Waiting for Everywoman
The Summoning of Every[wo]man
That of our lives and ending shows
How transitory we be all day.
This matter is wondrous precious,
But the intent of it is more gracious,
And sweet to bear away.
There’s really not much about Brett Ward’s work that should make me recall a medieval morality play, except for her fascination with the Day of the Dead Festivals. Brett spent some meaningful years in the Southwest and learned to appreciate that the celebration of the dead one’s life enhances everyone’s love and respect for the living . . . this matter is wondrous precious.
Brett is a woman who lives out loud — not a whole lot of compromise in her life, but a whole lot of fullness. The work in her shop at VanFleetStreetDesigns is a celebration of color. Whether working objectively or in abstract, her paintings are always moving, always feeling, an Everywoman of the art world.
Brett credits her grandparents with instilling her with a love of art. Both of them were musical and visual artists and they encouraged Brett’s talent. They also taught her that trying to make a living as an artist would be a gamble and that she should think of art as a hobby while pursuing a real job: The artist’s curse: never take yourself seriously. Brett spent 20 years doing social work before giving herself permission to pursue art as a career.
She was an active member of Tucson’s art community, exhibiting as a solo artist and in group shows, and making a success at competitions and sales. Since moving to the Midwest and raising a family, she’s had to work to re-establish the clientele she had in the Southwest. Brett finds this frustrating process difficult to be patient with. Many artists have a Greek chorus of family voices to remind us that expecting to earn our way as artists is unrealistic.* Sometimes that chorus gets awfully loud, but Brett’s good at turning their volume down and is feeling the reward of being truly satisfied with her work. Her most recent work, make-like portraits over strong color fields, is primal and raw.
Brett is an active member of the BBest Team on Etsy, contributing regularly to their ongoing blog, and entertaining them royally with her terrific (if dark) sense of humor on forums and chats. She is also a member of Etsy’s Interior Design Team, EAST, ACEO, Gallery United, and Irish. You can find out more about Brett on her personal web page, her blog and by viewing her work on CafePress. She has also recently added a presentation on YouTube.
Brett has written: “My work is now all over the United States and Europe. How exciting is that? VERY. I hope you enjoy my contribution to the art world.”
* The author may be guilty of quite a bit of projecting here.