(photography by Sara Essex Bradley)
Who: Alexis Walter
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Alexis Walter has been painting her entire life. Having been mesmerized by Modernist Nicolas de Staël’s lush strokes of paint and dynamic use of color for as long as she can remember (one of her earliest art class memories is from grammar school when she was assigned to paint a painting in the style of one of our favorite artists. “Mine, of course, was de Staël,” she says), becoming a full-time artist was somewhat inevitable. Her work, which is comprised of oil and acrylic on canvas, reflects de Staël’s influence in its heavy layers and through Walter’s use of vibrant—yet not overpowering—color.
Walter’s sources of inspiration come through in her paintings as well. “The history of people and places, peeling back the layers of time to learn something or someone became what they are now, is fascinating to me,” she says. “I use my palette knife to create layers of dimension to tell a story and give a little bit of history to each piece.” An affinity for design is also evident. While Walter ultimately decided to pursue art, in college she went back and forth between fine art and interior design, a passion that still factors into her work. “I think my love for interior design is a part of why I love painting so much. I work with designers a lot, painting commissions using their fabric, wallpaper, and paint selections as my muses. I am able to be a part of the creative side of design work, which is my favorite part.”
New Orleans serves as inspiration, too. “The laissez-faire attitude and overall happiness of our city creates the perfect atmosphere to be creative. Our history, culture, and architecture are an endless font of inspiration. The layers of age-old paint on our buildings, the jazz wafting through the air, the scent of gardenias. Every day is a sensory experience.” In addition to these classic aspects of New Orleans culture, the current thriving art scene also has much to offer. “We have everything here—shows with world-renowned artists next to galleries showing young, up-and-coming artists,” Walter says. “There’s a place for everyone, and everyone is welcome to be a part of the scene. I can’t imagine that there are many cities with such a diverse and welcoming community.”
When not in the studio, Walter can likely be found in a New Orleans gem of her own creation: her courtyard garden. “Over the past few years we have renovated and landscaped to build our own slice of heaven in the middle of Uptown,” Walter says. “I spend hours finding the perfect heirloom vegetables and fruits for the garden. I start the plants from seeds and watch them grow. I’ll admit that I had no idea how time consuming it would be, but it’s worth every minute.”
Just in time for the holidays, Walter has offered to give a lucky reader the chance to win the below painting. Titled “Honey Bunch,” it measures 24” x 24” and would be the perfect present for the art lover on your list (it’s okay if that means you!). See below for details on how to enter the giveaway. And good luck!
Here’s how you can enter to win “Honey Bunch” by Alexis Walter: THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED
1. Follow Alexis Walter & TSG on instagram here and here.
2. Regram this image and tag it #winhoneybunch, #alexiswalterart, and #tsg on Instagram.
One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, at 2 p.m. EST. Open to residents of the continental U.S. only.