Willow has had no formal art training except for a kid's oil painting class when she was 11. In 1994 Willow did a 28 day solo nocturnal project in the woods of western Washington, in order to face her inner and outer darkness. Her fascination with the play between the internal world and it’s mirror in the external landscape, is a common thread that illustrates the stories behind her artwork. This thread moves freely through her art, whether she is working with oils, watercolors, silkscreen prints or wood. From 1996-2002 Willow worked in Aspen Colorado as a faux finisher and showed at the Aspen Club and Spa and the Village Smithy. In 2006 she moved to Paonia Colorado and launched a project to completely remodel and transform the old general electric building into “Elsewhere Studios”. The construction site became her studio, and the building her canvas. While still under construction she taught art classes to local high school and junior high students and produced the art for her Woody Creek Gallery show in 2008. Willow has choreographed and designed clothing for fashion shows and is the priestess of printing and design for blues dancing events around the country. Willow has been the Director of the Artist in Residency Program, created the Community Supported Art Library, and is now on the Board of Directors where she continues to pour her creativity into the building’s artistic novelty.
Maya is a working artist/ carpenter/ inventor/ fabricator/ sculptor/ architect/ farmer/ Pilates Instructor/
tattoo artist/ visionary founder of Elsewhere Studios/ friend/ lover/ traveler/ monk/ elder/ helper to anyone...
and oh yeah Im a human being on this planet and i care deeply about it, us, everyone, everything... Please be the changes you would like to see, and watch how it affects your life, as well as others. ...and i love you!
Since birth I can't look at a blank wall without creating art out of the shadows, or creating, visualizing, these monty python-ish socks and shoes out of the folds in the bedroom curtains...Staring into nothingness and coming back with lines, shapes, design and form . Simply putting a pencil to paper and not allowing it to leave the paper; then filling in the shapes, intuitively finding a design, and shading to describe form became a childhood favorite... Later on in life this was re-actualized after meeting a wonderful woman and great artist..Willma Shull. After her passing, her family gave 50 years of her art supplies and other materials to me, and in some of the things were examples of what i used to create as a kid ...Ive been creating from this same style and evolving it ever since.
Karen arrived at Elsewhere the summer of 2010 to join her daughter, Willow, and granddaughter, Riven, and to get the formal Residency Program up and running. She comes from 24 years of teaching in many different kinds of schools, every age and every subject – most recently 7 years of teaching high school art. Her feeling about Paonia is that she has arrived home.
She counts among her most formative experiences:
- having lived in Zambia from age 13 to 17, attending high school in a local school, and being exposed to the harsh inequities in the lives of humans, and the incredibly rich and full cultural life of people who have virtually no possessions
- being raised by intelligent parents with respect for their different beliefs (atheist and theology graduate), compatible values, and strong social justice and civic responsibility ethics
- living as a young adult with no electricity or running water for 15 years in the woods of Washington state (yes, a hippie)
- building many homes with her own hands with recycled materials
- being raised by three very different incredibly awesome and creative children
Karen is a very strong Libra – always seeking balance and wanting to integrate all sides of issues. She loves play and silliness, is an avid gardener, plays tai chi. She thinks every place she has lived and traveled on the Earth is incredibly beautiful.
Her artistic expression has mostly been in the area of Ceramics. Her particular love is Raku because she loves being midwife to the birth of the pots through the firing process. In her years of teaching she has also dabbled in sculpture, printmaking, batik, drawing, glassblowing, stained glass, and mosaics. Now that she is settled at Elsewhere she is hugely looking forward to time to just play with art.
Karen is currently the Development Director of Elsewhere Studios.