lAVANDER vISTA aRTIST'S IN rESIDENCE
We are honored to feature 3 distinguished artists from the Greater Grand Rapids area. Each artists has their own gifts that interpret the beauty that is lavender and of our unique lavender farm.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I have been using pastels for many years. There was a period of several years, while growing two teenagers and going to grad school for counseling psychology, that the pastels and making art were shelved. However, some years later art called and I decided to take up the pencil once again. I found Brian Bomeisler. His mom, Betty Edwards, wrote "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." Brian, a wonderful artist in his own right, also teaches what his mom understood intuitively about the process of making art. He helped me reconnect with the right side of my brain, to silence the critic long enough to enjoy the process of making art, to once again find amazement in being able to make something look 3 dimensional on a 2 dimensional surface. Pastel boxes soon were reopened and new materials found their way into my toolbox. There was so much more information, surfaces and teachers I could consult who were pastel artists themselves, unlike my early years. I have since had the good fortune to learn from Jim Markle, Larry Blovits, Sally Strand, Albert Handell and Richard McKinley. McKinley has had an especially powerful influence on my work and my attitude as an artist. He is undoubtedly one of the best teachers I have had in this lifetime. Art allows me to indulge myself in the magic of of this world, really take it in. Putting something back out on the surface with the pastels is my expression of the experience that cannot be conveyed in words. When a viewer resonates with the feeling of my work, I feel a definite thrill. Making art is a joy and a gift.
ANNA KOOIENGA, dIGITAL ARTIST
I am 18, was born in Minneapolis and moved to Grand Rapids when I was six. I was admitted to The University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design for Fall 2018, and am thrilled to be headed there — and beyond. My current choice of study is illustration, regardless of medium, and plan to apply my talents for Lavender Vista in digital art. I hope to relay a sense of connectedness between art and a greater good or goal, and look forward to sharing it.