The Artistic Life: Way Way Allen

Today we are featuring talented Charleston artist, Way Way Allen. Way Way and I met years ago, pre-husbands and babies, working together temporarily at an upscale boutique in Charlotte. Who knew that years later our lives would intersect professionally again, but what a treat it is to feature her on Interior Canvas today!  Way Way was (and is) one of those people that had this effortlessly chic-ness about her. Whatever she had on--it was the coolest outfit you had ever seen. Whatever piece she had just painted--you immediately wanted it for your own. But the most endearing quality about Way Way was her sweet disposition and big heart--she is truly one of the nicest people you'll ever meet! It is with great pleasure today to feature the artistic life of Way Way Allen.

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Tell our readers a little about yourself, your background and how you knew art was where you wanted to center your focus. I grew up in Columbia, SC in a house full of artists and art lovers! My dad and brother are both architects and artists in their own right. I grew up with art all around and it was a natural path for me to take in my adult life. For as long as I can remember, painting has been a love of mine! I decided to focus on painting while in college at the University of the South, where I earned a BA in Fine Arts. I took a break from the painting world after college and dabbled in work with interior designers, artists and teaching before starting a family of my own. When my first son was born in 2007, I had a difficult time finding any art that I loved for his nursery. So, what to do in this situation, paint my own! After receiving friends and family's encouraging words about my artwork, Blue Chickadee was born. This was a small business I started from home and painted canvases for children's nurseries, rooms and playrooms. After successfully running this business for 5 years, I found myself going back to my true passion, abstract works. I found it to be a natural transition for me, my children were getting older and I was moving into my next phase in life. Funny how life comes full circle in a sense! What do you look to for your inspiration for your work? My surroundings have everything to do with my palette and free form. I feel so very fortunate to call Charleston, SC home! The beach is my sanctuary-that's where I feel at peace and at the same time, whole. The colors, texture and patterns of my surroundings totally influence the way I paint and colors I choose. I also share a delightful light filled workspace with three of my best girlfriends: Jane Pope Cooper (Jewelry Designer - Balboa Jewelry), Lauren Lail (Creator of  a vintage clothing and vintage inspired designed collection called Library) and Liza Cleveland (Creator of a graphics/custom stationery line called Bon Vivant) all in downtown Charleston in a store called Novel. It is my painting studio as well as a shared retail space that we have had for the last 2 1/2 years. My art has evolved and been positively influenced by this move from a home studio to a working studio space. We constantly bounce ideas off of one another and the creative energy is high! How does your artistic aesthetic translate into your home interior style? Can you show us some examples? I tend to mix high and low in my house. We have a less is more aesthetic, where art and patterned fabrics are the show stoppers. White walls loaded with art.

The playroom/laundry was a garage conversion after our renovation last year

Little Robertson's room (my oldest)

Screen Porch

Breakfast nook off kitchen

Where can we see and buy your work? Novel. Charleston Showroom  is my studio/retail space where you can purchase works. I will soon have my online shop up and running in the coming weeks (waywayallen.com.) Other stores that carry some of my works include: Eclectic  in Mt. Pleasant, SC and Adele in Lexington, KY.  Ginger Ann Hughes  in Atlanta, GA and Anna Wunderlich in Memphis, TN are art consultants who have helped place my work in client's homes.

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We were delighted to see Way Way and her adorable family featured in this month's (Dec 2013) Better Homes and Gardens issue! In addition to showing off her gorgeous home, she shows some great ideas for clever Christmas decorating.  Make sure to pick up an issue to see the entire article!

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Thank you, Way Way, for taking the time to chat with us today! For more information on Way Way, see below!

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WAY WAY ALLEN

WWW.WAYWAYALLEN.COM

Blog: www.bluechickadee.blogspot.com

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Charleston Interior Design Blog

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(Images: 1-8-Way Way Allen; 9-Better Homes and Gardens; 10-Way Way Allen; Photographer: Ashley Warnock;)