Addie Boswell is an artist and writer living in Portland but grown in Iowa. She specializes in murals and picture books that focus on family, community, and the creative power of children. Recent titles include The Snow Dancer, Five on the Bed, and the "In Motion" series that starts with Go, Bikes, Go! As a visiting artist at schools, libraries, and community programs around the Northwest, she knows that creativity can empower and improve the lives of every age. When not working from her home studio, she is probably building scrappy furniture, filching drawings from her five-year-old, reading when she should be sleeping, and waiting for the rain to return.
My faith is in people. There is always extraordinariness in ordinary life, and there is always a story to tell. The stories I find myself returning to are about family, shared work, growth, the seasons, and a sense of community or place.
Children are a constant source of inspiration. They have inherent creative power, raw courage to experiment, and they ask astonishing — and altogether ordinary — questions. Much of my artwork has a playful, childlike exuberance to it, and often my stories come directly from things kids say or do:
But ducks don’t have lips!
Originally an oil painter and printmaker, I am drawn to the disciplined process of color and layer but the spirit of recycled and street art. I also have a strong practical bent that wants creativity to be useful. These are the reasons I gravitate to public art and picture books, both of which make art accessible — imperative really — to everyday life. Both forms allow me to meet people of all ages and backgrounds and chase ideas through place and time. And I get to read like a fiend and call it “research.”