Artist Feature: Isabel Warden

Photo courtesy of Isabel Warden

Isabel Warden began to notice the beauty of art in fourth grade at the Spencer Museum of Art. She was entranced by a display that played music and was the only piece in the exhibit that could be touched. 

“It looked weird and out of the ordinary compared to the rest of the exhibit, and I think that’s why I liked it. I would say that’s where my journey began – I’ve always strived to make things both out of the ordinary, but also relatable for people to be able to understand me,” said Warden.

Isabel enjoys making art with found objects or things that she finds humorous but also does things in an analytical and controlled way. She uses art as a distraction – like putting every star sticker she has in color order onto watercolor paper just because she feels like it.

“I love the idea of taking found materials and turning it into something that people can recognize as art, rather than just completely making art from scratch.”

“Organized Chaos” by Isabel Warden

She is involved in many clubs and activities on campus at William Jewell College and is currently the president of Jewell’s Art Club. She feels that any type of art, whether it is music, dance or theatre always has a natural foundation and then goes through a series of edits. Following from this, her tip for other artists is to try to relax into the surrounding beauty, rather than seeking it out. 

“What you find beautiful will eventually come to you – don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come to you right away,” said Warden.

Warden doesn’t really follow a process when creating her art. She feels that the point of art is just to express whatever is going on in you and that there are always some forms of art in what anyone is doing, even if that wasn’t the intention of the person creating it. 

“A lot of times when I like to do art, I believe it comes from a place of genuine thoughtfulness,” Warden said. “I never force myself to do art, because that’s not the point of art.”

“Unforgotten” by Isabel Warden

A genre that really sticks out to her is abstract expressionism because it’s the kind of art she would enjoy hanging in her home. One of her favorite pieces was from a recent show at the Stocksdale Gallery, called “Organelles” by Taylor Crites. She finds it hard to have a favorite artist because she loves so many different pieces from all of the artists she sees. 

“I think it’s crazy how so many individuals see the world differently and are able to create that through their art,” said Warden.

If Warden had to choose a favorite installation it would be a series of paintings called the “Midnight Paintings” by Theodore Seuss Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss – in which he explores macabre versions of his whimsical works. 

“I think he puts in the darker elements of his works mixed with the whimsy in order to create a sense of unease towards the viewers,” Warden explained.

“House Sunset” by Isabel Warden

One of her favorite pieces she has created is a magazine cut out inspired by the work of artist Ray Johnson, the founder of an art movement in the 60s called Mail Art. Creating art is one of the many ways that Warden copes with anxiety and depression. Art both gives her an escape and is also a mechanism to express her inner emotions.

“I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t have art,” Warden said. “I would be a whole lot different.”

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