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(Image: Courtesy of Theresa Bordianu)
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Artist of the Week: Theresa Bordianu

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! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What kinds of mediums do you work with?
Theresa Bordianu: I learned to draw before I learned to write, and over the years, I took a handful of courses, including figure drawing and sculpting. The mediums I prefer are graphite and acrylics, as well as clay for sculptures.

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Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
There is no set process I employ when creating. This is especially true for my abstract works — I simply start painting lines and shapes, which end up intertwining and taking the form of something familiar, that I then encourage with shadows, highlights, and defining details.

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Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
Human beings are my inspiration, from those society scorns, to those that have brightened this world with their talent or intellect.

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Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
Facial expressions and body language.

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Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
A landscape painting of my uncle's cow in front of the Reformed Church in the Transylvanian village my mother’s family is from. The style of the painting is a departure from anything I had ever done, but I knew I wanted to capture the church in which my ancestors, dating back to 1300, punctuated their lives with milestones and in which, in recent years, I watched my young cousins perform on Christmas. During summer visits to Romania, I enjoy taking the cows out to the pasture or bringing them in. It is wonderful to slow down and be present in a place where people are grateful to have their health, each-other, and bread on the table.

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What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I was born shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Romania, and as a child, I would watch adults from all walks of life discuss the impact communism had on them. This began my fascination with facial expressions and body language. Living in Pioneer Square for several years and on a daily basis seeing the dichotomy between those trying to survive and the shiny sports cars driving past their tents also inspired me. In reality, homelessness is caused by a perfect storm and something any one of us could face if we do not have the luxury of a safety net to fall into. Finally, my work as a Guardian has also inspired me, as I have had the privilege of advocating for incapacitated folks of all ages and backgrounds.

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If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
My website and Instagram contain much of my work. I also accept commissions via email, theresa.bordianu@gmail.com.

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What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Having recently finished my miniature drawings for a show at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, I am looking forward to checking out the entries which will be on display (in person and online) in November and December.

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Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I do not, but I do enjoy tea!

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