Elise Okrend is an Asheville artist with a clear intention for her paintings: she wants to inspire a sense of healing, peace, and serenity for the viewer of her pastel landscapes.
Elise works out of a shared studio/gallery space in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC at Wedge Studios, 129 Lyman Street. In this interview, you will hear Elise talk about how and why she is receptive to visitors to her studio, not just during the formal Studio Strolls, but also on her regular working days.
To Connect with Elise and see more of her work:
- SCROLL down this page!
- check out her website at http://eliseokrend.com/
- visit The Kress Emporium in downtown Asheville
- visit The Shuptrine Gallery
Highlights of this interview include
- examples of how Elise’s work has impacted people visiting her studio, and, in turn, what it feels like for Elise as she witnesses the powerful effect her work has upon others
- how “happy accidents” resulted in two creative collaborations with her husband, Phil Okrend: their own greeting card company, Mixed Blessing, and their book Messages to the Heart
- how Messages to the Heart, (combining her paintings, his words) does its own work in the world
- an in-depth look at how Elise and Phil Okrend started and continue to manage their greeting card business, offering interfaith, multicultural holiday greeting cards which Elise designs
- how building the greeting card company actually allowed Elise to leave her job at an advertising agency and gave Elise and Phil an independent income
Messages to the Heart by Elise and Phil Okrend
The book is available in Asheville at Elise’s studio, Kress Emporium, Malaprops, Mountain Made, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and in Black Mountain at Chifferobe Home and Garden.
Links mentioned during the interview:
- Mixed Blessing (the Okrends’ greeting card company)
- Their book’s website Messages to the Heart
- Messages to the Heart’s Facebook page
- Phil Okrend’s life and business coaching services http://www.steppingstonescoaching.com
Pastel Paintings by Elise Okrend:
Examples of Greeting Cards from MixedBlessing.com