Art by Alyssa

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I have known for as long as I can remember that I want to do art, and it is so much a part of me to express myself creatively that I feel my art will come out one way or another.  I can’t help it.  When I try to take notes, I end up drawing pictures.  If I’m watching T.V., I’m also making jewelry.

Many things inspire me, and I find I work in series, where one piece influences the next.  Recently I have been working on a series of watercolor paintings about Provence, France.  My family visited there a few years ago, and our trip continues to influence my work.  Based on photographs and sketches I made during our trip, the subjects include the marketplace, narrow streets, people, old buildings, flowers, landscapes, and anything else that speaks to me, reminding me of the region.  Nature appears as a consistent theme throughout much of my work as well, since I love to be outdoors.  Working on location, I enjoy painting landscapes, bringing my art supplies wherever I go.  

I am interested in all types of art, from painting to making jewelry to decorating gourds, and sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is pick what to work on because I want to do it all.  However, my favorite media has always been watercolors because I love the translucent quality of the colors, and the way they layer and affect each other.  Most things I draw or paint are reminiscent of watercolors due to the way I use color.  Instead of shading with black or a complimentary hue, I work around the color wheel, using the proceeding color for shadows, giving a sense of depth while keeping my colors bright and pure.  I highlight the colors within each other, since nothing consists of only one, and purposely leave areas of white to simulate the effects of light.  Painting the colors I see within other colors also works to create the illusion of light, since color itself is light, and objects take on the “local color” of their surroundings due to the reflection of light.  In my “Alleyway to Market” painting, I shade the green plants with blue and purple, creating lush foliage.  With violet, magenta, and yellow, I add texture to the cobblestone path, capturing the reflection of light across its bumpy surface.  My style of painting influences my work in other media, and I think of all projects as paintings.  

     I approach clothing as a three dimensional canvas, wrapping my designs around the form, unhindered by seams.  The fabric and thread become my paints, and the needle my brush.  Often, I layer different colors and textures of material, reflecting my painting style, while nature remains a consistent theme throughout many of my designs, as in my environmental dress.  The dress features a frayed asymmetrical neckline and hem, representing the irregularity of nature. Printed words such as “protect” and “conserve” express the importance of caring for the environment while a web of fabric strips, eyelash yarn, and digitally printed cotton leaves wraps around the dress, adding many layers of rich texture.    In some cases, I actually paint on the fabric itself, as in my silk pieces, and I find the dyes behave very similarly to watercolors.  As in all of the rest of my work, painting or otherwise, I am driven by color, the way hues mix and blend, along with light, and its effects on different surfaces.