Sunday, May 17, 2020

COVID 19 Interview with Wendy Van Riesen, Designer, Artist

I have know Wendy Van Riesen Dahlia Drive for many years and often wear my Raven wrap, with its red, white and black designs. This is one from a series, Ravens, Eagles and and Polka Dots, on which she collaborated with Haida Artist, Reg Davidson, when she lived on a sailboat in Haida Gwaii for 8 years. Here they are at ECO Fashion Week. I also saw this series Skwachays Lodge Vancouver, for an evening of celebrating Art, Design, Music, Story and accomplishment, especially for the models! See more here.

Wendy has been an Artist and Maker, most of her life. Leonardo Da Vinci, another multifaceted Artist is one she admires. She sews, quilts, dyes, sculpts, paints, acts and is a great story teller.  She has travelled extensively and takes inspiration from her environment, wherever she goes. She is now in Powell River and even though all of the shows and markets are shut during COVID 19, she continues to create. She is currently working on a new style of puffy coat. It is so visual, unlike any puffy coat you see on the streets or on the slopes.  The video she made for this interview is too big to include here, but, I love how she is sitting on a swing, wearing one of her wraps and talking to us about her life and what is important to her as an Artist. She is spending more time in the garden and with family and with herself. She advises: Get to know yourself and what you love; stay with what you love and work hard at it. Use this time. Her mantra is: Wait, Watch and Wonder. This is very much in keeping with her dye process where the final colours are always a delightful surprise. This is from the heart! Enjoy!

Thank you, Wendy Van Riesen! Thanks also to Marilyn R Wilson who has also written a series of COVID 19, interviews and inspired me to follow her lead.

And a few of Wendy's latest sketches! 

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