April 15, 2021
Gathre Creatives ft. Alice Hauser
As we’ve reflected on art and how it’s made we’ve spent plenty of time thinking about the incredible artists and creatives that we work with. We love to see how our different #Gathrecreatives are defining art in their own everyday lives. Today's feature is especially close to home as we are highlighting the mother of co-founder Jess. Without further ado, let's take a peak into the creative life of Oil-painting Artist, Alice Hauser.
How do you create art? Give us your elevator pitch for what you offer to the world. What mediums do you like to use, what is your style, just give us the low-down as if we haven't already been obsessed with you for a while now.
I love to paint from life, whether it is painting from a model, a still life that I have set up or painting en plein air. The problem solving involved in creating patterns of value with the composition gets me really excited. I am constantly weighing the elements of painting as I progress; composition, value, line, shape, space, color, texture and edges. Giving as little information as I can, my intent is to draw the observer into the painting to finish those lost edges and to discover things that aren’t seen at first glance. I’ve had people come up to me while painting outside and say how realistic the painting looked until they came closer and realized that the simple shapes and values carried the painting to completion in their own mind.
I am a drawer first so pastel was a natural medium for me for years. I loved the smooth rich color that I could lay down in a stroke but I always wanted to try oils. When I was first introduced to oil painting, eight years ago, the brushes were so foreign that I wanted to throw them into the stream where I was painting. But soon, they became my instrument of choice and the buttery texture of oils continually beckons me.
"The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing." Marcus Arelius. This was one of our favorite quotes. We find beauty in the hard times. Share your thoughts on this, and give our followers an insight into a time when you were wrestling with life.
Oh gosh, life is full of “hard times.” I think the biggest hurdle in my life was watching my mother decline through her seventeen-year battle with Alzheimer's. I was an only girl with four brothers, so my mom and I were very close.
I did a lot of journaling during the most difficult years, mostly to console myself but also realizing that the one person who intimately remembered my life, was loosing those memories quickly. I turned to god for comfort, and my husband and children have been my constant.
I can still hear my mother tell me that I can do anything. She is my greatest cheerleader. Whenever I compare myself to other artists, she is always there whispering to me that what I am creating is beautiful, and that helps me move forward.
What are your earliest memories in making life art? How do you remind yourself to find beauty in the everyday during this phase of your life?
My first memories of making art are sitting at my mother’s knee, learning to knit. I was sewing on her machine as a very small child. She was an amazing quilter and her hands were always busy with yarn.
My dad is the one who introduced me to paint. I used to paint with him in his office. I remember even as a first grader being frustrated with my efforts. I was trying to paint a horse and I didn’t think I was doing a very good job. When my parents passed away, I found that first painting. My immediate thoughts were, “wow, that is a great horse and the bold orange background, fantastic!”
My favorite part of being an artist is mentoring our grandchildren whether they are in my studio, via zoom, or painting en plein air. Recently I took one of my grand daughters to the museum to sketch together, something I have always wanted to do. Nothing is more important to me than being their greatest advocate in the pursuit of recording their impressions through pencil and paint. Seeing beauty through their eyes is priceless.
Speaking of art, do you have any favorite artists? What inspires you to create? Tell us more.
I turn to the masters for inspiration and continual instruction. I have so many favorites and seeing their work in museums is very humbling for me. I love the drawings and paintings of Jean-Francois Millet, how his subjects were the most humble of people and how he mastered them with repeated drawings and paintings of the same scenes. Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent just take my breath away. But the impressionists, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and post impressionists Vincent Vangough and Paul Cezanne have been my favorites throughout my life. Recently, I have admired the master compositions of modern California artists, friends, Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud.
I remember coming upon a wheat field of Vincent Vangough’s in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. I actually questioned my resolve not to take the painting home for just a few days…because I needed more time with it.
A personal subject, that inspires me and that I don’t sell or share very often, are the paintings of my ancestors. Taking their black and white pictures to life with color, capturing just the glimpse of their moments, is very rewarding to me.
We see our products as forms of art themselves. How do you see Gathre products as art in your home? Whether it's a tapestry, poster, cushion, or mat. Tell us how they bring art and elevation to your life.
Gathre products continually find their way into our home. My favorites are the patterns from artists of today. I love the florals most, especially the beautifully drawn “fleurs” by Ryn Frank that hang in my kitchen. I recently scooped up the new floral “terrace” table cloth a must have, and I love my peony placemats.
I use my yoga, home mat every week. It has replaced my old favorite, because it has more padding that my body needs at this age and is never slippery. Gathre products are timeless. Our home is a traditional craftsman home, and they fit right in.
We've been thinking a lot about having a few elevated pieces rather than a bunch of stuff, when it comes to home, clothing, everything. Any advice on how to appreciate quality over quantity?
My husband describes me as a minimalist, especially when it comes to clothes. I would say that every piece in my home is there because of thoughtful consideration. It either has meaning because it represents my family or ancestors or because it is a beautiful piece of art.
One of my own art collections is called my “quick study collection”. I believe that every home deserves an affordable original piece of art. This has allowed my collectors to become just that, collectors. There is no substitute for seeing and feeling the beauty and textures of an original work.
I remember the first time I sat in front of the wall sized “Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda” by carl Heinrich Bloch. We have had this beloved print hanging over our mantel for years. Tears fell, as I witnessed the true values and texture in the original painting. Another museum experience where eyeing the museum guard nearby, I seriously doubted my ability not to run my fingers over it. The experience has given more meaning to the reproduction we have.
Lastly, give us your take on the quote "To make living itself an art, that is the goal."
I think many women wrestle with inadequacy, even though they are living an artful life. Especially those who have sacrificed their own individual progression to bring children into the world, or to care for other family members. This came even more clear to me when, after staying home with my children for 30 years, I went into the work force as a NICU nurse. The young mothers who worked all night caring for those critically ill babies, only to go home to care for their own little children, stood out to me as true heroes and inspire me to this day.
I studied with an artist, lLawrence Churski, who said that one day, I would be able to see the finished painting in my mind before I put brush to linen. I am finally seeing and understanding that and I try to apply it to life as well. I try everyday to replace the fear of the unknown with the vision of promise, whether it relates to my children and grandchildren or my endeavors to create works of art.
I am continually reminding myself to be kind and patient with my work…to enjoy the journey that I have chosen and to remember the blessings of my choices.
It is impossible to paint the light that we have been blessed with from god, the master artist, but like Monet, we can enjoy trying.