Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Lovely Ink Artist: Alex Colombo Interview
This month's Lovely Ink is all about letting our hearts open to be filled with love and compassion for ourselves and those around us. Let this lush rose garden bloom within you. Be carried on the fragrance of love. When our hearts are open, our dreams become bigger – infused with meaning and purpose. Our lived dreams brighten the world for everyone.
Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
Taking care of a beautiful rose garden has been a constant in my life since I was very young. Most recently I cut a bunch of my favorite orange-pink roses for my studio and arranged them in a vase so I could look at them while working. A few minutes later it seemed that time had stopped as I picked up my brush and started to paint how I imagined them in my head. A few weeks later a whole new collection was born, ready to be shown at the next Surtex in NYC this coming May. I thought to share one of the pieces with the Lovely Ink project to inspire others to create their own beauty based on their own dreams.
What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
It's one of my hubby's inspiring poems he wrote for this new studio•Alex collection called Wild Roses ~ Watercolors Natural Wonder. I thought it would be perfect for this occasion as it captured the essence of my thoughts when I created it.
Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
I don't remember an exact moment but I know I fell in love with painting at the age of 5. I have been creating art in various forms ever since. I create hand painted textile design for a studio in Italy after graduating from art school and then I worked as an Interior Designer for many years. I always crafted, whether it was knitting, crocheting or creating other crafts just for the joy of creating them for family and friends. I like to make people smile a little.
In my own head … I have collected, so to speak, lots of amazing images throughout my many travels, design jobs and other life events, so it's easy to draw from my own memories. I like to figure out shapes and colors based on what I remember. Sometimes I look at old photographs or speak to someone I knew when I was younger and that triggers my imagination, too. For example, I grew up in a beautiful part of Italy near the Alps and spent time at my grandpa's rustic summer house overlooking the evocative Lake Como. Colorful wildflowers, sweet fruit trees and green roman gardens would accompany my days wandering through the hillsides there. I can still remember the beautiful moonrise and the fragrance of the wisteria over the balcony. Some of my artwork reflects what I thought of them.
What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?
To paint alongside Monet or Modigliani and keep a journal of my adventures with them … I love both arts and writing! Or perhaps, a more realistic dream is to collaborate with another artist or a group of artists who share my same visionary world ~ actually, I am about to embark on a super-secret project that entails exactly that. It has to do with art, travels and writing and I will share it through my blog in upcoming months!
Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
Mostly they are Italian-European; classic dramatic artists like Caravaggio, Modigliani, or more playful and eccentric like Livio De Marchi and many other talented and more contemporary artists such as Paola Navone. I don't think I have a favorite, however, I tend to appreciate classic illustrators like Marjolein Bastin or Anna Koska. I also love styles like Wendy Macnaughton's and Laura Huliska Beith's.
As far as surface design, I like florals, conversational and classic patterns the most, with a twist of modern and folk. To list out the artists would be simply folly. There are so many talented ones who inspire me!
What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
As I mentioned earlier, many blogs are interesting and fun to read, so I don't have favorite ones ~ MODA, UPPERCASE, and HOW ABOUT ORANGE just to name a few. Another one is Villa Nova, a UK designer site. Their designer lines are trendy but yet classic. There are some really fun ones like They Draw & Cook and They Draw & Travel. I keep an (incomplete) list of blogs and websites that I visit regularly on my blog, The Moon from My Attic, too.
What do you love to do when you are not making art?
Writing and traveling are sources of much fun and enjoyment in my life. I also like to read mystery and adventure books and fun tales of people's lives. Gardening, photography and taking nice walks around the local trails in the Santa Cruz mountains where I currently live are also some of my favorite past-times - and although I am Italian, I am only now learning to cook and finding I really enjoy it!
To get your desktop wallpaper and 8x10" printable of Alex's beautiful piece, sign up for free at Lovely Ink.
Archival Fine Art Prints of this month's Lovely Ink are also available in my shop. Makes an inspiring gift and supports the artist.