Artist Spotlight: Kandra Churchwell

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Artist Spotlight: Kandra Churchwell | Soapy Friends

Kandra Churchwell Soapy Friends

Artist Name: Kandra Churchwell

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Website URL: www.SoapyFriends.com & www.ShopAloGoods.com

YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

Can you tell us a bit about your background as an artist? How did you first get started with paint pouring?

I started exploring art as a child in my grandma’s (Ma) art studio. I still remember the first art kit my dad gave me for a birthday. I was around 11 years old and thought it was the most amazing grown-up thing I had ever seen! The set contained pencils, pastels, brushes, and watercolor paints… the kind in tubes (just like Ma’s oil paints!).  To this day, the smell of oil paint brings back so many happy memories, and painting with watercolors is still a joy for me.

My first experience with fluid art was helping my sister, Erika in her paint pour classes. She amazes me every day with the delightful paintings and ingenious techniques she comes up with. She inspired me to explore some of the techniques with my favorite fluid art medium…. soap!

What draws you to the medium of paint pouring? What do you enjoy most about it?

Working with fluid art is like magic. You never truly know what you’re going to get, and in our crazy world, happy surprises are a blessing.

I personally enjoy it because of the bond it gives my sister and me, and I simply love taking what she has taught me and converting the theories into something that will work with soap. 

Kandra Jean with Alo Goods and Erika Tenney with Paint Pour Academy working a craft fair

Describe your creative process when approaching a new paint pouring project. Do you plan your compositions in advance, or do you prefer to let the process guide you?

With all of my art projects, be it fluid art, soap, drawing, or watercolor, I always start out with a plan. But, I never force “the plan” into being. I often “go with the flow” and let “mistakes” turn into something enjoyable.

Are there any specific techniques or methods that you frequently use in your paint pouring work? Could you walk us through one of your favorite techniques?

Fluid Art Dip Technique with Soap!
Fluid Art Dip Technique with Soap!

My current favorite is dipping! I recently converted paint dipping into a soap design technique after dipping with my sister.

Dipping is when you take objects (like rocks, or really anything with a flat surface) and simply dip them into your overpour! I love that it uses something that you wouldn’t think was art (the spilled paint from your latest canvas project, for example) and turns it into a new piece. 

What inspires your artistic style and choice of colors? Are there any particular themes or motifs that recur in your work?

Nature is a huge inspiration for me. I often find myself selecting color pallets based on what plants are blooming in the garden. There are so many beautiful colors in desert plants that I can’t help but be inspired by them.

Can you share a memorable experience or a significant breakthrough moment you’ve had in your paint pouring journey?

100% it was the moment I realized I could use these techniques with soap! So far, I’ve created dipped soaps, drizzled soaps, and string pull soaps. All are based on techniques I learned from Paint Pour Academy. 

Fluid Art Drizzle Technique... but with Soap!
Fluid Art Drizzle Technique… but with Soap!

How do you overcome creative blocks or challenges when working on a project?

I look to other artists for inspiration, and walking away is always a good strategy for me. If I’m not having fun I’ll walk away, spend some time with my cats, in the garden, or work on another project until I’m ready to head back. 

Do you have any favorite tools or materials that you always keep in your paint pouring arsenal? What are they, and why do you love them?

Squeeze bottles. Squeeze bottles are awesome whether it’s soap or filling tiny mold without making a mess. 

Nature is also always around me when I’m working. I use botanicals for colors in my soaps, and have used them in the past to create inks and watercolor pigments.

Kandra Churchwell

How do you know when a paint pouring piece is finished? What criteria do you use to evaluate your work?

If it made me smile either while making it or looking at it, then it’s done!

What advice would you give to aspiring paint pouring artists who are just starting out?

Have fun and learn from your “mistakes.” They will either be the best teaching moments you have ever had or delight you with a magical surprise. 

Are there any upcoming projects, exhibitions, or collaborations that you’re excited about and would like to share with our readers?

I’m always excited about my projects! Each one, especially the ones just for me, fills my day with joy. I’m sure my sister and I will be in her studio pouring some paint soon, too. A little bit of wine, a good friend (or sister), and paint… what more could a gal ask for?

Lastly, where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?

You’ll probably be most interested in my fluid art-inspired soap videos on YouTube. Here’s a playlist where you can see me using paint pour techniques on soap: CLICK HERE!

YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

Fluid Art String Pull Technique, but with soap!
Fluid Art String Pull Technique, but with soap!

Join Our Artist Spotlight Program!

Are you a talented Fluid Artist looking to share your passion and creativity with the world? We’d love to feature you in our Artist Spotlight program! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out on your artistic journey, we want to showcase your unique style and story. If you’re interested in being featured, simply reach out to us through our contact page. Let’s shine a spotlight on your artistry together!

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