By Jaime Fuller
Most artists tend to exhibit many talents. People who act can also sing, dance, and do photography. People who paint can also write, play an instrument, and sculpt. One starts to wonder how some people are skilled at so many things. The basic underlying factor is that artists are capable of expressing themselves. Not only are they capable, but they feel an irresistible urge to create. The medium is not so important. One writer here at The Advocate, Alexandra Schaefers, is a case in point because, in addition to writing, she possesses some unique painting skills.
Her fascination with poems and her unusual relationship with crows add a profound twist to her creations. Schaefers attempts to convey the beauty found in the natural world, and she succeeds at it, too. Her favorite theme is forest or woodland-oriented. “Ideally, I’d like my pieces to be about humans connecting to nature,” she said. “I think watercolor is my favorite to use, but I’m really enamored with the thickness and brightness of oils and acrylics.”
Crows have a habit of showing up in her work. “I love crows. They are very smart. I like that they live as a community and have a lot of integrity,” Schaefers explained. She believes crows make good role models because they demonstrate an attitude of “I am what I am, and I’m doing what I’m doing, and that’s fine.” Most people aren’t nearly so steadfast. Eventually, she would like to paint a wider variety of birds, but that will take more practice with the smaller, quicker, and skittish types.
Paint poems stand out among Schaefers’ art as novel and inspirational. Taking segments from poems that resonate with her, she weaves them into a piece so that there is text in the painting. Paint poems are still an experimental process, as she feels she has barely scratched the surface. “It’s hard to make text look like art,” she said. Illustrative books are another of Schaefers’ creative forays. She’ll take an entire poem and create illustrations in a book format with the text painted into it.
When asked how she became an artist, Schaefers seemed a bit baffled. She didn’t one day decide to become a painter. “All kids like to do artwork, and I just kept doing it. I’ve always loved art and just never stopped,” she explained.
“I feel like everybody should explore their creativity,” added Schaefers. As an artist, people open up to her about what they want to do, but feel they can’t or aren’t good enough. “It’s like anything else. It takes practice. It’s still enjoyable to make really terrible paintings. People should allow themselves that pleasure,” she contended.
Schaefers herself is not a very detail-oriented painter, which is why she likes to paint big and bold. “I call it whimsical,” she added with a smile.
As for her willingness to self-promote, we practically had to beg for the interview even though she works here.
For more information or to contact Alexandra Schaefers, visit her website at www.othercrows.com.