I'm Andrea Lewicki and I am an abstract painter.
Abstract art draws me in and knocks my socks right off. I love the disruption of it and how it either makes you think in a divergent, expansive way or pushes you away immediately. I also love the context of abstract art.
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, I wear a lot of yellow and Zuri dresses are my wardrobe staples -- they are freedom and style with comfort and color. 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
Sometimes I send emails about where to find my artwork, retreats I am offering, or useful tidbits about life as an artist. By "sometimes," I mean a handful of times a year. I will never commit to a regular relationship with email. You can sign up for those emails here.
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 seek out abstract artists and am currently interested in conversations in the greater Seattle area about discussion of abstract work.
I occasionally offer workshops in the Seattle about creative voice, expanding creative expression, and other topics as the muse strikes.
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 creative practice of any kind -- 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.