amazing, right? (and that line-up even sounds a little familiar to me for some reason – grin).

But, what I have neglected to mention until now, is that Sandy is also a MOM! Just the biggest, most important full time job in the world, is all.

And she doesn’t brag much (although she should), but her son (Alex) and daughter (Lilah) are also over the top talented and amazing. And Sandy is a great Mom because her kids love her to bits – and kids don’t do that if you aren’t doing something right.

Sandy’s About page on her website modestly mentions some of the things she does, and it ends with these words:

Please contact me if I can help you be more creative 
or if you would like to make me rich and famous.
She is joking with that second part, but I think making her rich and famous is a great idea.
Here’s to you, my friend. You are amazing.



18 thoughts on “Sandy Steen Bartholomew

  1. mo

    i’m a HUGE fan of Sandy’s … been an avid follower of all things Beez since i first saw her work in the LTJ class. i remember all those pics you’ve posted here, they were indeed impressive. you had a great group of people of that first LTJ class … besides Sandy, you had Jerrie and John, and Zeb (i think), and some lovely people from across the pond. so while i want to acknowledge the wonderfulness of Sandy, i mostly want to acknowledge the wonderfulness of YOU, Jessica. you are a magnet for these other creative people and you share all of that with us, your faithful readers. muchas gracias!!!

  2. Sandy Bartholomew

    I agree with Mo. :-)
    And I’m glad you gave me a warning about this post. Yes – I AM blushing. But I’m also laughing hysterically!! I haven’t blogged all week because the stuff I want to write about, I’m not allowed to say in public (gag orders!?) I can’t get myself to start on new projects that I desperately want to do… so I am wandering the internet and my studio in yoga pants, listing stuff on ebay and Amazon, trying to clear physical space, since the mental space is so overwhelmingly full!
    Anyway – I read your post thinking “who IS this person?” :-)
    One of my bucket list items is to do a class for hint hint. :-)
    Thanks for being my cheerleader.

  3. jessica Post author

    SO funny! I got an auto-response to that warning email that said you were on Winter Vacation! What is “Vacation?”, I thought.

    I just knew you must be wandering your studio in yoga pants!

  4. Raine

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sandy quite a few times at her little shop in NH. The first time was when I took a class with a guest artist and, due to the timing, it was only me and, I think, one other person. So Sandy and her mom took the class along with us! It was great fun. I fell in love with them right then and there! I took several more classes there over the years and saw Sandy now and then.
    Now I’m a Zentangler and have bought every book Sandy has published…including the aforementioned ebook. Love everything the girl does! She always writes little Thank You notes. What a sweetheart. You couldn’t have picked a nicer person to honor.

  5. Marie

    …and may I add that Sandy’s books are very popular ‘across the pond’ I have all of them too…e-book will be downloaded in few minutes.
    Thanks Jessica for sharing your friend with us.

  6. Bonnie Browning

    I, too, have taken some classes with Jessica at If you haven’t checked out her classes, do it. She’s a great teacher. And, I love Sandy’s work too. Keep on drawing, whether it’s Zentangle or drawing other things!

  7. Jerrie

    I’ve been following Sandy’s blog for quite awhile…In hopes that her Tangled Talent would rub off….To this day, no such luck, but her enthusiasm keeps me trying!

  8. Kelley Kelly

    Sandy is such an incredible, warm, sharing, and *talented* lady – and so very generous with her ideas and knowledge. Thanks for this beautiful write up; I don’t know of anyone who deserves it more.

  9. Elsie Hickey Wilson

    Oh, YES! I’m a Sandy fan big time! Her warm, kind, creative inspiration is a joy!
    Thanks for saying so well what we think about this amazing person….she’s “the beez knees”!!!!!!

  10. Shelley

    Awesome post, Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing Sandy’s wonderful art and books with us. This was downright inspirational!

    If I wasn’t at work right now, I would be getting out my pens and paints and PLAYING, which I haven’t done in way too long a time!

  11. Sherri

    Yes Sandy is awesome – just everything she does is Zenspirational! Must add though, I wouldn’t have found your inktense class without her nor the remainder of your class list which I’ll visit one at a time in the future. You are both so very talented and I look forward to future creativity challenges from both of you.
    Thanks Jessica – really enjoying my inktense class.

  12. Cindi

    Sandy’s Beez blog just led me to your blog. So now I will subscribe to yours too! I’m a zentangler, art journaler wanna be. I’ve had a few classes in each and now I need to practice more! Thank you for your inspiring posts!

  13. Sandra L.

    I met Sandy at Art & Soul in 2008. We met on a bench on Vendor Night and joked about each other being “the Other Sandra.”

    She really is a great person! Very sweet!

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