Perfectly Imperfect: Vera Edwards

This season we were lucky enough to shoot our spring lookbook in Mallorca — in the art studio of our dear friend Vera Edwards. Born in California but raised in Mallorca, Vera has lived around the world (including Northern California where we initially met her!), but returned to Mallorca six years ago. Today, she lives in a small beach town on the southeastern coast, making oil paintings in a studio that was formerly her grandmother’s home. 


Her grandmother Anne is a lifelong artist who has created stone sculptures out of the studio where Vera now paints — it’s easy to imagine blissfully slow days spent here, picking fruit from blooming trees, surrounded by nature and a view of a monastery in the distant hills. No distractions, only quiet. 


Vera is one of the most inspiring women we know, both for her ability to find and create beauty seemingly anywhere, and also for her perspective on living and moving through the world with ease. Amid this moment when the only thing that feels knowable is that all things change, Vera’s perspective on embracing the journey feels just right.



 

 Vera in the Sophie Crop, Natural  

  

  

  





If you're asked to provide a brief "bio", where do you begin?

I've lived in many places, and my family is such a mix... I usually say I'm from the world. Mallorca now feels the most like home. I currently live in a small beach down called Portocolom, and my art studio is in the countryside house where my grandmother lived for 32 years.

I'm an oil painter, and I have always been interested in figure painting — in the last year it has become much clearer to me what my message is through painting... that my paintings are more like mantras. I want [them to communicate ideas] that keep us moving forward [and] convey themes I want to keep in my daily life. Trust, presence, letting go...

These ideas come through in my images. Figures without faces, tropical landscapes done with a quick brushstroke, soft tones that integrate into the canvas; the purposely unfinished.





As someone who has lived around the world and returned to Mallorca — what have you learned about the biggest contributors to your quality of life?

What I love about life is the journey and living in the present moment, so having time to do the things I love and enjoying the slow pace of life on the island is just right for me. 

I think I would have never gotten to this level of balance if I was not here where there are less distractions and more time to be creative. For me, it's the simple things that make life better — I realize I need very little to feel happy. I feel very grateful for what I have, and especially for loving what I do. Having a drive and purpose in life is crucial.  





Can you share more about your relationship to impermanence? And how has your life looked in the last month as a result of the quarantine?

When I moved here our storage unit with all our belongings burned down back in Venice — while it was very sad at the time, I saw it as a huge sign that there was no need to go back to California. I have always been one to go with the flow, and every time I'd moved it was always done with only a plane ticket, a small suitcase, and not much of a plan ahead.

I don't see myself staying here forever either; I think it's better not to build expectations. I know I can be happy in many places even though I have created a beautiful life here. The one things I know is everything is always changing in life.

These strange times we are living in right now require us to live in the present, day by day. I think that's a gift. I feel a huge freedom to take this time to both create work and work on myself. Outside the studio, I have been meditating and doing yoga most days, painting, playing the ukulele, and planting a vegetable garden. I really have great hopes that this quarantine will make people reconsider what their priorities are in life... it's beautiful to see how many people have come together now that we are all separated. Maybe we've been given this time to remind ourselves who we really are and what we need out of life. 

 

  

  

 

Vera in her studio in Mallorca





 

Vera's grandmother, Annie Berthelot, 1982

 

 

Sculpture by A. Berthelot

  

  

  

  

 

  





What is a typical day like for you in Mallorca (outside of quarantined life)?

 

I usually start the day with a walk to the beach passing by all the little Mallorquin boats: I love the smell of the sea early in the morning and I will usually go for a swim. Most days I have a coffee and a typical breakfast sandwich 'pamboli' at the old man's cafe. Then, I head to the studio where I spend most of the day, surrounded by almond trees, lemon trees, and flowers.

I love seeing the different seasons come and go — the colors of the spring are so vibrant. It's truly a paradise we have! I have the occasional studio visit where friends come by, or we do the occasional outdoor paella in my studio on Sundays.

 

When do you feel the most centered or beautiful? When do you feel the most uncentered or removed from your true self?

 

I feel the most centered when I'm doing my work. Time can fly by. Or when I'm traveling on my own, which can be one of the best ways to know yourself and feel centered.

I think I am most removed from my true self when I'm overthinking, or when I don't keep clear boundaries. I need a lot of time on my own to create and recharge, so it took me a long time to learn to say 'no'. In general I'm trying to be the observer in my life, and take a step back before a trigger that might uncenter me does.

 

See more of Vera's paintings on her site here, or  her Instagram here. More of Annie's sculptures can be found on her Instagram here

  

  

 

 

 

 

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