Spring is in the air so I went to see Amy Heyse Art
“The wind comes. Softly and slowly. Through cracks under the door and splits in the floor. What is it bringing? It whispers in the night. Calling and crying to the moon. What is it saying? Lives are lived. Lovers forgotten. Hearts stand only to crumble. What can it do? Summer turns to winter. Time passes. Healed by days and months. Things fly away. Like that dandelion. Travelling on the wind. “
This first lady is one of my favourites and sums up what I love about Amy’s style, colour palette and the enormous imagination that she puts into her work. The detail is wonderful, from the little specks of white dandelion flying away in the wind, to twigs or trees branches hair she has curling around her face. This character can conjurer up a mood, a feeling or even a story. You look at her face for a while and wonder what is she thinking? What has happened? Who is she? Where is she going? Perhaps the best thing of all is that each of us can look at her and each see a completely different story.
For the second shop in this series, I would like to introduce you all too this colourful shop: “Amy Heyse Art“. It sells small art prints (ACEOs), art pendants, hand painted tote bags and greeting cards. Amy Heyse Art opened in October 2013 (which is only two weeks before I took also took the plunge and hit the open shop button) and the owner and artist Amy hails from Fort Collins, USA. Amy has been creating in various styles and working in different mediums for years, studying drawing at college and currently works as an art educator. From taking a quick look around her shop, it’s easy to see that watercolour and gouache are a favourite medium or hers and one which she uses with considerable skill. Browsing though her collection of characters is like stepping through the pages of a fairy tale book or falling, perhaps like Alice, down a rabbit hole and ending up in a whimsical world. However like most fairy tales, there is always that sense of sadness and hit of darkness behind the faces or lurking in the shadows just out of sight. Amy is one of my favourite etsy artists and one day I want have some examples of her work on my art wall, although I don’t know how I am going to choose which ones.
Collecting art is one of my favourite past times and equally one of my biggest weakness. I started by trading art with other artists I have meet and then last year I began to get into collecting. However I soon ran up against two rather large problems. First was the money and second was the rapidly filling wall space. These problems were pretty much solved when I discovered ACEOs or ATCs. They are not very expensive and as they are only 2.5 x 3.5 inches I can cover a whole wall with dozens. They are really a great and affordable way to collect art, both prints and originals.
In Spain we don’t really have the four normal seasons. Just a long dry summer and a wet (and slightly colder) period. Most of the trees are evergreens and the ones that do lose their leaves, do so in the summer when they are shriveled into dust by the sun. Spring lasts about a month, just after the rain and before the hot sun. It’s beautiful. Hillsides covered in wild flowers, sunny barmy picnic weather, bees, sweet fragrance. As the wild flowers are beginning to appear, I decided to celebrate my favourite time and do another round of handmade shops. Everyone has their own way of viewing their art, colours and feelings on Spring, so I look forward to all the different answers. Lets see what Amy says!
Interview with Amy,
What led you to drawing and your art?
I have always loved drawing from a young age and knew I wanted to be an artist of some sort growing up. One of the high school art teachers lived in my neighborhood and she had an open art studio in her basement for kids so they could explore different kinds of art making materials. I started going when I was 5 and went all through high school. Those basement classes and an animation class that I took at a nearby college when I was in middle and high school really got me serious about drawing and developing my own style of artwork.
What’s your favourite or most rewarding part of your process?
Every part of the drawing process is special for different reasons. First, there’s the moment that you get an idea – something that pops into your head that you need you need to commit to paper. There’s a looseness and exploration that is fun and exciting during the first planning stage. Next, there is the point in the finished piece that I’m working on where I start to see the drawing start to come to life right when I’m about to add the finishing touches. Sometimes I have to push myself to finish a drawing because I’m worried that it won’t turn out the way I imagined it to be, so when I see it all start to come together, I get really excited and can’t wait to complete it. Finally, there’s the moment when I finish a piece of artwork and I see how other people react to it. If it’s a piece that I’m particularly proud of or has personal significance to me, it’s rewarding to know that it made a connection with someone else.
Growing up, my mom and dad introduced me to a lot of classic movies. I love the costumes and I think a lot of movie fashion tends to influence the characters that I create. Some pieces are definitely more personal and I draw inspiration from what I’m going through, especially if I’m trying to work through stress or anxiety. In a lot of those pieces, I try to show women who look beautiful on the surface but at a second glance, you can tell that there’s an underlying sadness that they’re trying to hide.
Are colours important to your work? If so which are the ones you use most and why?
I think that color is important to my work in the sense that I enjoy the way that colors look when I layer different watercolors on top of each other. With watercolors, colors can blend and do things that are unplanned which makes it fun and a little experimental. I tend to be a little “uptight” when I paint sometimes, so I’m trying to find a way to be looser and more experimental. I typically gravitate to the same colors in my palette – you can definitely tell which colors I use the most. I have a purple that I love to use for just about everything. I also use raw sienna, deep yellows, pinks, greens and teals a lot.
Do you have a favourite product in your shop?
It’s hard to pick a product that I like the most because I like all of my pieces for different reasons. I like the necklaces a lot and like the idea of wearable art pieces, but I think the prints (my artist “trading cards” and 5×7″ greeting cards) are my favorites. The trading cards are fun because they can be collected for fun but they can also be framed. The greeting cards are functional and can be shared with a friend. I love receiving letters in the mail and I enjoy keeping my favorite cards in a keepsake box. The greeting cards are also a convenient size for framing. Reproducing small art prints like this helps me to share my artwork, but to also keep some of the originals that are too hard to part with.
What do you like best about Spring?
I’m definitely not a cold weather person, so spring signals the return to warm weather! I’m not particularly outdoorsy, but I love going on bike rides in the spring because the weather is in a nice in between state. This year, I’m super excited about the return to nice weather because I have a baby girl who I’m looking forward to going on more stroller walks and park visits with. I’m looking forward to introducing her to the outdoors now that she’s at a stage where she can be more interactive.
Thank you Amy from Amy Heyse Art
Check back next Saturday for the nest shop in this series! As a “spring child” I love this time of year and I look forward to sharing the rest of the shops with you all.
Have a creative day!