Poured paint technique perfected by local artist Andrea Fewell

Connye Griffin
Artist Andrea Fewell with one of her paintings.

A feather’s light symmetry delights as it floats from on high down to grasses below. Rarely does a hiker pass by without wondering at its design. Underwater Sea Fans are wonders, too. They waft and wave with the tides, rooted in azure blue ocean waters. Missouri has its own azure beauty in waters washing through limestone and dolomite. Right here at the Lake, the beautiful Ha Ha Tonka Spring carries that rich blue of a summer sky. Such natural beauties inspire Andrea Fewell as she creates jewelry and transforms canvas with acrylic paint, a bit of butane flame, and warm air, even the artist’s own breath gently moving the paint.

With an artist’s eye and practice, Andrea has learned to trust color, viscosity, and technique to produce a work that surprises and delights the eye — even the artist’s own. What Andrea values most in the artistic process is that each piece is unique. The true joy found in art, she says, is in discovering which color will rise to the top, which ones complement each other best, and what patterns will emerge.

For photos, Andrea selected the rich, vibrant colors of Autumn: pumpkin, raspberry, and green. These she poured onto the lower third of a canvas still wet with bright white acrylic. Using a small butane flame and a hair dryer, she pushed the paint and popped some paint bubbles until she had achieved an effect that pleased her artist’s eye.

Some of those colors ran down the edges to a surface below. The drips add dimension to the canvas. Paint that fell free, once dried, will be carefully scraped and preserved in a journal from which Andrea will select oval, rectangular, heart-shaped, and circular swatches to fill costume jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings become miniature natural wonders— just a bit of iridescent glory adding sparkle to an ensemble. These can be found on Andrea’s Facebook page, Controlled Chaos Canvases.

Andrea considers the Lake her true home. She’s a Camdenton High graduate, but found her true love well before her senior year. At age 14, she met and later married Matt Fewell of Fewell’s Automotive, a repair shop established by Matt’s father. Together, Andrea and Matt have four boys. Andrea is their homeschool teacher.

Formal art study is not what drew Andrea to paint. Rather art is in her nature. She says she could often be found in her dad’s garage “building things out of scrap wood and painting them.” Now her work includes furniture that she refinishes with the same poured paint techniques. She has made TV trays and footstools into fine art. These pieces as well as canvases can be commissioned to complete a décor. Similarly, functional coasters can become artistic “pop” pieces impervious to water, thanks to Andrea’s art and a marine-grade epoxy seal.

Andrea has taught and will teach her techniques one-on-one or in groups no larger than 10. She enjoys sharing the spontaneity of the creative process with others as much as she enjoys explaining how she achieves an effect. Those gorgeous feathers require a bit of chain rather than a paint brush, for example.

Equally important to her art are natural elements such as “gravity, water, and fire.” These inspire the artist and move the paint to finished designs. Some of those designs are in the eye of the beholder. Buyers at Linn Creek’s Farmer’s Market or market days around the Lake often see a bird or a face they adore in the design, shapes that Andrea herself hadn’t seen until she shared her work with others. This is all part of the artistic discovery and joy in creating that drive the artist.