Havre de Grace Patch sits down with local artist Auralea Krieger to discuss the couture collages and the character of her new book of short stories, a young girl named Ophelia. Krieger, originally a graphic designer with her own freelance business, turned to art to support herself when the economy slumped and her freelance work slowed.
PATCH: What is your preferred form of art? How did you develop the interest?
Mixed media collage. I developed my interest because I have always loved design in any form, especially in art papers and handmade papers.
PATCH: When did you begin creating your art and how did you learn?
I started the collages about two years ago, but have always been creating art in one form or another. I just kept trying different things until I was happy with this result. I like that I can express my writing in my visual art.
PATCH: What kinds of things inspire you?
At the moment I am very inspired by the Ophelia's stories. The more I write the more I want to create art pieces. I also create couture collage, which is inspired by fashion, personal feelings about being a woman as well as people I meet every day. I believe that everyone has his or her own story and you will never know someone until you listen.
PATCH: What pieces are you most proud of and why?
For my couture collage, I am very proud of "Untouchable", which recently sold as my highest end piece. As far as my character Ophelia, who is also featured in some of my collages, it would be my book. Ophelia emerged from the rolling fog in my creative conscious. I just knew I had to get her image onto canvas to see who she was. This is when I created my first Ophelia collage, Worn and Torn. That piece expressed my heartbreak after my father passed two years ago. After that, I named her and then I was overcome by stories about who she was and who her friends were. I couldn’t stop writing; even in the middle of the night I would wake up and start typing! I am absolutely convinced that writing about her helped me to heal after I had lost my father. I know his spirit has been with me on every part of my Ophelia journey. I even recently had a vivid dream where he told me to keep pushing forward and that all the sacrifices would be worth it in the end.
PATCH: What are your ties to Havre de Grace?
I was born and raised in Harford County. My biggest tie to Havre de Grace is my father. When I was younger, he raced sailboats on the and docked at the in town. I would spend hours playing in the marina and I remember walking around town with him and visiting the shops. Later in life, we always had lunch in Havre de Grace and after he passed, I held his memorial there as well. He loved the water and the charm of the town just as I do now.
PATCH: Where would you like to take your art in the future?
I don't tend to map things out anymore because it seems I continue to end up in such wonderful places in my life that were never part of my plan. As long as I can keep expressing my creativity and it happens to make the world a more beautiful place then I am successful.