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Monday, August 15, 2011

Latest Featured Artist Interview- Rae Studios

Tell us a little about yourself, shop or selling venues.
I am an artist, wife, mother, step-mother, vegetarian, yogini, environmentalist, social activist, lover of food, books, music, wine and dancing. I guess I can be summed up this way: Silly momma looking for time to create and meditate!

My shop is called, Rae Studios, after my middle name. I designed the logo ages ago so I guess I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that this is what I would be doing with my career. Rae Studios is a comprehensive art studio specializing in interiors and fine art. I am a trained fine artist with an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. While studying there, I met my husband, who is an architect. We have been looking for ways to collaborate so I began studying Feng Shui from the American Feng Shui Institute. Rae Studios is a place that fuses my study of Feng Shui with my love for creating objects. I hand knit and sew accessories for the home and family as well as create fine works of art. Sometimes I design some jewelry just to keep things interesting.

What are some things that bring you joy or inspire you?
I love nature. It fuels my soul and jump starts my creativity. I love sitting outside with my cup of coffee in the morning watching the coconut trees rustling in the breeze. When I decided to move to Brooklyn to attend art school, a friend of mine said, “Are you sure you will be able to survive there? I don’t know anyone who needs trees as much as you do!” Well, I did survive and trees really do grow in Brooklyn, but I’m really thriving now that I am surrounded by gorgeous green mountains and the blue, blue sea.

Do you work outside the home, or are you self employed?
Rae Studios is a full time job for me along with raising my two children and two step-children. Part of the mission of Rae Studios is to educate through arts based learning. So I teach private art classes, run a Waldorf inspired homeschool cooperative as well as teach workshops in various art making techniques.

How long have you been creating, and why did you begin?
I can’t remember a time I haven’t been creating! As a child, I would draw my own coloring books, write my own newspaper, make my own puppets (and write the dialogue for the puppet show of course!), make clothes for my Barbies, costumes and sets for our family backyard skits...Art was always important to me.

What are some of your favorites (websites, materials, foods, books, other people’s work, etc.)
My favorite artist is the American painter, Cy Twombly. I love natural materials: wool, cotton, papyrus, hemp, wood, stone, clay. I could eat tomatoes and avocados each and every day and never get tired of them! There are 4 books that I absolutely love and read over and over. They are: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Bone People by Keri Hulme and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. My favorite song is “Get Together” by the Youngbloods which my mom had on a 45 vinyl record that I used to play on my little record player when I was a kid.

Where do you live, and do you hope to live elsewhere?
I live in Kingston, Jamaica in the West Indies. My husband and I moved our family here a year ago from Brooklyn, New York in search of a better quality of life. We love it here! Kingston is set on a crescent shaped harbor and is surrounded by the foothills of the Blue Mountains. It is gorgeous! The children can play outside and we have access to fresh foods year round. There is also a vibrant art community here.

We are keeping the door open to other international opportunities. We enjoy the idea of being an international family and hope to divide our time between Jamaica, the U.S. and Europe or South America.

What are some of your short term and long term goals overall.
In the short term, I want to finish my study of Feng Shui and begin doing consultations; find local stores to carry the Rae Studios brand; have a solo exhibition of my fine art in a gallery here in Kingston and get studio space that is outside of my apartment! In the long term, I would like for the homeschool co-op to become a full fledged school...The Blue Green Studio School for Social and Environmental Justice; to have Rae Studios acknowledged on an international level; travel to Italy and to build an eco friendly house in the Blue Mountains.

What is your most treasured possession, and why?
An original painting that was given to us as a wedding gift by a very dear friend. Her studio was next door to mine at Pratt and we quickly became friends. After my son was born,  I had to return to work as a teaching artist and she became his caregiver. She is one of the most lovely people I have ever met and the way she inspired, taught and cared for my son amazed me. Plus, it is a gorgeous work of art!

Do you have a religious or spiritual background?
I believe that we all have Divine energy flowing through us that connects us to each other, to nature and to the Spiritual world. I pray daily and meditate. I teach our children the Golden Rule and that we are all part of the Divine so all life is to be respected. I teach them to have an open mind and to embrace this life with their very core.

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Thank you for sharing your story with us!  We wish you all the success and joy from selling your beautiful knitwear and jewelry online.

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