Thursday, April 28, 2011

Portrait of an Artist

Dear readers, as you know, I've been obsessing quite a bit about decor lately.  I've decided to switch the focus over the next week or so to art.  I am happiest when I am painting, and I am working on a new series of paintings.  One of my writing professors once told budding writers to study the work of authors they enjoy.  I thought this was good advice, so I am going to study the work of painters that I enjoy.  I hope you will enjoy this journey.  

I'd like to start by featuring a great artist, and a dear friend of mine, Haley Litzinger.  Haley is a creative person, who lives her life as art.  She is an intellectual who deeply ponders questions of God and human choice.  She says it better than I ever could: "Humans' essential nature is good; holding or comparing oneself to the polarity of good and bad will cause an inoperative disconnection with this essential nature."  See more of Haley's Artist's Statement and Bio at RWAV.  I feel a kinship to Haley.  Indeed, elements of her work remind me of my own.  She also loves to explore detritus, urban decay and her work questions human intervention by often taking on apocalyptic tones.  In my own work, I like to question the notion of what we consider beautiful and ugly and render both of these constructs as illusion.

I had the pleasure of visiting Haley at her studio recently.  I adore artists' studios and plan to do a full post on studios in the near future.  When she first rented the studio she told me she planned to paint the ceilings, floors and walls white.  I wholeheartedly agreed!  I love all white boxes, and they are especially great for creating.  She also wanted a chill space where friends could hang out.  I see Haley as a love child of hippies, sweet and innocent, yet sophisticated too.  Nothing too conventional for her would do.  I could see her with Bohemian, Moroccan and Hindu influences and colors.  Lots of textiles, but also touches of nature.  I suggested to her that we collect driftwood to make a chandelier.

I scoured the Internet for inspiration.  This is her  favorite of all the many pictures I collected for her.  I apologize for not remembering its source.  Please contact me if you know the designer of this fab room.  Here are some pictures from Haley's studio.  It was totally fun visiting her there.
The studio.  Makes me want to create!  I love the industrial shelving.  It has great windows and great light.  I could live here!
Haley at work.  She works with resin, creating multi-layered collages with depth.

Here's the chill corner.  She got the sofa and chairs from Craigslist.  Unfortunately, the day I was there the pillow covers were in the wash, but I think you get the idea of how cute they are.  Haley raised the seating area by placing it on palettes.  Too fab!  I love the little crate used as a coffee table and the lanterns.  Just the right amount of earthiness.

Here's a close up on the rug, it's a very deep shag.  She got the rug on sale at World Market.
Another thing Haley and I have in common is that she also has two young nephews she adores.  Here is some of their art hanging on the wall.  I think it's too cool.  The wind chime adds a nice organic touch.  Here are some photos of Haley's work:

Photos don't really do these complex pieces justice.  They have a multi-layered depth to them, I tried to capture it by photographing them from the side.  When looking at her pieces, you are literally drawn into another world.  It was fun to watch her work.  Here is a work in progress:
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Haley's studio.  If you are a local artist and would like to be featured on this blog, please send me an email.

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