Sandra Scheetz-Wise is a modern painter in the surrealist style. Surrealism began from the Dada movement following World War I. The purpose of surrealism is to enhance the viewers’ abilities to see paradoxes, faulty perceptions, and illogical conclusions in the world around them, thus allowing them to uncover otherwise hidden truths. The early surrealists's aim was to unveil deeply hidden psychological truths by attempting to reveal unconscious thought processes. Their method was to jar the viewer with unexpected images that were contradictory in appearance and impossible in the material world and yet were painted and drawn in a realistic style.
Modern surrealist painters have the same aim: to jar perceptions in order to expose truths, but rather than psychological truths, they attempt to shine a spotlight on areas of social concern, such as politics, war and peace, racism, poverty, and environmental degradation. Their paintings depend on symbolism and seemingly unnatural juxtapositions to make their point.
This is the principle of Sandra Scheetz-Wise’s surreal painting "Deforestation." In this painting, dead, fallen trees take the shape of women in a bleak, unrelenting landscape. Branches grow from them, and they lie chopped down. Fish dive among them. Plants have eyes as they view what humans have done to Earth, and rocks are hard, twisted symbols of human disregard for the environment. This modern surrealist painting is designed to challenge the viewer to contemplate the reality of environmental destruction.