Back again Memphis for another Memphis Maker Spotlight! This week we’re featuring Whitney Winkler Art.
This week Stock & Belle sat down with a Memphis favorite, the whimsical Whitney Winkler. I am sure you have heard of “more is more,” well Whitney thinks most is more and this could be the reason that she has also been heavy with the glitter. Not only is she Memphis’ own glitter fairy but she is the pastel Queen! Her artwork boasts a color range full of pastels complimented with blues, greens and grays which leaks her passion for expressing beauty and truth.
Photo credit: Jesi Lee
Are you a Memphian? Where are you from?
I grew up in the Midwest. I am from central Illinois. I have called Memphis home for 5 years strong though, so I'm claiming myself as a local now!
How did you get your start?
I started painting when my oldest child was two, and my (now middle child) was a newborn. My husband was in an intense grad school program, and I had literally zero outlets for myself. I began painting at night, even though I knew I'd be woken in the wee hours with babies. Painting gave me a space to start and finish something in one sitting, which is a hot commodity when you're raising tiny children. I have always been most alive when creating, whether through songwriting, sewing, or throwing a pretty wedding shower. I think in those years I just realized that I would not be the best version (or even a better version) of myself unless I could find some space for creativity again.
What is your chosen art form?
I began painting in just watercolor, but I have since branched out to multi media and multi surface painting.
When did you know that artistry was your calling?
I don't think I ever had that "aha" moment. Friends just began to buy my work, and then friend of friends. One day I realized I was doing more than just making enough to buy more art supplies, and I truly do say I stumbled into art as a career.
What is your favorite part of your process?
I don't think I have a favorite part. I think I am more energized by the constant switch-up in what I'm doing on any given day. That said, I have chosen fluid art mostly because I find it unpredictable. It requires me to respond to what it is already doing, and restrain it in the process. I like that it leads me where I am going, and not the other way around.
How did the partnership between you and Stock&Belle form?
I remember right after I moved to Memphis in 2015, I passed Stock and Belle on a walk one day. I consciously remember looking at it and thinking, " I really want my art there someday." I think a year or so later, I emailed them, and the rest is history! There really is something about speaking your goals and dreams out loud, no matter how vulnerable they may be. I think when we do that, we are much more inclined to set our tiny steps in the direction we aim. And now, I am so excited to continue to work with Stock and Belle. Now, the owner Erika and I are dreaming a bit alongside each other too. It is just the best!
Outside of your artistry, who are you?
I am a wife of 13 years to Ben, and a mom to three kids. We live in midtown. Our family mission is to see Memphis flourish in all ways. This plays itself out through relationships built in the schools we send our kids to, investing in the arts culture here, and seeking justice and mercy for our neighbors institutionally and alongside our church.
Photo credit: Emily Holmes
What are two fun facts about yourself?
My right foot is an inch bigger than my left. Is that fun? No, but really it is. Shoes are a nightmare. I've been a songwriter since I picked up a guitar at 16. You can find some of my music on my website!
What do you love most about Memphis?
I love that Memphis is a big, vibrant city, but you can also live your life in a few square miles if you'd like. We love the heart and soul and people of Midtown so much, and honestly we don't leave it, except for the occasional Target run.
Describe the perfect day in Memphis?
My perfect day would start with going on a jog around Midtown. After that, I'd love to get an iced coffee with a friend at Cafe Eclectic or City and State. And if I was at City and State, I would definitely need to stop into Falling Into Place for a new candle. Then, I'd love to find a few estate sales on my way to lunch. Lunch would probably be at Soul Fish or Babalu. After lunch, I'd love to go paint for a few hours at the studio. Dinner would be wherever I didn't go to lunch. Then, I would love to go to Overton Park in the evening for a concert, and dip my Mempop in some rose' (have you tried it?!)
Photo credit: Jesi Lee