In Conversation with Olivia Cooner

 Olivia, better known as @pettingdogs, is constantly testing the boundaries of her creative side that encompasses her artistic style and message. We briefly chatted with Olivia to find out a little more about her, her process, and vision.

 Olivia wears The Throwback Straight in Medium Denim

Your art is so beautiful! Tell us more about Sandstone Market.

Thank you so much! Sandstone Market is a project I started back in 2020 - I'm a classically trained painter, but hadn't touched art in years before the pandemic. I'm mostly inspired by desert tones and rock formations - I lived in AZ for a year. It was absolutely beautiful but I went through hell there, so this project started as a sort of therapy to work through the experiences I went through there. It's been super healing for me to tap back into art through Sandstone.

What is inspiring you creatively these days?

I just drove across the country from Oregon to NC, seeing the drastic change of landscape from coast to coast has drawn up so much inspiration for me - I have a few projects in the works that are inspired from that trip (especially from seeing Yellowstone) that I can't wait to share soon!

Olivia wears The Nautical Wide Leg in Eucalyptus

Does your art influence your personal style?

Absolutely. And vice versa. I actually hope to tap into overlapping these two things a little more this year - I just learned to sew and want to work on a clothing line at some point.

We saw you recently moved. Do you feel your new city will influence your artistic expression?

Hugely. The creative scene and inspiration that Asheville has to offer is so vast, from art galleries and open working studios to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains - it's overwhelming. I grew up part of the time near Asheville and it was definitely a huge influence for the beginning of my artistic journey. And it's so different than Oregon. There's history of folk art here that I'm interested in learning more about and studying  I started a 'Quilt Series' that's hugely inspired by the folk art scene that lives in Applachia.

Color seems to be a big part of your artwork. What color palette are you most drawn to right now?

I've always had and will always have a thing for desert tones - but I've been experimenting with working in cooler tones too, especially pairing lilac with desert tones. 


Who are a few artists you admire?

Maruja Mallo, Georgia O'Keefe, Mark Maggiori - kind of all over the board here, but they are all my biggest artistic inspirations.

What's next for Sandstone Market?

My vision for Sandstone Market has always been more of a collective offering than just showcasing my paintings (hence 'Market' in the name) - I'm a collector of rock specimens, vintage objects, ceramics, and I eventually want to share that with the world. I'd love to make my own ceramics, and as I mentioned before, a clothing line too. What's next is basically streamlining all of my ideas in a way that makes the most sense. I'm also starting to go back to my classically trained roots and mix more realism into my paintings. I have so many ideas that I'm so excited to share now that I'm settled here in NC.

July 22, 2022
Tags: Interviews