I'm sure some of you have noticed that I have not been posting here for the past few months and I would like share why. Last July, while on a family trip in Montana, I got into a traumatic accident involving a four wheeler that almost cost me my left arm. Although I immediately underwent treatment and surgery , infection spread through my arm and I was very close to losing my life.
I am on the road to recovery but still have a long way to go. I had to get a metal rod inserted into my arm and although I do have movement in my hand now I am still unable to use my arm except to hold things under 5 lbs. I've had three surgery's going into my fourth surgery to fix my elbow that is now dislocating. The doctors believe my body has been rejecting the metal rod which also makes me more susceptible to another infection.
I've never felt more grateful to be alive. I have a new perspective on life; things that used to bother me are now trivial and although this experience has and continues to be one of the hardest things I have ever experienced I am grateful to be emerging from it with a new clarity and joy for life. This past month I have been able to get back in the studio and start making new work which I am so excited about ! Below is a small sample of what I have been up to.
As I mentioned in my last post I've been obsessed with the phases of the moon lately and I've been working a lot with watercolors. Here's a sneak peak at some new one of a kind collage/watercolor work that has stemmed from my celestial fascination! These pieces and more like them are for sale up on Serena and Lily right now and will be on display at Maison Luxe this November.You can also subscribe to my email list (via the side menu) for more information in the upcoming months about new work and shows.
Recently, with the creation of new work, I've become obsessed with celestial landscapes and the phases of the moon. Discovering this artist, Hilma af Klint, has left me speechless. Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and mystic; she attended her first séance in the 1870s and soon became a fixture at spiritual meetings concerned with Spiritualism (the belief that the dead can be contacted through a medium), Theosophy (empirical investigations of divinity) and Anthroposophy (the pursuit of spiritual knowledge through explorations of the imagination and sensory experiences).
Her body of work encompasses over 1,000 pieces and were amongst the first abstract art to be created. She requested, however, that the majority of her geometric abstracts not be shown till 40 years after her death because she claimed no one in the 20th century was ready for it! I think it's incredible that this women passionately explored such radical ways of creating and experimenting.
“She was doing something that was not on the retina of people at her time, in terms of size, color, composition and, of course, the abstraction — she was very much a pioneer"
-Iris Müller-Westermann, the curator of international art at the Moderna
I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do and have a great week !
In between being in my studio or working on my art from my home I have 2 kids that are the loves of my life, and this girl is one of them. She is working with a great photographer Dorothee, of Belathee Photography and Heffner Management in Seattle, doing a little shoot for the amazing Rachel Ravitch jewelry. This is just one of the photos, and I loved it so much I had to show you. Akira works part time at the West Seattle food bank, and has killer taste in music, even dabbling on her guitar here and there, and wants to help people for a living, whatever that may be. I am so proud of her and the woman she is becoming.
Also her middle name is Galaxy, I am her mother after all...
Still no leads on who stole my art so I've been coming to terms with the fact that I most likely won't get those pieces back. I am moving forward with forgiveness. I sincerely wish the person who stole my work happiness.
I found out this morning that the four paintings of mine that are pictured above had been stolen from Maison Luxe in the middle of the night. I am writing this post in hopes that all of my local Seattle friends will please be on the lookout for these paintings. This feels so surreal, who steals paintings? I mean, I have heard about the Mexican drug cartels stealing obscure Picasso's from random galleries in Amsterdam with horrible security, but four large paintings from a small time artist and small shop owner that is just trying to make an honest living? Seriously WTF? I am so flabbergasted by this... I keep thinking someone is playing a prank on me but I don't think they would go to the length of breaking and entering? They can't sell these pieces online can they? And why would they hang these in their home? Wouldn't other people maybe see them? I know it's not the worst thing that could have happened, but it feels violating and I worked very hard and long on these paintings and am so sad. My heart also goes out to Kelie and Maison Luxe for the heartbreak of having been violated to the extreme. This feels so creepy and was not the greatest of days my friends, if you see or hear of anything that may be of help to me or the owner if Maison Luxe please get in touch.. Thanks so much.
Many of us trying to make a living with what we love to do are getting sucked into the machine of becoming a product rather than just making our art. I recently read an article by Penny Arcade that said,
"There are a handful of young artists I know who turn a skeptical eye to the golden promises the professionalization of the arts hold out. I am always happy when I have conversations with these holdouts because it is distressing to see how many really talented people give in to the demands of the market place.Yet we live at a time where the infiltration of the marketplace is almost impossible to avoid, for anyone including older artists like me. It is a constant struggle to not give in the forces that demand dumbing down and homogenization.It takes takes enormous vigilance to not succumb to it’s tyranny, to honor your own trajectory, no matter how modest it may seem in the eyes of the world.There is simply no substitute for the developmental arc, no matter what you engage in, making art or being a shoemaker. Once you develop your vocabulary and your personal style it is very easy to make your art into product but in focusing on making product, you lose out on learning how to make art."
It is inevitable you will be judged, hated, and idealized when you have any semblance of success as an artist, maker, designer, etc. Your art is not a product. Don't make it a product. Keep it close to your heart. Don't let it be taken away from you and made into something else.
I have a new body of work up on my website titled Underwater Plant Life, you can check it out here ! All are hand printed in limited editions and are for sale (print only though no frame) . I'll be updating my website again very soon with some more new work so stay tuned! You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more regular updates. If you already followed me on Twitter I had to get a new account so follow my new one !
I really wish I could go see Doug Wheeler's upcoming show at David Zwirner in New York. If you happen to be around NYC, check out this show. Hope you are starting to thaw out from the freezing temps that seems to be hitting us even in the milder climates. Happy Winter!
Happy New Year to you all, I hope everyone had a great holiday! I am very excited for this year, I have a lot of new paintings I'm working on and can not wait to see what else unfolds in 2014. Here is some inspiration to kick off the new year; these boys are total bad ass's and great reminders to always stand up for what you love and do your art the way you want to do it, not the way other people think you should do it. Bring it on 2014.
Hi! I have been M.I.A. here in blog land as I was insanely consumed with getting ready for my show at the beautiful Maison Luxe in Seattle, painting, printing, melting, and collaging my butt off for the last couple of months. So grateful to everyone who came to support me and my work, but also just getting out to support the arts in Seattle in general. It is hard to leave my house sometimes, but it is so important to get out and support one another and be part of the community that we love and treasure, and it means so much to every artist out there. Thank you for spreading the love. Life goes by fast, man.
My new Linocuts took me into a little bit of a different direction. Adding a few abstract pieces into the mix felt right to me. Hanging this wall took hours of thought and rearranging, believe it or not. Kelie and I were a good team. I am super happy with the way it turned out.
This is for the ex- lover who have used this line with probably most of us. The last two sentences are what I believe to be true now.
Kelie of Maison Luxe did such a beautiful job setting this table up! My wall of Watercolors, Original Ink on Paper, and Collage were a year in the making. My inspiration came from planets not yet discovered, the galaxy surrounding us, and the insides of Minerals. I sold out of all of the little collage work right away!!
My friend and amazing interior designer, Kelie Grosso of Maison Luxe ,who I am so grateful to, for inviting my work into her amazing store!
My under water plant collection is inspired by my family's boating adventures. Seaweed gets caught in our prop on our boat, and kills the motor, my kids fear it, and whenever I swim it gets tangled in my legs. It used to bug me, but oddly, I have learned to love it.
This Triptych is named "Escape Through Here" 2013, Ink On Paper
My friend and talented interior designer Leah Ball Steen, who has come to all of my shows, even the ones where there were maybe 5 people there. Every artist knows what I am talking about. The people that come to those shows are keepers for sure!
And finally some encaustics to add into the mix! Thank you so much Dorothee fromBelathee Photography and Kelie Grosso fromMaison Luxe for helping to put on my most beautiful show yet, and for giving back to the community your time and efforts!
One of the most insanely talented people I have had the pleasure of connecting with is Andrew Stewart, formerly of Martha Stewart Living, and now head stylist at One Kings Lane. I enjoy his posts on FB and Instagram so much, I would dare to say he is in my top 5 favorite people to follow on these inter webs - as his eye for beauty (and his sense of humor) is spectacular. The name of this gorgeous collection is "Coyote." He told me, "On a roadtrip across the United States my friend began to call me this, and then several months later in Tulsa, an Osage member told me that Coyote medicine was strong in me. I've clung to the message ever since. Coyote is very important in the myths of many Native peoples -- a creator, teacher, keeper of magic -- similar to that of Prometheus and fire for the Greeks. But most importantly, his (Coyote's) overarching message is that wisdom and folly go hand in hand. I think that is kind of beautiful -- know you're flawed, you'll make mistakes, but learn by and teach through it with a lighthearted spirit."
I asked Andrew how he was inspired to begin his journey into this beautiful art form. He told me, "They were birthed from my love of ancient civilizations and the ceremony that graced their daily lives -- especially regarding mysticism, healing and magic work." His process involves talking with the person about the types of colors and materials they are drawn to, and the types of energies they would like to attract or dispel. Do they want to open their creativity? Do they want to gain strength? He told me,"I try to use only objects with a found quality -- i.e. I prefer the stones be left raw vs. polished -- and employ an approach to the construction as if they were bound and created in the field -- i.e. no glues or fixatives. Primarily I work in bone, antler, feather, leather, and mineral. I often like to add a little bit of metallic leather to infuse a contemporary feeling."
I want these in a shadowbox on my wall. Christmas present anyone??
Love this portrait of him! By Alyssa C. Lewis
All of these pieces are made to order. Pricing for wands is available upon request. An estimate is worked up after an initial consultation, often primarily based on the rarity of stones chosen. These pieces are either going to be in Bergdorf's or some small, amazing boutique, I can feel it in my bones... Get yours now! -- email@example.com
Portrait of Andrew by Alyssa C. Lewis @alyssaclewis
All other photography by Andrew Stewart
Follow Coyote on Instagram @andrewstewart311 and FB here
My dear friend, Interior Designer, Brian Paquette asked me if I would hang a few different mediums of art in one these beautiful show homes on the coast of Washington in a town called Seabrook. It is one of the last parcels of land on the coast to be purchased, and it is beautiful. Misty, tree-laden bluffs with long stairways down to the beaches, it is picturesque. For this huge project, I used 4 different mediums. Oil on canvas, Collage, Encaustics, and Linocuts. He did an amazing job putting it all together, to say the least. Thank you Brian for letting my work be a part of it!
Electric Planet #115, Collage, Jennifer Ament
Here is a piece from my new series of collage. It is based on Planets, Moons and Suns, not yet discovered. I love how Brian used the green and black together with the piece, it is striking.
And more pics of my encaustic work, and linocuts that Brian put together so beautifully on the stairwell. I am so grateful. Watch out design world, Brian is coming, and you will LOOOOVE him. Photo's from Apartment 34 and Coco Kelley
Summer in Seattle, in particular, this summer in Seattle is/was stellar, amazing, and perfectly hot. Have I mentioned that we are water people, my family and I? And that the lakes are perfect to swim in, and boat in, in the summer, but freezing cold in the winter? We swim in them for hours, we challenge each other to races across lakes, it is our happiest of happy places. And It flew by faster than ever this year. All I can say is I am feeling very melancholy about this. I do hope you are having a easier ending to summer than I this week. :)
Onward and upward, my friends.
Photo:Tumblr-(Please let me know if you know who took this)
My trip to the Hamptons was sheer bliss. I can't even tell you how excited I was when I walked into the first Serena and Lily retail store. I felt an overwhelming feeling of luck, gratitude, and elation that my work was hanging on the walls of this gorgeous shop. The team that put this store together are the most talented, and cool group of people, EVER. I want to be their best friend...
What I realized, is, how badly I could use a beach house, haha , because my idea of heaven would be to decorate it with all of these beautiful, high quality goods.
My Mask! Surrounded by some amazing artists.
Ok, the most exciting part of the day, was walking in, and one of the sweet girls that works there, telling me that 5 minutes before I got there, Drew Barrymore had just purchased my Ferry Boat! Sorry if I sound stupid, but I thought I was going to die...
This little vignette, kills me...So pretty...
I will take 20....
These are so good.
As soon as I find out who this artist is I will tell you, because this piece is so beautiful...The colors are insane.
You need a pillow? They have a pillow for you...
The outdoor pieces were unbelievable, and made me fantasize about that beach house that I could use, for DAYS.
Could you imagine???
My mind is blown at this point, and my knees are shaking. Here is a quick pic of my bliss, and the killer mirror, haha.
Hope you all are enjoying the dog days of summer. I can't believe I am saying that, because it seemed to have just started for me and my family now that we are home, (from a little too much traveling.) Summer, don't leave pleassssse....