Elsa Bouman and Wolff Bowden
June 30 - August 14, 2021
Elsa Bouman is an artist living and teaching in the Seattle area. She has degrees in fine and graphic art and worked as a graphic designer in the music industry in San Francisco for many years. Her roots are in Holland Michigan, but since 2007, Lake
Forest Park is her home.
Whether creating or teaching, my art is spiritual testimony and where I find my truest self.
About the Show
Ever since I was a child I have been experimenting with art and nature. From mud pies and making stew out of beach debris to rewriting recipes and mixing paint out of berries and spices. Now, as an adult, I follow alternative paths in my art and find much joy in the creation of the unique. What starts out as a vision becomes a puzzle and the puzzle is the exciting challenge.
During the pandemic my sister sent me a jigsaw puzzle. The works I created from the pieces have allowed me to solve the puzzle in new ways, undo the pattern and invent a new end product. This undoing of the expected finish has also helped me find my way through a year of isolation when the outcome was also unclear. - Elsa Bouman, 2020 / 2021
Wolff grew up in a house on concrete stilts, fifteen feet above a cypress swamp, swimming in a lake speckled with alligator heads, singing with bullfrogs. After his childhood home burned down in a blaze so intense that it left an iron claw-footed tub twisted like a human ear, Wolff moved to Sarasota where he studied by day and painted by night, earning a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science from New College of Florida. His studies in organic chemistry inspired him to create a highly-textured paint surface reminiscent of the swamp.
In 2000, ARTEXPO SOUTH MIAMI named Wolff Artist of the Millennium. This placed his painting “Autumn Mask” on billboards across South Florida. At the ARTEXPO show, Wolff sold “Autumn Mask” to baseball legend Andre Dawson. In addition to purchases by Amazon and Starbucks executives, Wolff's artwork hangs in the private collections of author Frank McCourt and Poet Laureate Billy Collins. He has sold almost a thousand pieces through shows and galleries and has exhibited widely, including ARTEXPO NEW YORK in Manhattan.
In addition to visual art, Wolff co-founded the Americana band, The Winterlings. They have recorded 4 studio albums and earned praise from The Seattle Times & BBC Radio. Painting professionally for over two decades, Wolff continues to explore a vivid, personal mythology which blends language, form and texture. His unique vision continues to inspire his collectors, who hang his paintings not just as design centerpieces, but as portals into mystery.
Please visit Winterlings.com or ThePaintedPoet.com to learn more.
Art is a spiritual practice, leading both artist and audience into a deeper appreciation of the mystery of life. Curators refer to my work as “outsider art” because I taught myself to paint. This “outsider” quality makes my art immediately accessible to a wide audience because viewers can feel the energy of color, texture and imagery without needing additional academic explanation.
I learned to paint before I learned to walk. Through my childhood, I painted a strange collection of forest beings I called The Winterlings. Half human, half beast, The Winterlings appear in many of my paintings and represent the union between humankind and nature. Most of my mixed-media paintings are created using mineral pigments and high-gloss polymer. I often paint with unconventional tools including branches and spoons.
By wandering through wilderness, I am inspired to create paintings which show the vibrant life that surrounds us.
Mythological beings rise up through dreamy landscapes and create a bridge between nature and humanity.We all need a deep breath of art, a long moment of looking at imagery which awakens our ability to feel. I create paintings to both deepen and brighten the experience of living, to inspire the viewer to honor their own creative fire. I have been told that my artwork hangs in a home like a torch in a dark time, bringing peace, giving light.