PERSON: Desiree DeMars
PLACE: The Wedge Building
PASSION: Encaustic & Shamanic Soul Journeys
Every week, artists and creators move to the Blue Ridge Mountains to settle in or around Asheville and open up shop along the French Broad River in the fast growing River Arts District. In the past year, 28 new artists have moved here to share their creations with the community, visitors and other artists.
We caught up with one of the newest members of the River Arts District, Desiree DeMars, an enthusiastic encaustic artist who just opened Sassafras Studio in July. She shares the Riverview Station studio at 191 Lyman Street, Asheville
One look at Desiree’s mystical encaustic pieces brings nature quickly to mind. Her work varies from rustic colors, representing canyons and red rocks, to vibrant coral-reef creations, as if the viewer were scanning the ocean floor. Most of her pieces are abstract. DeMars enjoys hearing studio visitors’ interpretations of her work and inspiring their imaginations. During one recent visit, a fox, ancient Japan, a pulsating jellyfish and moving water were all spotted in various creations.
The connection with nature, its movement and rhythm, stems from DeMars’ past. In the woods of Northern Wisconsin, she spent two years building a log cabin home. As a teen, she camped in the protected wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. It’s no wonder she chose Western North Carolina as her newest inspiration.
DeMars also enjoys interpreting others’ souls. She has been studying Shamanic Healing for the past 25 years. This year she is bringing her Shamanic knowledge into her artwork with an exploration she calls soul journeys, which will focus on what she sees when meeting with a client. She starts with an abstract soul painting on rice paper, then interprets and enhances those images in her paintings. The result is a true connection with someone’s inner being — a look into the soul. ∞ Author: Kyle