I'm Andrea Lewicki and I am an abstract painter.
I like to talk about what I call lowercase art -- art that is more about your private, creative expression than art for public consumption. I also talk about choosing to be UNQUIET with your creative voice.
I adore creative nonfiction and everyday, unromantic poetry. I worship at the literary church of John McPhee and Annals of the Former World is my favorite book, ever. I hope I never tire of re-reading it.
My art studio looks out upon a small lake way out yonder from Seattle and I am ridiculously happy about this. LakeTV is quite captivating and has turned me into a studio hermit.
My Internet browser tabs reflect whatever art obsessions are currently occupying my thoughts, from Helen Frankenthaler's stained canvases to Lucienne Day's textiles to the bold, geometric language of Navajo rugs.
For a short while, I had a small flock of backyard ducks. This is only relevant in that I will always have a soft spot in my heart for quackers, and to serve as a warning if we ever meet in person: I can tell you duck stories for hours.
Once upon a time I was a legit rocket scientist and once upon another time I got paid to drink beer on the job. Working for large companies wrecked my spirit. Twice. Art saved me both times.
Also, bright-colored pants are one of my wardrobe staples. When I go to an event where I don't know anyone, I look for the people who are also wearing colorful clothing and strike up a conversation. I recommend trying it.
The Creative Sweep
Every few weeks I send a digest of what's been happening in the studio and how I've been following the muse. Sometimes I include philosophical bits about life as an artist. Other times it's a compilation of photos. I also share resources and projects that I have found useful.
Sign up for The Creative Sweep here.
My creative philosophy
We are whole. We need opportunities for whole expression.
We're all walking through the world carrying our whole selves with us.
Our pain, our joy. The weight of everything happening in our lives, our emotional bruises and collection of meaningful memories. Our hope and anxiety. Our love and concern for the people most important to us. Our aspirations and disappointments.
Our big ideas and our mental maps we use to try to find our way to them.
We take all of this to work, to the dinner table, to the line at the grocery store.
This is the river flowing under the surface when someone asks how we are and we say we are fine.
The river is always flowing.
And there aren't always enough outlets for us to express what's in the river.
That's why I wholeheartedly advocate a practice of lowercase art. That's why I believe everyone should have some sort of creative outlet -- a way to engage your head and hands and heart in a way that's not totally scripted and with plenty of room for you to explore "what if?".
"But I'm not creative." See also: "I'm not an artist."
I've learned a hard lesson over the last couple of decades: Using my creativity is more about whole-brain living than it is about identity or occupation. Often, when I'm most hungry for change (new shit, different day), I've pushed my creativity under the surface.
"I have more productive things to do than sit and make art."
Been there, thought that. For a long time, especially in my former career as an engineer, I treated my creativity as a distraction from more "productive" pursuits.
I lived a long time feeling creatively starved without a way to express the enormous river of everything I was holding.
Instead of seeing it as a distraction, my creativity is now invited to the rest of the party. I'm choosing integration over exclusion (it's a practice). Occasionally that means I'm on a strong creative bender, spending days at a time following a particular inspiration. More often it means short sprints of creative activity -- writing without obligation to a result, playing with the possibility hidden in my driftwood collection, or practicing the precision of short poetry.
Art is Community
I cultivate a community of creative contagion and positive momentum. What does that actually mean? It means I go out of my way to tempt people into making art and surround them with other people doing the same thing.
I occasionally offer workshops in the Seattle area for hands-on lowercase art experiences (you will leave with glitter paint under your fingernails).
I also invent experiences that blend the best of the online world with handcraft. It's a specialty of mine.
You can bring me to work with you for a workshop with your team members. Or to your organization's meeting. If you want to set up a creativity center in your office,workplace, or home (or want to know why that might be important), I'm here to help.
I'm all about hands-on, active creativity so I'll usually show up with art supplies, prepared to guide participants through a selection of the activities from my resource library. Less talk, more art!
If you're ready to explore an idea with me, email me. These are conversations I love to have so I'll be in touch soon.