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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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?
Making art has always been part of my identity, since I could hold a crayon I’ve been making marks and honing my skills. My passion is certainly for painting but I’ve dabbled in printmaking, installation, and other 3D work. Other mediums catch my eye but somehow I always come back to painting. Currently I jump back and forth between oil, watercolor, and acrylic mural painting.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
In my studio work layers are king. My focus is on creating a range of value and color temperature transitions and ample contrast. With oils I work from dark to light and watercolors from light to dark. I work on several pieces at once so typically a series shares a palette and develop simultaneously.
The past two years my focus has been on larger paintings and murals. It’s strange, but the larger the wall the more deliberate my process seems to become. I’ll spend months painting a 4’ square oil painting but will knock out a large mural in two weeks. The performance aspect of public art pushes me to move faster than I would in the studio.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
When I was learning how to paint in oil I sought objects that would challenge my abilities to present realism. Visiting junkyards I found car parts and bits and pieces of machinery rich with reflective surfaces and hard edges that made for detailed compositions with lots of contrast. Looking for more painting material I began taking apart unused or broken appliances to find more delicate or interesting technical parts. It’s led me to examine the magnitude of *stuff* around me and the layers of engineering that go into the creation of products that facilitate the modern lifestyle. In some ways I view my paintings like still shots from manufacturing documentary shows like How It’s Made; paused to focus on just one feat of engineering that deserves an additional spotlight.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I’m drawn to what I refer to as “mechanical nonsense.” Be it my junkyard finds or the engine of a rare sports car, I’m endlessly fascinated by highly efficient, purpose-driven man made forms. I like to employ natural elements like water and foliage to provide a soft space for my machines to live in.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I recently completed a memorial mural in the University District for a dear friend. I rarely do figurative work but her larger than life personality needed to be expressed on a grand scale. It is my biggest piece to date, both in terms of square footage and personal significance.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Growing up and choosing to be an artist I was blessed with endless encouragement from friends and family. By in large that has affected my art more than anything. Having the support of those I respect most has given me the courage to continue painting.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
You can check out my website and instagram! In Seattle I have murals in SoDo, Magnolia, U District, Ballard, Central District, West Seattle, and South Park in public spaces that can be visited. One of my favorite pieces is in Feed Co in the Central District; it’s a signage installation made with nails and thread.
My work is also reaching over to the Eastside in Redmond. Last summer I partnered with Urban Artworks on a piece for Microsoft and most recently I installed a mural on Feed Co Redmond’s patio.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I’m working on designs for a large wall with several industrial inspired murals. So far most of my mural work has been based on concepts presented by a client, but this project asks that I paint what I love most.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
Black - except for Sunday mornings which start with a cup of “candy coffee” (cream and sugar).