With Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest restrictions beginning this week, more galleries are likely going virtual, much like the recent Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour.
At the start of the pandemic, local artists were trying to figure out ways to keep the show going. Victoria Brace, a Spokane favorite and the artist responsible for this year’s LSRAST poster, says, “People more than ever need something beautiful to hold onto.”
For the poster, Brace wanted to create something that would not only represent the tour and Spokane, but also her work as an individual. The artwork used for the poster was inspired by Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942), an art-nouveau detour from her soft, impressionistic portraits and landscapes.
To create the poster, Brace made what she refers to as a “simple ink drawing,” scanned it and added color, took it to Spokane Art Supply, and the rest is history.
Brace describes the challenges of the last year as “an emotional roller coaster.”
“It doesn’t affect me much because I’m here in the studio working alone, but then as time goes by, it becomes emotionally draining,” Brace says. “It’s an extra weight on the shoulders. Painting helps to calm me down and make sense of things. … I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m lucky that I can continue what I’m doing.”
At her website, victoriabrace.com, Brace has an array of works, including a series titled “100 Heads Project.” The self-improvement project began a year ago on Instagram as a challenge. Several artists worldwide responded to a summons to create 100 heads in whatever medium they chose for the all-time classic motivator: practice makes perfect.
Brace decided to participate because “when you work on something very focused … you improve, you learn a lot of things. I love faces, I love making up stories about who they are. It’s humbling for me and helpful for my other works to learn about the anatomy, how to paint not just a hand or a face, but a person.”
Brace is hoping for a new series at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, where she has shown work in the past. The new works center around a theme Brace described as “(an emphasis on) the difference between spoken language and visual language.”
In the meantime, Brace’s artwork can be viewed on her Instagram @victoriabraceart and website, as well as the Art Spirit Gallery website.
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