This interview with us was featured in the In The Spirit column of the Asheville Mountain Xpress on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. By Jordan Foltz.
WHAT: Messages to the Heart: Reflections of Beauty and Truth reading, book signing and art show with authors Phil and Elise Okrend.
WHEN/WHERE: Book reading and signing at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café, Sunday Feb. 9, 3-5 p.m. Art display at Hotel Indigo, Wednesday Feb. 12, 5-7 p.m.
WHY: Compiled by Asheville couple Phil and Elise Okrend, Messages to the Heart combines Elise’s pastel paintings with Phil’s poetic passages inspired by his years as a life coach. The Okrends spoke with Xpress about the book’s creation:
Mountain Xpress: What have you found that this book is able to convey through the combination of prose and imagery that your individual works were unable to carry on their own?
Elise: When my art is paired with Phil’s passages, we are asking the reader to go deeper. We allow them to have a feeling about the art, but we ask them to reflect about a part of themselves through the passage. How does it make them feel? How can they allow themselves to have a different perspective? How are they inspired? We consciously tried to match the passages to the paintings by sensing what feeling or emotion the art was calling forth.
Phil: If you think about a memorable song, the lyrics and the melody may stand on their own as an artistic piece of work, but it is the joining of those media that creates something lasting with more impact to the listener. … Together, the art and words carry more impact than if just left by themselves. I also love the idea of having my words not just as a book to read, but as an object of design and beauty that can be a part of someone’s home.
For more information, go to Messages to the Heart.