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(Image courtesy of Magali Lenarczak)
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Artist of the Week: Magali Lenarczak

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at gmwynkoop@sbgtv.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
ML:
I first started in the Alps, in France where I grew up, then became serious about my art around 10 years ago. I primarily work in watercolor and some collage.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
I like to work on Yupo, a synthetic paper. The pigments stay on top of the surface and keep the colors vibrant. It allows more freedom since I could get back to the white of the paper, yet at the same time it could be challenging, and it has a mind on its own. I enjoy its spontaneity and versatility. I never know exactly how it will look and that keeps me excited. I utilize a number of techniques such as spraying, stamping, splattering and all [of] that produces interesting textures. I continue to change and upgrade my style and form on a regular basis.


Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
I get inspired and come up with ideas from everyday life. From a simple walk with my dogs to the way the light shines on a leaf, a conversation that makes an impact or some issue I am dealing with at the moment. I also have a fertile imagination and lots of it comes from my subconscious.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I started painting representational watercolor and lots of portraits. My sons were my preferred models! I like to experiment and when I discovered the synthetic paper, I jumped to semi-abstraction and never looked back. Today, my focus is less about reality and more about concept. Most of my paintings have an underlying message.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
"The Migrants" holds a special place in my heart because it conveys a strong story. It depicts two refugees and a baby with all their belongings on top of their heads. They are leaving the chaos of their country, crossing oceans and facing barbed wire. The symbols on the left show their language barrier and cultural differences.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
You can see more of my work at Columbia Center in downtown Seattle as well as on my website, Facebook and Instagram.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I recently started to rent a collective studio space. That experience has affected my art making in many wonderful ways. It has allowed me to engage with other artists in the community. It also gave me a different point of view on the business of art. I am currently looking for another space on the Eastside.


What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I am working on a new series that involves animal/human connection as well as a family theme that has been “brewing” in my head for a while.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
I like 2 shots of espresso with oat milk, at kid’s temperature!

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