I discovered Cari of Sea Dream Art when she posted a new mixed media painting on Etsy. The image was the neatest of the ones that scrolled across the page, so I clicked and ended up exploring all that her etsy store has to offer - vividly colored, multi-textured images that exude passion. Right away I knew that I wanted to interview her for this feature story. Cari was kind to answer my nosy questions and allow me to share a bit of her work and story here.
"Art is my life. It always has been," Cari says. She started creating art in high school with acrylic paint and over the years incorporated different media by experimenting. Her Sea Dream Art images now use wood, sand, rocks, inks, paper, glue, and any thing else that happens to achieve the look she's aiming for. She finds inspiration in the work of other collage artists. "The multiple layers of color, text and images make my imagination go wild. Just the way turquoise blue vibrates next to vermilion still gives me goosebumps!"
That color combination excites me too. Her piece "Creation" (above) juxtaposes just those colors with the addition of a bold hand floating between the yin and yang of the sun and moon. It's my favorite of her images. Cari says she has created and recreated Creation many times over. "It is an image that continues to surface from inside me and into my work... One day I want to paint it on the door of my studio. Right now the original piece hangs there."
And, I'm thinking this would be a gorgeous painting for the door of my office! The hand in the middle reminds me so much of the hands of fatima I saw all over Tunisia. The spiral motif finds a place in the art of numerous cultures. A Jungian psychologist would say such images spring from the collective unconscious we share as human beings. Such art can symbolize how the cosmos and psyche are intimately connected.
"I draw inspiration for my work mostly from the spirituality of different cultures," says the woman behind Sea Dream Art.
"That connection to things felt, but unseen continues to move and fascinate me. Poets, writers and musicians are great sources as well. A great song or poem can wrench a painting out of me quicker than anything else. Most of all I hope my work can help the viewer make that connection to the great mystery. I feel we are conscious and aware for a reason. Maybe one day our human connection to the divine will cause a shift that will make beautiful things happen here on our planet. I hope I live to see it."
Though she recognizes her work "isn't going to save the world from global warming or cure cancer or stop wars," Cari sees it as her calling. "I live for the hours that are mine alone with the canvas."
Although she enjoys working alone, Cari creates art in her studio The Factory in Albuquerque, NM in the company of artists (Ren Adams and Ken Murakami) she happened to meet through etsy.
"We are like minded souls living the dream," she says of her artist companions, all three of whom make a living from their artwork. "It's not always easy. Trying to make a living on selling your work is difficult and can be defeating. Art is a luxury item and sales can be sporadic to non-existent at times." Isn't that the truth. I think it's inspiring to find artists who create art and also run a successful business.
The theme that runs throughout Sea Dream Art is "Love, first and foremost. For me love is the most powerful energy in the universe.... It is the essence of who I am as a woman, artist, human being."
Of all the images that she has created, Cari says her favorite would have to be Hope (left).
"The image came to me in a vision when I pleaded to the universe for direction," she adds. "I will never part with the original, but the prints of Hope are probably my biggest seller. She speaks to different people for many different reasons."
Thank you Sea Dream Art for sharing your hope for peace, your beautiful vibrant art, and your story with us!
All images copyright SeaDreamArt.