By Carolina Buia
The Palm Beach Bookstore welcomes global artist Camilla Webster’s book debut
Best selling author and former international journalist, Camilla Webster, had planned on taking a cue from her widely watched TED Talk on decelerating. First order of business? Leave Manhattan, settle down in Palm Beach and open up an art studio. Say au revoir to the mile-a-minute media life and indulge in the meditative aspects of brush strokes. But for the prolific acrylic, modern narrative artist who burst on the South Florida scene in 2018 with her exhibit at Art Basel Miami at the Miami Beach Edition Hotel, there has been little time for deceleration. “When I decided to fully commit myself to my art, it all moved so quickly,” says Webster. “Then the pandemic hit, and I was preparing for a museum show. In three months, I made ten new paintings inspired by this period.” Last year, she tallied 30 new paintings. Where does she find the time? “I’m one of those artists who in her free time paints.”
And publishes. Webster has just now released an eponymously titled book featuring a collection of almost 50 paintings that were exhibited at the Coral Springs Art Museum. Due to new guidelines, the museum was forced to limit the number of in-person visitors. Undeterred, Webster decided that if her legions of fans and collectors could not travel to see her work, her work would travel to them. And so, together with artist and art curator Bruce Helander, she set about creating a book.
Sea Breeze, 2020
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 72
To Lilly with Love, 2020
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 72
On March 9th at 5pm, Webster will be on hand at The Palm Beach Bookstore to safely sign copies of her new book while offering outdoor drinks and bites. It’s the perfect pre-dinner moment to connect with the community. “This is about providing beauty and healing at a time when many of us were locked down and craving an escape,” says Webster, who describes her narrative abstraction style as “capturing idyllic memories through abstract, colorful landscapes.” Webster counts Pat Lipsky among her many early art mentors, but she clearly has developed a style of her own in acrylics that layers “suffering, inspiration and humanity.” Among the many subjects Webster has explored are rising sea levels and the ocean inspired by British seascape artist Turner. “I’ve lived on islands and been part of coastal communities for most of my life: Manhattan, England, Palm Beach. I want to bring the beauty of the ocean to people’s spaces, but also to raise awareness that we need to innovate. Water is a universal element that we share as human beings and it is a theme that I often bring up to show our commonality.”
As the only child of an editor at Time Life, Webster was always surrounded by art and photography, starting with toddler classes at the Metropolitan Museum and tagging along on her mother’s photo shoots. Though she detoured as a national journalist, financial author and TED speaker before committing to paint full-time, her past serves to “imbue social consciousness and essence” in her work. But when the canvas must be left to dry, this adopted Palm Beacher tries to heed her own advice on deceleration. And she knows just where to stroll for that stroke of culture and inspiration.
ART LIBS: CAMILLA WEBSTER FILLS IN THE BLANKS
Grab a morning coffee (and croissant) at …. Sant Ambroeus for coffee. No equal.
Best croissants are at …. Loic Bakery, West Palm. En par with France.
For free inspiration, walk along … The beach at South Ocean, the galleries at RP — Pace, Acquavella, Gavlak, Sotheby’s & Antique Row in West Palm.
While at the Norton, you can’t miss …. Art after Dark – magical! From live performances to museum exhibits.
If you need art supplies, order from … Blick: There’s a shop in Boca, or Jerry’s Arterama in West Palm.
For an outfit that will take you from the studio to a gallery opening, shop at … My Etsy kaftans & Lilly Pulitzer. People always ask me about my kaftans. I work with female designers on Etsy around the world to support creatives and women own businesses. It’s rather fun to get packages from Egypt and India!