Artist… Author… Coach… Muse… Teacher… Explorer…. Meet Brecia Kralovic-Logan, part of our community of artists.
At Arts and Cultural Travel we seek out the most innovative and passionate leaders in the art world to lead our retreats. We fell in love not only with Brecia’s breathtaking and intricate art, but also with her ideals and dedication to sharing her craft with others. Her multi-sensory art begs for discovery across the elements and the senses. It seems fitting that her upcoming Guatemala retreat is named “Creative Spirit Journey.”
We were lucky enough to get Brecia to answer some questions for us about our favorite things… Art, culture, and travel! Enjoy and be inspired…
You are leading a trip with us in February of 2016 to Guatemala. Have you visited the country before?
No I have not been to Guatemala. It’s been one of the destinations on my wish list for years. As a textile artist I have enjoyed seeing and learning about Guatemalan textiles over the years and I’ve always wanted to visit. I’m so delighted that Arts and Cultural Travel will guide us through the trip. I look forward to guiding the participants on a creative journey while we are there so we can translate our experiences into our own individual expression.
What are you most excited about artistically or culturally about Guatemala?
I’m so excited to visit with local textile artists-weavers and dyers- and have them share their process for producing the colorful textiles that they are so noted for with the folks on the trip. I’m also very interested in Shamanic work and look forward to exploring more about how healing and spirit are woven into the culture. Lastly, who wouldn’t be excited by the opportunity to learn how to make chocolate!
How does travel influence your work?
I love to travel and experience new people, places and cultures, always with an eye for the fiber related arts. In 2004 I traveled by myself to Kyoto to study at the Kawashima Textile School. I had been dreaming of visiting Japan for 30 years. I was able to do a cultural exchange and teach a day of creative dance at the school after the weeklong Felting workshop was over. I loved the way that the art became a language and everyone was able to share the experience even though we couldn’t understand a word that was spoken. I returned to Japan to study silk production and that trip expanded my expertise as an artist working with silk. I’ve really focused on using silk since then.
One of my favorite things about traveling is finding that people everywhere respond to the urge to create. I love the resourcefulness that is demonstrated in each locale. It reminds me to be aware of what my surroundings have to offer in the way of inspiration and raw material.
How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
When I began working as a professional textile artist, I was mostly creating wearable art. I belonged to several regional, national and international art organizations and I exhibited my work at fashion shows during conferences and in galleries that specialized in wearable art. I developed a couple of distinctive signature techniques that I continued to evolve. One was knitting with hand dyed silk fabric, and the other was creating textiles by weaving and stitching strips of silk fabric.
I love working 3 dimensionally and I consider garments to be 3D sculptures. I also love creating sculptural work with basketry material, metals and felt.
Several years ago I began creating mixed media collages with my hand dyed silk fabrics on canvas. I’m really enjoying playing with this technique and creating work that is very unique and is suited for home or office. I will continue to play with this and look forward to adding in more and more layers to the canvases. I’m gearing up for adding more metal to my work.
What piece of equipment or tool or color could you not live without?
AHH hard question! My style is very eclectic and I love to incorporate many different materials and techniques into my work. Although, I do have a very distinctive color palette that is earthy and includes a lot of copper and turquoise. I am also never without multiple knitting projects. If I didn’t have knitting needles I’d carve them out of sticks- if I didn’t have yarn, I’d spin some out of whatever fiber I could get my hands on!
Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in.
I was very spoiled for 18 years as I had a very large studio space to create in. I love to spread out and play with my materials and tend to take up a lot of space when I’m in the process of coming up with something new.
When I closed Pebble in the Pond art studio I drastically downsized and had the opportunity to hone in on the materials that I felt truly passionate about. I’m currently in the process of turning my basement into a small working studio. Since creating color is one of my greatest passions I need space to slosh around in. I love natural dyeing! Especially when I can do it out in nature. Even though I love to flow out into my space, I do quite a bit of knitting which is portable so I can create on the go.
Do you use a sketchbook or a journal?
I use both. I also keep boxes and binders of pictures that inspire me. I collect pictures that have colors and textures that I like and I pull them out and play with them frequently to get my creative juices flowing. I love to rearrange them to find different combinations. I cut them up and weave them together or create a collage that inspires me while creating textiles.
I rarely sketch out a project in detail but rather play with shapes or colors. Most of my work evolves intuitively and I often let the materials inspire me rather than force my ideas on them. I love to journal- I like to process in words what I am intuitively feeling.
What was your route to becoming an artist?
I keyed into my creativity very early. I loved making things. I learned how to knit when I was 6 years old and I held craft classes in my back yard when I was 12. I was the arts and crafts councilor for summer camps as a teen. I learned to sew and loved designing my own clothes. I was fascinated with textile techniques.
When I was in college I took a dance class and fell head over heels in love with Modern Dance. I immersed myself in dance as much as I could at that age. I studied with local dance companies in San Diego, and then enrolled in a Master’s program for Dance. I did a summer study program in London. Then I went to New York and took classes at Martha Grahams studio. She was the iconic figure for modern dance. After that I taught dance in Santa Barbara as an artist in residence in the schools for 15 years.
On a parallel track, I was developing my fiber art skills for my personal enjoyment. I was weaving, spinning, felting, doing basketry, knitting and crocheting and developing my own style of creative expression with those techniques. When my kids started school at an arts oriented charter school, I founded a fiber art program and developed a yearlong curriculum for K-8th grade. I expanded the program to serve the whole Santa Barbara School District and I sponsored children’s Fiber Art exhibits at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art where I taught for several years.
When my youngest was in high school I had been working as an artist and arts educator for many years. I had received grants from the City for several large, community weaving projects and created a resource room for local teachers with fiber art supplies. I had taught adults at SB City College, and was a sought after speker for arts organizations. I finally was ready to open my studio business and pebble in the pond art studio was born. I taught classes, workshops, and coaching groups as well as many councils and celebrations.
In 2014 I published The Spiral of Creativity- Mastering the Art of a Spirited Life. I closed the studio and moved to Vancouver Washington where I continue to develop, teach and exhibit my art.
How has teaching influenced your art?
I am PASSIONATE about teaching! I love to share what I’ve learned in the many years that I have been exploring fiber and I love that there is always more to learn. I feel like I’m the luckiest one in the room when I set up an experience for people to explore and discover a new technique. I love the creative process. The material in my book The Spiral of Creativity- Mastering the Art of a Spirited Life evolved from my workshops, lectures, and programs.
Every time I teach a workshop I see the materials with new eyes. I love the challenge of teaching in many different settings and having to be innovative and allow the process to take unpredictable twists and turns. I love the collaboration between the students, the materials and myself.
If you could spend a beautiful spring afternoon with any artist dead or alive who would that be?
I think that I would opt for an afternoon at a preschool where the kids could play with lots of different materials and make anything that they could imagine. I’d soak up that unlimited energy and sense of wonder and I’d enjoy getting very, very messy with those naturally creative 4 year old artists.
What are you inspired by at the moment? Other artists, new mediums, travel, anything at all….
I’m soaking in the gorgeousness of the Pacific Northwest and loving the woods and waterfalls. I adore going to the Japanese gardens in Portland. The spring flowers here are outrageously fun and that reminds me of my visit to Giverney in France. I also have to admit that I’m influenced by the desert as I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. I tune into the natural environment wherever I am.
Is there anything you would like retreat participants to know before they sign up to travel with you? Is there anything special they should know about?
HA! I guess I should come with a warning that I love corny jokes and a good day is filled with laughs. I’m particularly excited about staying at Villa Sumaya as it seems like a perfect place for us to refresh our body, mind and spirit. Come open and curious and expect to be transformed in some way.
Some of Brecia’s art:
More information about Brecia can be found on her website, BreciaCreative.com.