I’m more than a casual fan of the color blue.
From cobalt waves to an azure-textured sky, shades of blue draw me in and spur me to create. But it’s more than aesthetics – Blue has history. The ancient Egyptians were first to create a blue pigment, attained from grinding a semi-precious stone called lapis lazuli. Up until the Egyptians, peoples across the world, no matter how much they were inspired by blue, were unable to recreate it due to the scarcity of truly blue pigments found in nature. It remained a precious commodity through the ages, possibly explaining its long-standing association with royalty and divinity.
Today, blue is not quite as rare, but not any less loved. When I paint, I try to bring the depth and breadth of this color into my paintings through washes and bold marks. Therefore, when Madewell approached me about celebrating blue through a collaboration for their fall denim program called “Denim Every Day,” I happily said yes. This initiative, which began July 26th, involves twenty-four successive days of artistic collaborations and features projects with names like Goop, Vans, Gwyneth Paltrow, and ABC Carpet & Home. Each day, Madewell releases one collaboration and one unique denim design available in limited quantities through their website.
Collaborating with Madewell just made sense – I could share my love of blue and talk honestly about denim, which I almost constantly wear. It’s practical, versatile, and a staple in most of our wardrobes thanks to its durability, which, to me, reflects America’s history of hard work.
Our collaboration includes printed cards, inspired by the indigo washes of denim. I also drew inspiration from two large paintings I recently finished titled, “I Made This For You.” From these two paintings, I made four new ones, painted using shades of blue, called, “I Made This for You (and Me).” On August 5th, fifty limited edition sets of prints, each with four prints of the four paintings, plus an extra cover print with a note from me, will be available on Madewell’s website. Each of the printed cards is numbered, signed by me, and printed locally in Oakland.
Each of my paintings, no matter the size, is the product of the one before. I consider each as part of a constant personal narrative of discovery and reflection. When we create, we express ourselves how we are, in that moment—making us a little wiser, a little more vulnerable, and a little more self-aware. We grow through the process of creating, and that’s what these prints are: blue creations that I made for you (and me.)
To read the interview I recently did with Madewell, and to learn more about their “Denim Every Day” initiative, head over to the Madewell blog and follow the 24 days of collaborations on Instagram @madewell1937 and with the hashtag #denimeveryday. Purchase a limited edition print, here.
A word on partnerships: With the objective of remaining true to my art and lifestyle, I only agree to partnerships with companies I respect. Therefore, I’m thankful for companies like Madewell, who are involved in bettering communities, and support my practice as an artist. I want to be as transparent as possible of respect for my readers and in accordance with the FTC law of 2013. All content and opinions are my own. For more information on my views please read my open letter regarding partnerships.