Designer Spotlight: Carla Bucknell
This week we are thrilled to introduce you to artist, and good friend, Carla Bucknell.
- Along your creative path, when did you know that you wanted to paint and create art as part of your career?
I have been immersed in various creative pursuits for my entire adult life. After abandoning study towards a degree in mathematics, I totally switched my emphasis and obtained a degree in Clothing Design, Textiles and Art from the University of WA. For many years thereafter, I held various management positions in the fashion industry in the areas of construction, garment fit, line development and design. Along the way, I also worked in the music industry as a featured performer, band leader and recording artist.
Finally, around 2008 I began to focus on the visual arts that had been percolating in my mind’s eye for some time. In part, following the inspiration of my mother who was an accomplished watercolorist. I work in encaustic using traditional techniques with eclectic, mixed media materials and in a modern technique I learned in France for printing on plexiglass.
- With a background in fashion design and production, can you tell us how that informs your work?
Being part of the development of a product line is a process that takes many steps. Starting with some ideas and making them become reality is very similar to the process of taking an art idea and step by step or more accurately, layer by layer, creating a piece of visual art. The main difference is the element of complete surprise that may be an accident that takes you in a totally new direction. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.
- For our readers who may not be familiar with your mixed media pieces, can you tell us where you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere. The major themes include the birds of the northwest, animals and people I have encountered on trips to Africa and of the colors and textures I have observed along my travels for work and play. Of course, the primary inspiration remains the magnificent, unique, Pacific Northwest and its school of mystic NW artists. My long-term involvement with MONA (Museum of Northwest Art) is continual inspiration.
- Tell us about your brand and what sets you apart?
My encaustic mixed media pieces, which are based in part on a traditional wax layer, using modern photos and other mixed media elements, such as special papers, stamps and letters, also feature an additional layer of wax that is built up, carved, and colored for a three-dimensional effect. I have not seen a similar manner of wax carving. The plexiglass printing is new and based on a technique I first saw in France. My hope is that these pieces will also gain a following.
- What long-term opportunities do you see for your creative viewpoint and products
My simple hope is to find a way to expose as many people as possible to what I love doing…. Glorifying beauty through traditional and new techniques, with a special emphasis on color and texture. All with the help of family, friends such as Pat Nugent and now the TWO MOON Gallery in La Conner, WA.
- What one line of advice can you offer to others who are considering a career in art and design?
Understand you need to work hard, believe in your vision and luck helps. But it is the rare chance to immerse yourself and your life in the truly beautiful.
You can find Carla’s work below: