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Artist Spotlight: Way Way Allen

Way Way Allen had an early introduction into the art world, watching her father sketch and later honing her skills with classical training at The University of the South and abroad. After years of studio work and the birth of two children, her interests diverted to a new enterprise, Blue Chickadee, commissioned canvases and textiles for children. After several successful seasons, Allen now returns to her roots in abstract painting.
Deeply personal, her art draws from the natural world and vivid hues of her Charleston surroundings. Working from small natural details, Allen creates large abstracts that magnify and celebrate the common pattern while also amplifying the beauty of negative space.

Her paintings reflect a depth that has garnered her a devoted following from collectors to interior designers. Her works, both deliberate and wildly gestural in stroke, can be found on a variety of medium from paper to wood panels as well as a recent foray into textiles.

Allen is a co-founder of Novel. Showroom, a unique space located in the heart of downtown Charleston that showcases the works and wares of area creatives. A native of Columbia, SC, she now resides in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with her husband and two rambunctious sons. Most days, you can find Allen painting in the natural light and silence of her King Street studio.

See more of her work at waywayallen.com.

Is there anyone you credit with gifting you your artistic ability and/or teaching you your skills? Or did you just pick up a brush one day and get lucky? My dad is an amazing artist as well as a talented architect. My mom has an incredible eye for design as well. Match made in heaven for me. I feel so lucky to have grown up in a house full of art and artists. They paved the way for me.

Since it varies for each artist, we want to know what inspires you? Color, pattern, textiles...I'm inspired by all of the natural beauty of my surroundings living at the beach.

Do you hang your own work in your home? Yes, I do, but I change it out regularly. I will admit, I have commitment issues with my art. I have had some pieces leaning against our master bedroom walls for over a year now. Hard to pick a favorite piece and how I want to group my art. Some of my very favorite pieces are ones my boys (ages 3 and 6) have painted. They are so uncontrived and always bring just the right pop of color to our walls!

Is there a specific artist/work that you covet? I admire the works of Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly, Mary Abbott to name a few.

If you were not an artist, what career do you think you’d have? I always thought interior design would have been a career I would have enjoyed, had I gone back to school. I also love to cook, so something in the culinary field would have been another way to get my creative juices flowing had I not become an artist.

Rapid fire…
Favorite city to travel to?In the US, dying to go to Austin, TX, love San Fran...Florence, Italy is pretty amazing as well

Guilty pleasure? coffee ice cream

Favorite restaurant in Charleston? There are so many... Indaco, The Ordinary, Butcher and Bee...still so many I have yet to try!

Saturday activity: beach, shopping, museum. Festival or sofa? B.E.A.C.H.

Three words to describe yourself: In no particular order: People Pleaser, Over Analyzer, Lover of Laughter

Thanks so much for participating Way Way!

Tomorrow I will post a numerical listing of her work but here is a sneak peek!

If you are interested in purchasing any of Way Way's art please stop by Eclectic, call us at 843.388.7002 or email sidney@eclecticcharleston.com. Remember, these will only be available during the month of March and yes we will ship for an additional charge!

Eclectic is a Charleston, South Carolina based full-service boutique interior design firm in specializing in the design of residential projects including entire homes and the styling of individual rooms. We also offer virtual e-design services. Please email sidney@eclecticcharleston.com for additional information.

Eclectic is a retail shop/design studio located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina (just over the bridge from downtown Charleston) selling an array of vintage mid-century pieces, repurposed items, new products and locally made creations with a fresh Modern meets Coastal aesthetic.

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