Today I’m bringing you a little Q&A with Atlanta based artist, Paige Kalena Follmann. Her pieces are filled with neutral, soft colors and thick palette knife work in an abstract impressionistic manner. I love a lot of her series but I think my favorites are her figures! and nursery prints! Read a little more about Paige below and check her out on instagram @paigekallenafollmann.
In a nutshell, who is Paige Kalena Follman?
I’m an Atlanta based artist, working primarily with oils in an abstract impressionistic manner. I paint textured floral still life and soft abstracts and I love to use a cool color palette in my work. I think viewers are drawn to my paintings because they are stylized ”“ I represent subjects in a non-realistic manner and have an eye for interesting color palettes.
How did you get started as an artist?
Well, I suppose I’ve wanted to be an artist since age 5! When I was a kid I told everyone I wanted to become an illustrator when I grew up. In first grade, I began painting my Westie, Macbeth, and illustrating books about his adventures. I continued my love of art through high-school and college, and studied Fine Art during my study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. That experience really allowed me to explore and think about pursuing my passions instead of doing the practical thing, but I wasn’t able to approach art as a career until 3 years ago when I started selling my work. I’m lucky to have people around me who have always supported my art, including my boyfriend Kevin. He’s always encouraged me to keep going and do the things that I love!
How would you describe your style?
I would have to say my style is casual chic with an edge. My everyday style revolves around comfort. I’m usually painting in leggings and t-shirts turned inside out (trick of the trade), but I love to get dressed up, too. I really adore colorful artistic patterns in clothing, statement necklaces, and edgy, fun accessories. Mara Hoffman is my favorite designer ”“ her clothing just looks like art to me! She creates the most gorgeous bold patterns and her designs are both beautiful and interesting.
What are you favorite mediums to paint with?
I work primarily in oils because I’m truly obsessed with the shiny, lustrous texture they create. There is nothing prettier to me than thick layers of wet oils on a canvas and the depth of color that comes through. One of my essentials is Winsor and Newton Blending medium for creating the perfect blends of color. I also enjoy working with watercolors, acrylics, and inks…it’s good to change it up! I tend to get bored if I’m not experimenting. I have to say my favorite tool is my palette knife. My least favorite part of painting is cleaning the brushes….and this way, I just wipe the knife clean and I’m done! Amen!
Where do you paint?
My favorite place to create is in an airy, sunny space with music playing. I typically work on the floor…which is odd, but it’s the way I’ve always done it! I like to be able to spread out and have the largest area possible. I can spend several hours painting in my home studio, but I eventually get a little lonely and have to move around the house so I’m at least near my boyfriend or our dog, Duke.
What inspires you?
I’d say my biggest source of inspiration comes from dreaming. Literally, I have the best ideas when I’m either just falling asleep, or waking up from a long rest. I wake up with these cool concepts for paintings and designs in my head that I have to immediately write down or sketch before I forget. Having a sketchbook around is essential for all of my random thoughts and ideas. I also love drawing inspiration from nature, fashion and interior design. Beautiful patterns on pillows, clothing, and colorful objects found in nature always inspire me in some way. I really enjoy experimenting with new subjects and mediums ”“ it keeps me interested and I think the key to being interesting as an artist is being interested in my own work. Don’t think too much about selling, just play, experiment, and paint what you enjoy!
Where all has your work been featured?
My work is featured at The Swan Coach House Gallery in Atlanta beginning in June, Lindley Arthur Antiques & Interiors at Antique Row in the Dallas Design District, and I will be the solo artist for an outdoor pop-up market at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta from May through September this year. I’m also doing a fun pop-up shop with Sally King Benedict and Britt Brass that I’m really excited about! It’s great company to be in and I love getting to connect with other Atlanta artists.
Do you have any favorite pieces?
Yes, I have a few favorites. I think my floral painting, “Blueberry Parfait” is my favorite of the oil floral series. It was one of the very first and probably the one that paved the way for the rest of my stylized floral pieces. I also really love “Grass is Greener” – it’s just one of those abstracts that would look great in any room ”“ very soft and pretty. I’ve just created a few nude figures in watercolor and those are really popular with the ladies! I really enjoy painting those ”“ it’s when I get to be really spontaneous and not so controlled like with oil painting.
Have you done any special collections?
Yes! I decided to do a nursery line of prints as a fun side project. I have so many friends who are having babies, and it just seemed like a great project to start. Since my artistic roots started with drawing animals, it was definitely something I enjoyed and took me back to drawing as a kid. The collection is a safari theme of animals that I did in watercolor and I gave them all cutesy names. There is “Elle” the Elephant, “Gee-gee” the Giraffe, “Zsa-Zsa” the Zebra….so on and so forth. The other animals are a lion, monkey, and antelope. They are perfect for making a collage in a nursery.
What are some of your favorite local spots in Atlanta?
I live and work in Virginia Highland neighborhood on the east side of Atlanta and there are so many amazing, eclectic spots in the neighborhood to try! One of my favorite spots is San Francisco coffee; their iced coffee and chocolate coconut bites are the best and they also display local art which is always nice to see. I love shopping at 310 Rosemont ”“ their boutique has a cool assortment of clothing and jewelry. I really love Murphy’s, One Eared Stag, and Sun in my Belly for brunch spots. We have so many restaurants and boutiques in walking distance and along The Beltline leading all the way to Ponce City Market. It’s a great spot to be in Atlanta!