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(Image: Couresty of Ariane Callender)

Artist of the Week: Ariane Callender

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 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 mediums do you work with?
Ariane Callender: I've been creating for over 10 years but have focused my work on acrylics on canvas and paper since 2018. Most recently, I've been experimenting with paper cutouts and prints and will consider adding these mediums to my collection in the new year.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
At the start of any painting, I cover the canvas in a dark color — raw umber or paynes gray are my go-to colors. This step makes it easier for me to "start painting," make mistakes and play on the canvas. I also like the depth this base layer gives most of my paintings. From there, I slowly build with my intended color palette, layer by layer, leaving bits of the base layer exposed. I use a combination of soft blends and harsh strokes to create a piece's composition and finishing marks. I tend to include a gold or silver element in almost all of my works because I love how these colors interact with natural light.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
The inspiration for my colors comes from nature; it's already full of beautiful color combinations! In terms of composition for a piece, it comes down to emotion. What am I feeling when I sit down to paint? Adventurous? Frustrated? Excited? These emotions manifest in my marks and finishing touches.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
My beat is abstract primarily, but I've been playing with creating objects found in nature — a flower or a feather — on paper.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
I'm particularly tied to my current paper collection, Big Sur. It's a 4-part, 16-piece paper collection inspired by a recent birthday trip to Big Sur, California. My husband and I drove from Seattle along the Oregon and Northern California coasts over three days and stopped at some of the most iconic and majestic places on our way to Big Sur. This area is rich in colors, textures and energy, creating an abundance of inspiration for this series. The four stops I chose to capture are The Tillamook Creamery, The Redwoods, Carmel-by-the-Sea and The Bixby Creek Bridge.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Travel specifically to scenic locations like Big Sur.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
I'm really excited about the idea behind my 2022 Collection! I don't want to give away too much just yet, but it'll be a 4-part collection totally inspired by nature and with a special cause. Follow along or check my website in a few months for the big reveal!

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I'm actually a tea and kombucha person. Am I booted out of the club? I hope not ;)