Social Media has been good to me over the years. I have met many extremely talented artists in music, writing, film, and television. From producers to actors, singers, directors, writers, musicians… and most of them are genuine, caring, amazing humans who end up becoming great friends. This is true of Stacey Wells, who is a highly skilled artist with her paintbrush!
Stacey has a very unique way of painting her subjects so that when you come across one of her works, you immediately know it’s a Stacey Wells without even looking at the name. She has painted some of my very favourite people in the music industry such as Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, the Beatles, Barbara Streisand, and more. I was lucky enough to grab her coffee table book last year with many of her creations in one place.
I met Stacey very early on in my social media journey, we had been talking online for a while and had a bunch of friends in common. Once we had the opportunity to meet in person, we hit it off and have kept in touch ever since, sharing a love for the west coast and especially Los Angeles.
I have been wanting to get her for an interview for a while because I know her work, her stories, and her life will be interesting to so many people. Now, it just so happens that Stacey Wells in Canadian but we all know Addicted is a worldwide entity at this point so I knew sharing her here would bring her to the masses!
Q: You have had such huge success as an artist. How did you come to start painting Rock Stars?
Stacey Wells: When I was a teenager, I did a drawing of Rod Stewart off an album cover, and that was when I fell in love with drawing faces. Coincidentally years later Rod pulled me up on stage at two different concerts.
Years later I saw Lucas Rossi competing as a singer on the hit TV show, Rock Star SuperNova. He mesmerized me, and I did a painting of him that still hangs in my home today. I went and saw him perform in Los Angeles at the Viper-Room, followed by a meet and greet with an incredible acoustic performance by Rossi, in his home. Lucas Rossi was amazing, but that night I also fell in love with the opening act. The music, the lyrics, the stage lighting, and their cool rocker looks, I was so inspired I painted the lead singer. Eventually, I painted artworks of the whole band. I particularly fell in love with painting the drummer, I loved the play of the stage lighting on the cymbals, the action and flying hair. They were a huge inspiration for my art and shows and I gained treasured friends.
During that trip to LA I fell in love with the Sunset Strip, the music, the vibe, the people and its history.
I had my first solo gallery show later that year during the Sunset Strip Music Festival. I created a show called “Reflections of the Strip” featuring rock stars that had made it big on the Strip and musicians that are making their way today. It was exciting to celebrate the Strip with its community. It became my passion to capture the essence of the Rock Stars, the history of the Sunset Strip, and beyond.
The show became an annual art show celebrating and commemorating the Sunset Strip, the musicians and unique characters that create the fabric of the legendary Sunset Strip. It was for this show that I created my first “Reflect your Passion” artwork. A painting of a local Rock Star wearing shades, reflecting famous Sunset Strip venues; the Viper Room and the Roxy. This spun into my popular series of “Reflect your Passion” portraits, featuring people wearing shades, reflecting people, places, and things that they love.
A few years ago I decided I would take my old idea and twist it. I created a painting of Elton John reflecting the Las Vegas sign, it was dynamic and captured the attention of the Hard Rock Hotel International who then commissioned me to create artworks for one of their newest hotels. You can imagine my delight when they called to tell me that they loved my art!
My most recent art celebrating the Sunset Strip was created after the passing of Metal God, Lemmy Kilmister. It’s a painting of Lemmy wearing shades with the lenses reflecting the famous Rainbow Bar and Grill, Lemmy’s favourite hangout on the Strip.
Q: What has been your best reaction from one of the musicians/celebrities who have seen your work of them?
Stacey Wells: I was scrolling through Twitter one day and saw a picture of Steven Tyler holding one of my paintings of him in a gallery in Wailea, Hawaii. I called the owner of the Celebrities Gallery to get the whole story. He said that Steven saw the art and was mesmerized, and had to have it. He left the gallery with it, and it hangs in his bedroom alongside famed Sebastian Kruger’s art. Such a thrill.
Sadly, I was not there to see him. I hope to meet Steven Tyler someday as he has been a great inspiration for my art.
My favourite claim to fame is that my art hangs in several celebrity’s bedrooms. Steven Tyler, Sean Stewart and Hugh Hefner who loved my art so much I was invited to the Playboy Mansion for dinner. In fact, I was the last invited guest to visit the Playboy Mansion.
Q: Have you always been into painting? At what age did you know THIS was something you wanted and needed to be doing?
Stacey Wells: I’ve been interested in art since I was a child. I was creative, and it was something that always made me feel happy. My mom supported my love of art. I love being alone with my imagination. It’s like a secret garden that is so beautiful and fun, filled with adventure. I feel lucky!
As an adult, I went on a wine tour with my girlfriends. After tasting wine so good it was Rock Star worthy I created my ”RockStar Reflections,” paintings of wine bottles reflecting good times had with music and wine, essentially capturing time in a bottle. This art fast became a collectable series. I was invited by the ROCK STAR gallery to hang my art at a private event with Gene Simmons. That began my wild and wonderful adventure as an artist.
Q: Who haven’t you painted that you would love to do?
Stacey Wells: That’s a tough one, I love unique and quirky subjects. I am dying to paint Hosier. I fell in love with his song “Someone New” in particular the lyrics- “I fall in love just a little ol’ little bit, Every day with someone new.” and “Love with every stranger, the stranger the better” I feel like these lyrics describe perfectly how I feel in my studio, each day, I fall in love with someone new on my easel, the stranger the better! It’s exciting. I realize the song’s meaning is far more risqué than that but for me, I relate it to my love of the subjects that I paint, it’s as though they were written just for me. And that is the feeling I hope people get with my art. I’ve finished my design for a Hosier painting so everyone will get to enjoy it soon.
Often, I will plan to paint someone, and a greater inspiration of that moment comes along to put that one on hold. Timing is everything. I follow my passions and instincts; they always lead me in the right direction.
Q: You put your work into a book recently which I absolutely love. That must have been fun to do! Are there some still available?
Stacey Wells: I’m thrilled to say that my first book, “Wells World” sold out! It was fun to put together a compilation of my art. It was especially cool to see it in print. I’m so happy you and everyone loved it. It was fun personalizing them for the many people who have supported me and my art since the beginning. I’m excited to say I’ve got a new book in the works that will feature my wine art series.
People can pre-order “WELLS World, Wine” on my website store, now.
Q: You must have some great stories from your travels with your work and the people you have been able to meet. Who stands out or what stories are your favourite?
Stacey Wells: I’ve got a few favourite stories.
I once spent 15 hours with Dennis Rodman after meeting him at a favourite haunt, The Abbey in West Hollywood.
Hugh Hefner hung my art in his bedroom at the Playboy Mansion and loved it so much I was invited to the Mansion for dinner.
I’d love to share one that I haven’t ever told in an interview.
I got a call from Sean Stewart, the son of Rod Stewart. He had seen my art in LA. He said, “I love your art” and asked if I would bring a few paintings over. He had mentioned a couple that he liked, and I brought along a few others. One was a favourite of mine but was a bit controversial, as many people didn’t understand it. “Lips Like Jagger” was a painting of a young Mick Jagger with a needle in his lips. When I first posted it people were upset about it as they thought the needle was heroin. In fact, the needle was a Restylane needle, poking fun at the pop culture of lip fillers and people wanting lips like Jagger. I felt it was a very special artwork. I knew it would go to someone unique and special.
As I arrived, he helped me unload the art. “Lips Like Jagger” was the first one he grabbed, and he never let it go. It was love at first sight. He later told me he hung it above his bed in his bedroom.
Q: Can you describe yourself in three hashtags?
Stacey Wells: #passionate #unique #clever #innovative , did I mention I push boundaries? Ha ha
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
Stacey Wells: Music! I always paint with music on! It is inspirational and relaxing, music makes me feel happy
I think the world could live more peacefully without greed.
Q: Where can people find you and your work online?
Stacey Wells: My art can be found on www.artistwells.com you can also follow me on Facebook @ Stacey Wells Artist https://www.facebook.com/staceywells.artist/ Instagram @artistwells https://www.instagram.com/artistwells/
Q: What’s up next for Stacey Wells and her magnificent artwork?
Stacey Wells: I had some exciting events planned including unconventional shows but with the pandemic happening now, I will put them on hold temporarily and go with the flow adapting to the happenings.
I think one of my best qualities as an artist, innovator and business owner is my ability to be spontaneous and creative given any circumstance. Challenges and roadblocks make me even more creative.
Much of my art is now sold before it is created, I get calls from all over the world for custom art. It is such a joy to create something personal for them that tells their story and reflects their passion. I love creating art that makes people happy everyday.
I have become known as a ”mixologist” of the art world, combining music, pop culture, wine, humour and passion in my unique and edgy, pop style artworks. I am planning on flexing my creative muscles and having even more fun with my art.
I do have some big projects in the works but most of my art projects are confidential whether they are for large corporations or custom orders for individuals so I can’t share anything yet. People can get news about my art and upcoming events by subscribing to my website. www.artistwells.com or following me on social media.
Thank you, for the reminisce!