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This project was successfully funded on June 16, 2016


by Angela Wales Rockett


Essentia will be a spiritually evocative series of paintings that captures the soul of the West Coast of the United States—a body of work that will enable others to connect with its spiritual and physical landscapes, just as I will on my travels. “Essentia” is the essential nature of a place, its essence, its soul. I want to explore this idea deeply by traveling with the purpose of capturing and conveying some of this essence of place through my art. To begin, I want to travel the west coast of the United States, primarily along the coast through Washington, Oregon and California – basically, from my new home in the Washington rainforest, to my first home in the California desert. Along the way, I will document my journey through sketches, photographs, journaling, and through simply being there and experiencing these places as deeply as I can with my artist’s sensibilities, to consciously seek out that essence. Then I’ll bring all of this information and inspiration back with me to my studio to create a body of work I am calling “Essentia”, which will connect others with the soul of those places, too.

I’ve always been fascinated by what I call the essence of a place. I don’t know if it’s because I moved around a lot during my childhood and early adulthood, but I’ve always been sensitive to how a place feels below the surface. The effect of this on my art became most apparent when I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I was born, and primarily raised, in the desert of Southern California and Arizona, and I love the desert’s stark beauty. But moving to this rainy, lush land 12 years ago felt like coming home in a way I really couldn’t explain. My palette began to reflect my new surroundings, transforming from earthy and jewel tones to almost exclusively the blues and grays of this land.

This transformation might not be surprising if I were a landscape painter; but I’m an abstract painter, painting what I call inner landscapes. As I say in my artist’s statement, “I express not specific physical landscapes/seascapes in my paintings, but rather a mystical geography, reminiscent of the seas and stars and desert expanses, and the stillness of those depths.”

I’ve been almost exclusively a studio artist for the past couple of decades, drawing my inspiration from what I experience in my daily life. This is partly because I’ve always been more of an “indoor kid” who never learned how to camp, or hike, or anything like that. Venturing out to explore the landscapes of the west coast will provide all sorts of inspiration and artistic growth as I stretch my skills to express these experiences in new ways. The final work will still be done in my studio, but because the input will be different, it requires a different way of working and responding. I am beginning a new creative journey, and I’m really looking forward to sharing that journey with you.

To make this journey into “Essentia” a working possibility, I am asking for your help to raise the $4000 I’ve estimated to be the minimum costs of travel (gas, food, lodging) and the art supplies I’ll need to complete the work (paint, paper, canvas, etc). This amount also includes money for creating thoughtful thank-you gifts for you, my supporters.

These are just estimates based on my research so far. It might cost less, or it might cost more depending on fluctuations in gas and lodging prices, and where inspiration might lead on the road or in the studio. If I’m lucky enough to have any funds left over (or if you kind, generous souls help me reach my stretch goal of $7500), those funds will be used toward the cost of renting my studio space, having the work professionally photographed in anticipation of collecting it all into a book and being able to offer high quality prints, and toward more supplies and travel so I can extend my journey and make more art.

Thank you so much for your consideration of my project, and for your generous support of artists.