Originally from Seattle, Washington, Alessandra attended the Pratt Institute where she graduated in 2012 but remaining in New York where she currently lives and works. It’s been a pleasure to see her style evolve and to see her art embraced into the eyes of countless viewers and I’ve always wanted to sit down and talk to her about all of it. She has gained a lot of recognition though interview, blogs and social media which I guess is a sign of the times.
All her works are with coffee stain, ink and pencil then Alessandra adds gold leaf details. This creates these wonderful dreamy pieces with an almost art nouveau feel I think.
My favourite interview answer when asked about her work :
Alessandra: Well – I don’t work with color! It’ll start to come in eventually (in certain areas), but my mind doesn’t work like a painters’ does. I see and compose work in terms of pattern, as opposed to light.. At first I perceived it as a serious disadvantage, but now I’ve found that it enables me to overcome some obstacles in interesting ways. It goes back to that Picasso quote, “If you have five elements available, use only four. If you have four elements, use three.” You can’t keep the intention of the piece pure if you’re too focused on balancing a bunch of irrelevant parts.
And yeah, Klimt was where the initial idea for gold came from! Growing up, my grandparents had some lovely Japanese lacquer boxes with gold that were great too.. I’ve always thought they were beautiful, and the execution on them inspired the work as well.
Having a go myself was going to be a challenge. I didn’t have gold leaf so I just used metallic pens to match the iridescence. I have to say learning to control and predict what the coffee stains would do took several test attempts.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens, four spectacular glasshouses span from tropical rainforest to arid desert climates. A lively birdhouse, wildlife trails and fifteen acres of flourishing gardens and foliage. An excellent spot for me to start my botanical illustration projects. I went for the butterfly house but that does not open until May 15th. but with easy access and a lovely tea rooms Daddy and I had a great time. He really enjoyed watching the giant koi carp in the rainforest pool.
The landscapes were designed by J. C. Loudon, one of the most successful garden planners of his time.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens