One of my favorite ways to lift Qi (energy) in any space is through the use of well- placed artwork. Not only should the artwork be hung properly, the art must also have uplifting images and symbols that add to your pleasure and happiness. Artist Isabelle Bryer’s work fits that perfectly. Based in Los Angeles, Isabelle Bryer was born in France and studied art there. Known for both her commissioned
portraits (mostly of children) and also her iconic mermaids, houses, dolls and other series of paintings, she is widely collected. Her work has appeared on “Hannah Montana” and “How I met your Mother” and “Accidentally on Purpose“. And the exciting news is that Isabelle has a new Etsy shop that sells affordable versions of her painted images. Isabelle and I spoke about her work recently.
FG: Your work seems to have a lot of symbolic imagery in it. Are there certain iconic symbols that you use frequently? What are your reasons for this?
IB: I like to paint symbols of nature, birds, fish, weather, suns and moons, fire and water, everything that connects humans to the earth and have existed since the beginning of time. And hearts for love of course…. they are all part of a familiar collective unconscious.
“The Mermaid Garden” (c) Isabelle Bryer
FG: Your recent painting, ‘Nahla in Meditation’, seems to me to be about yoga. Am I right?
IB: Recently meditation took a bigger place in my life. I wanted to paint an image expressing the kind of serenity and contentment one can achieve through it (and I don’t mean me by the way! I am still working on it..) And I love portraits with eyes shut.
FG: The “doll series” seems to have a darker edge to it behind the innocent child like theme. Where did you find inspiration for that?
IB:I do like to mix beauty and eeriness, this is why I like dolls, for their innocent/evil duality. I like that they take us back to our childhood, and I get to put my dolls in all kinds of situations and use them to tell stories.
“The Seeds” (c) Isabelle Bryer
“Mystical Cat” (c) Isabelle Bryer
FG: As a contemporary artist, what artists from the past have influenced and informed your work the most?
IB:A lot of artists have inspired me along the years. Douanier Rousseau, the symbolist and surrealist movements, Frida Kahlo, Hieronimus Bosch…I am also very influenced by religious art, medieval or gothic. I might be trying to recreate the perfect icon…Contemporary artists also inspire me and I am passionate about many of them and in awe of their work.
“Snow Angel” (c) Isabelle Bryer
FG: Do you agree that artwork can either lift your spirits or bring you way down?
IB: When you choose a piece of art for yourself there is a deeper reason than just a matter of taste. I think Art speaks to our soul and fills a void or a longing that each of us has, that’s why it is a very personal choice. Do not choose a painting because someone else tells you it’s cool or it matches the couch. Find an image you really feel connected to.
Feel connected to Isabelle’s work? See more at her website.
“I Love You To Pieces” (c) Isabelle Bryer
All works copyright to the artist Isabelle Bryer.