THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Alyse Hart
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Had long distance relationship with a guy who lived on Cahuenga Blvd. and married him.
MEDIUMS: Up-cycled canvas, mixed media, and acrylics
Hallelujah! I met another phenomena of a left and right brainer—Alyse Hart.
Quirky, personable, and a great story teller, Alyse revealed her creative journey (still in it’s toddler stages) to me as we sat in her living room slash gallery tucked in her home atop an actual hill in Woodland Hills. Although still a mystery to both of us, we’d become friends through some mutual acquaintance on Facebook and had been watching each other’s work voyeuristically. I was initially drawn to her use of bold colors, but after our interview, I discovered I was dazzled by much more—her uninhibited ability to allow a canvas to come alive on its own.
To understand her art, we must first touch upon Alyse’s life and career. Originally from New York, half of her family (mother and sister) took a creative route while her father and she settled into business. Alyse made a successful career in sales, but after speaking to her, I got the distinct feeling that her right brain (the alleged creative side) had been grappling with her left (the logical side) for quite some time. As a matter of fact, she even wrote a workbook about it called A Woman’s Guide to Corporate Recovery, a pre-flight plan to help women map out an alternative lifestyle. But Alyse’s own right brain take-over didn’t begin until she participated in a hippy-styled Topanga art experience where the painting instructor guided Alyse onto her own creative path.
I have to admit, Alyse’s story made me giggle as I imagined her in the middle of Topanga Canyon beneath a tent with sage smudge wafting around her head. I mean Alyse’s general appearance is as far away from any granola-munching hippy if ever there was one. But as she spoke, I realized there was a much deeper level to this picture. She told me she’d actually gotten physically sick in her class, excusing herself many times with an upset stomach. But it wasn’t the sage that made her ill. Alyse was having a breakthrough—her artistic self was fighting to get out. And it did in a flurry of pink paint. Pink, I discovered, puts people in touch with their nurturing side and gives them a sense of hope—that everything will be okay. If pink is what Alyse began her journey with, it is certainly the color that enabled her to trust in herself.
I’m taking liberties here to say I’d like to be the one who coined the phrase “we are all expressions of something larger than ourselves.” I’d also like to add that if anyone is evidence of this it is Alyse. Her objective, void of any of her physical discomforts (she admits to actually having sweats) before a canvas, is to lead herself to freedom—to be metamorphosed into her authentic self, inside and out. She stays true to her out-of-boxness and does not hesitate to do as she is being directed by the ethereal energy that surrounds her so as not to lose her spontaneity. She remains alert to what her canvas is trying to convey to her. In other words, she’ll use the remnants of an image on an up-cycled canvas she salvaged from the curbside and let it be the inspiration for a new piece or if a hint of something—say a fish—is poking about in the paint she’s just covered the canvas with, well, a fish it’ll be. The results are colorful, fresh, and inspirational—a no-bars-held look into Alyse’s world…a world that definitely needs to be shared.