Artist Spotlight :: Vanessa Lewis

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When I first discovered some of Vanessa’s work through the Blessing & Honour’s stationary range, I instantly feel in love with her hand drawn work; the textures, movement of every stroke and the beauty of each of her subjects.
Upon meeting Vanessa, she revealed her love and passion for discovering traditional techniques. Creating her work by hand, with imperfect dots and lines where the ink merge together naturally forming stunning  design pieces.

Here’s her story….

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“I feel like I have been an artist all my life. I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa to two beautifully creative humans, who loved life and gifted me with a yearning for knowledge, beauty and truth. When I was ten, my family traveled through Europe, on a kind of ‘lets see everything’ pilgrimage, I fell in love, so deeply, with art and the rest as they say.. is history.

Now based in the excitingly understated city of Newcastle in Australia, I make art, I draw and paint, study, research and explore the recipes and techniques once used by artists throughout the centuries. Sometimes feeling more like a chef than a modern day painter, I work with deliciously luscious ingredients..eggs, vodka, walnuts, pomegranates..and more. Every day in the studio is an exhilarating learning experience, as I explore the chemistry, the botanic’s of painting and turn it into new art.

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The more I learn about mediums, the more there is to know. I started with tempera as its such a beautiful yet challenging medium, and I really liked the idea of learning to make my own paint, like artists used to do. Recently I have been exploring old inks, from recipes from the renaissance etc.  They are all so historically rich and yet almost forgotten by contemporary art, and yet they are so wonderful to work with even if they are occasionally quite rebellious. Gold leaf is also an ‘historic’ medium with a long history, it has been a real treat to learn how to use the different metals, and I think it adds a new dimension to the picture I’m working on. I love love love working with charcoal, its a medium that’s long been undervalued, but its so versatile in its mark-making abilities. I get my charcoal from Coates, a family run willow charcoal factory in England, which I would love to visit one day.

I  am influenced a lot by how other artists work and I love to see the world through their eyes. I have learnt that the only way to grow as an artist is to keep doing. For my own art, I look to the life around me, anything that makes my heart skip a beat whether its something in nature, music, people anything beautiful even if its achingly sad. Creativity flows from a  full heart, and that becomes the starting point. Then I let the mediums do the rest.”

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Meet Vanessa and fall in love with her beautiful work at either Hunt & Gather Markets or The Olive Tree Markets.

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