It's been a wild and fun few weeks at Well + Wonder and it is only getting better. Today we are over the moon to introduce an artist who we are positive needs no introduction - Allison Ford! Allison, a Greenville, South Carolina artist, was immersed in the arts at an early age. Growing up in and attending a creative arts school her appreciation and love for the arts developed at an early age following her into college. As life often does Allison veered away from her passion but found herself craving the use of her left brain muscles in addition to her right (did we mention Allison is a full-time attorney?!). Allison works primarily with mixed media design and collage. When painting she focuses on how she currently feels and is inspired by organic shapes, nature, and bright colors. Her work is full of textures, depth, and layers and she hopes that in utilizing these methods her viewers will dive into the painting, touch and feel it, and explore her work with all of their senses. We are lucky have Allison as a member of the Well + Wonder roster and to add her fabulous work to our collection. As is tradition with all of our artists we like to interview the woman behind the paintings prior to their debut. It was such a joy to get to know Allison better. In reading her responses you will find that Allison is a ray of light - and to know her is to love her. Catch Allison inaugural Well + Wonder release launching in the collection Wednesday, February 17th at 12 pm EST. So without further ado Pardon Me, Allison Ford!
What is currently on your nightstand?
My Bible, a few devotionals, journals, and the like. Becoming by Michelle Obama which I still have on my list to read. Honestly, I am not much of a reader. I am working on that.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
I say this all the time, my children. I love how they dive right into their own art projects without fear or trepidation. They are never looking for validation. They believe their work is good and therefore it is good. I love that that they believe in themselves. So I try to take that creativity, and spark, and fearlessness with me. Everyone is not going to love your work, and that’s okay. What’s more important is that you painted with heart. The right person will connect with the right piece.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I grew up in an artsy city in the South. I went to a creative arts elementary school and was always dabbling in something creative. I like to say I started making handmade jewelry before it was popular! I loved growing up around art and arts festivals, that was always a highlight for me. Definitely some of my most memorable moments.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Probably just some good paint. Emphasis on the GOOD. I can use paper towels and my hands. I use my fingers a lot but I am trying to not be as dependent there.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
We call it the ‘green room.’ It's my kids’ play area but also where I have my easel and paints set up. I’ve had my studio space moved around a good bit, but this light and airy spot gives me sunroom feels and its always nice to be close to them and where all the action is.
What is your biggest score online?
Honestly, and sadly, nothing is coming to mind right now. I’ve stacked some coupons and deals on occasion and getting a good deal always makes me happy. I am the type of person that will tell 10 people about it. But I guess they are a number of small scores that add up that no one else would find interesting. Not even the people who have to listen to me talk about how I got a sandwich for free.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
For new collectors to original art, buying art through a collective is a good way to go. You’ll likely have familiarity with the collective itself which offers some comfort and peace for significant purchases. Also, you have the benefit of seeing a lot of different options and many artists who would have otherwise been unfamiliar. I really think about art for the home as a personal matter. You have to get what fits best. If it's not my art, find something else that makes you happy. And a collective gives you that option to fill a need.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
I feel like I need a visit to the MET. But I also want to go to MoMA. So I will put both on my list. Both are such institutional treasures and I think you gain so much by being exposed to beautiful collections of art that bring meaning to so many people that you can experience up close and personal.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
My husband and I stayed in Vancouver at the L’Hermitage Hotel for one night while I traveled with him on a work trip. I loved the modern city so much and the hotel atmosphere and room just really spoke to me with fabulous furnishings and simple elegance. It was just a fun trip and I love it when hotels have a good boutique feel.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Probably just clear with a little cranberry undertone. I am not really a big lipstick person and much prefer gloss.
I can never get on a plane without….
I really don’t like flying. I usually try to bring something inspirational to read to put my mind at ease. I’d like some gum or candy if I can put a finger on it.
How did you get into the world of art?
I feel like I’ve always been in the world of art. But I got serious about it when I took some time off between jobs. I call it my sabbatical. I’d always wanted to paint abstracts but I really didn’t “get it” and painting was always something I was interested in. During my time off, I got some good advice to spend sometime doing what I wanted to do. And it so happened that a very intensive course was being offered at a local art center. I say intensive because everyone in the class was pretty much a seasoned artist so it was more of a critique for them. And me and one other student had no clue what was going on. But in that six week course, I was inspired and learned a lot about color theory. It was a spark for me and I knew that if I committed and took myself seriously, I could be better.
What do you do to relax?
I paint to relax. It's very soothing for me. I never want painting to feel like a chore or a burden because it has always been my outlet from a full-time job and whatever is going on in the world.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I end up doing most of my painting at night after my kids go to bed. I can get a lot done in a short period of time. Its quiet and I know the time is precious before I turn in. But knowing that I am on my way to winding down for the night gives me a little burst of energy to see what comes!
Prediction for the Color of 2022?
A slate blue. I am probably wrong. I have never been good at predicting anything.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Definitely dinner and movie. Mostly dinner. Will probably fall asleep on the movie. Definitely not dancing.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
My boss bought my favorite painting for his office. It was such an honor. I love the piece because it has such daring blue and the shapes are so organic. It does not feel overworked. Its simplicity worked out and it was one of those paintings where it just felt done and you know you have to stop.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Buy what makes you happy and what you feel connected to. Artists pour their heart and soul into the canvas or paper so it's important to feel the connection.