My name is Ivette Kjelsrud (Cywiak). My friends call me Ive.
I create Art from my studio, Ivez Natural Art, in Huson, outside of Missoula, Montana.
I specialize in original acrylic and oil landscape and nature paintings, mixed media, acrylic transfers and driftwood decorations.
I love Montana’s Nature. Its serenity and splendor reignited my creativity, which had been dormant for many years.
I arrived in Montana in the fall of 2010 to visit an old friend, just another stop in a wonderful year of backpacking from the southernmost tip of the American continent, all the way through South and Central America, before heading back home. Little did I know at the time that this place would turn out to be Home, and more than finding a husband in Montana, I would find my calling, or my calling would find me. In hindsight everything makes perfect sense, as if the Artist in me was waiting for the right place and atmosphere to be unleashed.
There are a few recurrent themes in my art: The Sea, Butterflies and trees, which represent my permanent longing for exploration and distance shores. The trees represent stability that I sometimes seem to lack, due to my adventurous nature.
I’m a dreamer, and that is the essence of my art.
My artwork comes from a passion for photography, which taught me to observe and look at the world differently. Most of my paintings are named after songs, music being another great passion of mine, unfortunately one which I have no talent for. Nevertheless I can associate almost anything with a song.
Creating art for me is like a microcosm of life: Some days the paintings paint themselves and it seems that I’m only watching as the colors jump right into place in perfect harmony, short, sweet, perfect. Other days it takes more effort until I see results, and some days, which are quite frustrating, no matter how much effort I put into it, it just doesn’t seem to come out right and the more I try the worse it gets. So either I walk away and try another day or… end up painting the canvas white and start over.
I was born in Colombia and raised in Guatemala and Israel. I moved to Montana in 2010, after spending a year living in England, 3 years in Italy and a year backpacking across South and Central America, to be reunited with a long-lost love. We got married in 2011.
I am basically self-taught, although born to a very artistic family. My favorite pastime growing up was drawing, painting and sculpting and I began studies towards a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Haifa in 1996, however I felt formal art studies were stifling my creativity and I left after one year, not to hold a brush again for the next 15 years. I later returned to the University of Haifa and acquired a BA in Geography and Environmental studies.
In the following years I worked as a shipbroker and in marketing in a biotech company, pursuing my other skills. In 2006 I moved to Europe. Most of the next four years were spent outdoors, camping, cycling, canoeing and traveling, with two major trips to Africa and China. I earned my living teaching languages and developed a passion for photography and the art and architecture of Italy.
Not feeling I had accomplished myself career-wise and lacking direction, I decided to follow a lifelong dream, and in January 2010 I set off to travel by myself back to the place I was born. I bused my way up from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina all the way up to Guatemala. That trip, through a strange twist of fate, brought me to Montana in the fall of 2010.
Being self taught I learn a lot from painting to painting and I feel improvement as I go along. (With the kind, long distance guidance of my mom).
I’m always creating something, although currently concentrating on acrylic paintings, I work in a variety of styles and mediums, which represent my taste for diversity, and like to use repurposed and found objects in my work. Nothing goes to waste; I see artistic potential in almost everything!
I hope my art gives viewers a glimpse into my world and to the world as seen through my eyes.