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(Image courtesy of Scott Ward).
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Artist of the Week: Scott Ward

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 hello@seattlerefined.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?
Scott Ward: I've been painting and illustrating since 1999. I mostly do oil on canvas, oil on board, but have done pen and ink with pencil as well.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Once I have the chance to sit down and create a new piece I look through my many sketches and choose the image that speaks to me. I then refine the sketch to scale and transfer it to the canvas. Often I have three to four pieces going at once and rotate through them. Using oil paints allows me to take my time as each layer dries. I do a lot of commissioned paintings.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I have no shortage of ideas. They come to me while on my morning run, or conversing with friends, or hiking in nature, even in my sleep. I try to sketch down all of my inspirations as I have them - I almost always have a small sketch pad with me.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best - nature, food, profiles etc?
I like landscapes, animals, people. I have noticed that my work has 'themes'. For a while I focused on 'home' and what that means. I've explored: freedom, connection, independence. So, I think I paint concepts over subject matter, if that makes sense.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
There are a couple of pieces that feel more personal than other. However, there is only one piece that I have kept and have hanging in our home. It is titled 'Les Cages des Bois' and is a study of life and the false sense of being restricted by our own limitations. We are always free - see, part of the freedom theme!

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
For me it has been the most vulnerable piece of my life, which is that I am gay. The journey in my lifetime has been amazing, but I know that it has been my quest for self acceptance and rising above shame or insecurity. My paintings are orderly, colorful, clean, whimsical and yet, can tell a deeper story. All of the things I long to be as a person. I want to create art that inspires a sense of hope and optimism. Especially in a world where we can easily get caught up on the drama of it all.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
You can find my work on my website! Originals and prints on canvas can be seen in person at our shop in the Fairhaven Village of Bellingham: Current and Furbish, 1115 Harris Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
My art is starting to be used to promote Fairhaven and some of the events that take place here. I love that! I am also working on the illustrations for the third in a series of children's books.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
I am pretty simple, I like a double tall latte!

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