Artist Spotlight Series: Whitney Stoddard
Figurative art and faces always speak to me.
The graphic black works on white and antiqued paper by this charming Charleston artist are sure to thrill especially en mass.
Enjoy getting to know
Charleston, South Carolina
What is your training?
I have always loved to create. I think college was an especially pivotal time for me because I realized that I could work with so many new & different mediums and really “steer my own ship,” so to speak. A couple of years post undergrad, I was living in Nashville & decided to attend The Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. This was such an amazingly creative time for me, and really helped me hone my love of drawing.
It wasn’t until many (many) years later that I began selling my work. I really credit the time I spent at home with my daughter, right after she was born, with releasing some sort of creative block I didn’t even know I had. I will always remember this as being one of the most precious times in my life.
What inspires you and your designs?
I’m inspired and influenced by so many different things, but I think a predominant and overwhelming theme throughout my artwork is emotion. I really love creating a deep sense of feeling and emotion through simplicity. I think this is so powerful. The female figure has been a dominant part of my work for this very reason. I’ve always considered myself somewhat of an “old soul,” so a lot of my current work has been inspired from old photos and all things vintage…I think they create the most amazing sense of nostalgia for times past.
What is your favorite piece?
I think this question is a bit like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. My clients always joke about me telling them “their piece is my favorite,” but it’s true! I have so many favorites; it’s very bittersweet to see them leave my studio. Anytime I’ve hung a piece in my house before delivering to a client it’s a big mistake- I always want to keep it. I painted a portrait of my daughter and myself last year that is a sentimental favorite. I hope she cherishes it always.
How has your area influenced your work?
Oh goodness…Charleston is a constant influence for me. This city is so unique because of its overwhelming historical presence, but also because of its vibrant & lively atmosphere. My work has a strong vintage-inspired feeling, which I think can certainly be credited to living in such a beautifully aged city.
What is your favorite restaurant in Charleston?
Eeek- that’s tough! There are sooooo many amazing restaurants in town, but a few of my favorites are Xiao Bao Biscuit, Chez Nous, The Ordinary, Butcher & Bee, Goat Sheep Cow North & The Obstinate Daughter.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I’m a huge Aperol Spritz fan…especially the one at Little Jack’s Tavern.
How do you balance personal life and work?
I think that’s one of my toughest challenges these days, but something that I always want to make a priority. Being an artist is not all in-the-studio-time creating…the hidden part of the job (that takes up a LOT of time and energy…and no one ever sees) is the business side. It’s really important to me to balance between my studio time, business time, and personal time. I make sure to eat dinner & spend time with my husband every night after our daughter goes to bed…the emails can hold tight a few hours.
I would absolutely love to spend some time in Vienna. Of course, I always love a tropical destination, too…
I’ve actually been having dreams recently about a very large-scale grouping of pieces I’d love to create for someone. I have a feeling they’d look great in my own house, but I’d need to find some more wall space first!
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
For a special occasion surcie, I’ve recently loved gifting a Grit & Grace oyster shell dish. These are small oyster shells (locally harvested & painted on Sullivans Island) made into a decorative dish to hold small jewelry, or even salt in the kitchen.
I also always love gifting a Bonnie&Bud box. B+B was started by one of my best friends from college (Whitney Holofchak), and she creates the most special arrangements for any occasion…& her boxes come with fresh flowers, which is always lovely. For something more casual, I love to pick out a special bottle of wine or bubbly.
We have the very best local wine shop (Monarch Wine) at the end of our street, so it’s super convenient!
Who is your style icon?
I have such an eclectic style; I couldn’t possibly pick just one J I love all things Jackie Kennedy circa mid to late 1970’s. Mid- length skirts paired with trim lightweight sweaters…headscarfs…tailored capelets…big fun patterned maxi dresses with high collars and oversized jewelry….swoon!
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Another tough one…there are so many amazing up & coming artists in the southeast right now. Just a few whose work I really adore are Laura Deems,
Each of these women are on-point right now creating incredibly unique work.
What is your most treasured possession?
My husband gave me a vintage inspired seafoam green bicycle as a wedding gift and I simply adore it! It has a worn-in camel leather seat and a brown wicker basket…I love everything about it.
And because I can’t choose just one…another favorite is an old rotary phone I inherited from my grandmother. I remember sitting in her “phone nook” playing with the rotary wheel for hours when I was a little girl…it now lives on a bookshelf in my den J
What are you reading?
Currently on my nightstand are stack of books I’ve read, and another stack I’m in the midst of reading. I tend to be a bit flighty when it comes to reading one book at a time (something I’m working on!). I’m in the midst of a non-fiction novel about Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise. She was not a favorite child of Queen Victoria (she had 9) & has essentially been written out of all historical and biographical documents…it’s really intriguing!
What are you listening to?
I love Brandi Carlisle’s newest album By The Way I Forgive You. It’s amazing from start to finish. Alvvays is another favorite….
I also have Robert Francis’ entire catalog on repeat these days. I prefer painting while listening to really depressing music, which seems very strange…
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I love reading Lucy Cuneo’s blog…she’s an amazing fine art photographer (lives here in Charleston), and her lifestyle blog covers all things lovely (she just so happens to be an equally lovely person).
Be sure to subscribe to THE ENGLISH ROOM for extra news, giveaways and discounts.
Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design services.