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Who would think that a cabinet maker’s mistake could turn registered nurse, Stephanie Burgess, into a successful, full-time artist?
Though she had studied graphic design in college and was very skilled at illustration, Stephanie originally took a more traditional route and pursued nursing as a profession. Later, while designing and building her custom home, Burgess’ love for design and art awakened. When a cabinet maker’s mistake left a cubby structure unusable, she transformed it into a charming desk, sporting giraffes and elephants, for her 3-year old daughter.
The creation of a simple message, often with an intent of peace, community and family is at the heart of Stephanie Burgess’ unique and contemporary style. Her clever compositions are carefully hand crafted onto wood and convey a truly meaningful, one-of-a-kind piece of art that is simple and playful. Wooden pieces come alive adorned with colorful imagery and prose as decorative and functional products for the indoor and outdoor landscape.
“People have such a happy reaction when they see my work. It’s uncomplicated, almost childlike, and I think, in our complex world today, it’s soothing and transports us to a place that reminds us to slow down and enjoy the little things. I love the experience of painting directly onto wood and using its texture, imperfections and natural formations to help create a part of my composition. A knot found in cedar becomes the sun; the lines and natural grain become the sun’s rays. Each piece of art is as unique as the wood it came from,” she explains.
Burgess and her family reside in the picturesque Pacific Northwest, town of Bellingham, Washington. When not in her studio workshop, she can most often be found in muck boots, working her property and gardens or tending to her daughter, Isabel and their multitude of animal friends, including 4 goats, 11 chickens, 3 rabbits and a beloved dog named Stella.