Alayne Spafford : a search to create balance from chaos

The magic of social media is that I was able to befriend the artist Alayne Spafford even though we live thousands of miles apart. Since visiting her studio in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) is not an option right now, we chatted remotely and I am happy to share her beautiful abstract artwork.

Alayne Spafford in her studio

Alayne says that her artwork reflects her “personality full of contradictions”, loving “chaos but also order”, “big but also small”, “pale and quiet and other times loud”. This search for balance is at the root of her work and it clearly resonates with many os us, as one can see on her Instagram.

I have a soft spot for her pink compositions. what will be yours? Thanks Alayne for sharing about your work and projects.

Painting by Alayne Spafford – courtesy of the artist

What is the message you aim to convey with your art?
I’m a collector. I’m interested in what others cast off. Ephemera, bits of unfinished sketches, lists, needlework, or even pieces of ripped, trampled paper from my studio floor with accidental paint drips. I want to combine these often unrelated collage elements in my work to form a cohesive story. I love the idea of all of these different histories and backgrounds coming together in something unexpected. I believe there is always a solution for combining disparate bits, sometimes it takes a lot more work to get there and often the collage is completely obscured but that is all part of the process. I like my shapes and colours to be a little bit off and I want the finished piece to draw you in without knowing why. 

Painting by Alayne Spafford – courtesy of the artist

How much of yourself is revealed through your artworks? I’m not a very public person so I find that I reveal myself in ways that aren’t especially evident.

My personality is definitely mirrored in my work

I have a personality full of contradictions and I’m never rooted in any phase for too long and I see this directly in the way I work. I love chaos but also order, I want big but also small, sometimes I’m interested in pale and quiet and other times loud.  My style can also subconsciously change often, something I am continuously trying to rein in. 

Paintings by Alayne Spafford – courtesy of the artist

Instagram is now key for artists and you have built a great community. What is your relationship with social media in general and Instagram in particular? how do you manage your account? I predominantly use Instagram. I’m very much a visual person so it’s perfect for me. As much as I wish I had a talent for writing, I just don’t and with instagram I’m able to show my work without having to add much text. I realize people often want to know more so I do try to add commentary on my work but I’m not really one for over sharing. I try to post regularly, around 3 times a week, and keep things current. 

What memorable responses have you had to your work? I’ve had a lot of shows, interviews, representation and residencies that have come directly from instagram which has been amazing.

The thing I love best about Instagram though is the relationships made and how supportive everyone is. 

What is your dream project?
I can’t say I have a dream project per se and I try not to look in the future. As long as I am creating I am happy and I am grateful for every project and opportunity I’ve been given. 

What are your projects for the coming months / year?    
I have two group shows this year, one in Canada and one in the USA. Both were supposed to be solo shows but because of the pandemic things have shifted. I had a residency in the works as well which has been postponed. I’m also starting a smaller series combining textiles and painting which is slated for a show in Seattle next year. 

Painting by Alayne Spafford – courtesy of the artist

Which artists would you recommend to follow ? @allison_reimus (Allison Reimus) @gabooldra (Meg Franklin) @mizdanajames  (Dana James) @ashelypeifer (Ashely Peifer)

Who do you recommend to be on The Curious Frenchy next interview? I’d love to hear an interview with any of the ladies listed above!

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