Thanks so much, Lindsey, for taking the time to give us a glimpse into the world of your beautiful botanical art!
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself as an artist and nature-lover? How did you first fall in love with painting the natural world?
Yes of course! Thank you for having me. I am a painter more than anything, with my preferred medium being natural watercolor. I love how watercolor is fluid and seems to have a mind of its own, and when you work with it and not against it, the beauty you can create is endless.
I grew up playing in my mom’s garden, and I remember it feeling like this hidden magical world came to life in my suburban backyard. In school, I often found myself drawing flowers and plants along the margins of my homework when I was bored or worried or sad, as a way of processing my emotions.
When I was a little older, my grandma taught me the basics of watercolor and I found that my passions mixed seamlessly and I couldn’t get enough!
How would you describe your artistic style and inspiration?
I would describe my style as intuitive, grounding, and modern with the warmth of bohemian earth tones. I’m inspired by the way that plants and flowers are both soft and strong, fragile and resilient. No matter how humanity has destroyed the earth over time, and built smoggy cities over beautiful lands... plants still grow back through sidewalk cracks. Flowers send messages without words, plants give us food and medicine. Nature is powerful and it gives me hope in a broken world.
Tell us about the themes in your work; what messages do you strive to send through your paintings?
I aim for my artwork to show how fragility and softness can coexist with strength. You can be beaten down and hopeless, but you can still grow back.
When and why did you first decide to start using natural pigments in your paintings?
I first started using your natural pigments in my art process a couple years ago! I decided to start my own art business and I wanted my supplies to be eco-friendly, so I started doing some research online and I found so many beautiful artworks made with paint handmade from pigment! It only made sense to render the natural world I love using ingredients that wouldn’t bring it harm.
How has using Natural Earth Paint supplies changed your practice?
Natural Earth Paint allows me to personalize my art practice even more. I use your pigments and gum arabic and your watercolor recipe (and occasionally your gouache one too!) After a while of experimenting with them, I have found the best way to tweak the recipe to fit my process.
Now, every step of the way, my painting is unique to me and reflects my values, even down to the paint I use. I sell my paintings with even more confidence knowing that.
You have a beautiful, brave history of struggling with depression and anxiety but finding hope and solace in your creative practice; do you have any tips for budding artists struggling with mental health challenges? What made the healing process easier for you, and what have the benefits of creativity been for your mental health?
I love this question. Thank you for being willing to talk about this!
I’d tell them that sometimes art is what you want it to be, and sometimes it is what you need it to be. That can be really frustrating, but it is actually a good thing. Sometimes you hold the reins and sometimes you have to release that picture in your mind of where you want to go, and simply let it carry you.
I would also tell them to fight against the belief that art is primarily social media content. Your life and your struggles might make it so that you aren’t making art as often as you’d like, or you aren’t sharing it as much as the latest Instagram statistics tell you that you should. But that doesn’t decrease your value as an artist. Your art is elevated when it is informed by your life, and in everything that matters, you have to take the bad with the good. I promise it is worth it!
In my healing process, I knew I needed to share about my suffering in order to get through it, but often people would misunderstand me or there would be some kind of barrier preventing them from really hearing me. I found that people generally don’t find mental health conversation very digestible or pleasant, but art finds a way to make it a little less intimidating. When you create a calm, safe, beautiful environment, people tend to be more willing to feel what is troubling them or talk about hard things, and I found that my artwork helped to make that possible. As a result I began to feel more deeply understood and supported.
Creativity has really helped my mental health overall, so the benefits have been countless. It has allowed me to connect with people, it gave me a productive outlet that I could do just about anywhere, and it really taught me a lot about my own mind and how it works, which is so helpful in navigating life with a mental illness. I know it will continue to be a part of my healing journey for the rest of my life.
Where can our audience see more of or purchase your work?
The best places to find my work are Instagram and my website, where I periodically update my online shop with original paintings, prints, stickers and more. My instagram is @lindseywellsart and my website is www.lindseywellsart.com.