Words of a Light Bearer
Roxanne Evans Stout
Roxanne Evans Stout and I met online a few months after I created this course, and we just couldn't believe that our paths hadn't crossed before! There is so much in common between the ways we approach art, inspiration and creativity. I first found out about Roxanne through her beautiful book "Storytelling with collage" and instantly knew I had to contact her!
Laly: Your art is so layered, textured and at the same time delicate. In Layers of Light we're paying attention to the way light plays with texture and gives our work a unique tactile quality. Can you tell us a little more about your layering process? What kind of textures / materials do you feel most attracted to?
The textures and materials that I am very drawn to for collaging and layering are thin papers like tissue and rice papers. I also love Mulberry paper and papers from Nepal. These papers let plenty of light in and can add a luminous quality to a work of art.
My layering process begins very intuitively… I love to play with arrangements of images and textured papers. After I have a played for awhile and have a design laid out I begin adhering my papers with Matte Medium. During this time I often change my mind in my placement. I love that freedom collaging offers.
How do nature and your surroundings, inspire you? What do you love about working with natural materials?
Nature and my surroundings mean everything to me. I feel a very spiritual connection to nature. It is when I am outside in our gardens that I am truly at peace and have a feeling that I belong on this earth, just as the birds and trees and the flowers belong.
When I go outside (and I’m not gardening), I love to write in small notepads or journals. We live in an area with very little traffic and the sounds of nature are everywhere. The birdsongs, the whispering pines and the rustling maples all surround me. During these moments I feel that the words just pour out of me, and these words inspire me later, especially in the cold white winter.
Natural elements play an important role in many of my projects, especially when I am working in a book. I love the book arts and making books that are filled with surprises and treasures from nature. A flat stone, a pressed leaf or flower, dried grass, a feather or a shell can often be found on one of my pages.
Do you have a favorite kind of light? Maybe a favorite season or favorite hour of the day when light resonates with you the most? What does it tell you about yourself? In what ways does it echo your own inner light?…
Oh, I love all kinds of light! I recently moved into a new studio, an extra bedroom in our house, and the light comes in so beautifully from the west in the late afternoons. I also have a sunroom across the hall which inspires me because of the eastern, morning light and a view of the Klamath River. This room used to be my studio and is still an inspiration, just not as messy!
I think that my favorite light is filtered, tinted yellow or blue as it dances through our maple trees and plays on our red brick patio.
I also love the light outside when a storm is approaching, and the suns rays pour across the sky through the clouds, to me this is almost like you can see heaven. The third light that I love is the meadow light that streaks over the fields, and across the river in the evenings in the summer… this is particularly beautiful and sometimes is followed by a rainbow. I don’t know what this says about me… maybe that I love light that is surprising, different and moving, natural light. I love to photograph my work in natural light too, or light that is filtered by the trees.
"In what ways does this echo my own inner light?” What a beautifully worded question Laly! The light that I see is there for those who take the time to notice. My light is the same.
Through your art and through teaching, you shine a light for others so that they can find and express their own creative spark. Can you share some personal practices that help you keep your own light bright?
I have said this before, but was just saying to the lovely participants in my last workshop that my “job” as a teacher was to help them find their own light.
But these women came in beaming, and so joyfully, that I thought they had already found their own light and I added... “and the gift you give back to me helps me to find my own light as well!”
Sometimes we all need someone to help us see our own light.
I keep my own light bright by making art, when I am working alone and in a creative meditative state when time seems to flow like a song. And also when I am around other people who love to create.
A balance or a combination of these two things is what I need to keep my own light burning bright. And of course time in nature, and time with the people I love…
Roxanne Evans Stout: I live and create in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the mountains and the river lands that surround my home are my constant inspiration.
I am an Adjunct Professor at Oregon Institute of Technology where I teach Mixed Media Arts. I share my art in workshops throughout the United States and have had my work shown and been published internationally.
I also teach online workshops to students who are from all over the world. Teaching enables me to share my passion...nothing makes me more happy than helping my students through their own process of renewal. My goal is to help you find your own magic.
Through my art I would like to convey the feeling of connecting, timelessness and re-creation. As an artist I am constantly learning and growing. Art is my passion, my love, my soul.
Images and words © Roxanne Evans Stout