Happy Accidents in Amaranth Ehrenhalt’s NY Studio with Erika Astrid

Many an artist will attest to the fact that there are no mistakes, only happy accidents, moments and strokes that turn whatever you thought you were creating into something else entirely. When the process starts making its own decision and the muse in the corner gets a say we often end up with the kind of work that defines a career, or at the very least, makes one hell of an afternoon.

On a recent shooting trip in New York, photographer and painter Erika Astrid, was open to the whims of chance. She had little plan in place, and was struck with the dreary kind of weather that feels so New York. With nowhere to shoot, the stylist offered up a place across town. After a thirty-minute ride into east Harlem from Greenwich, she found herself shooting in the studio of artist Amaranth Ehrenhalt.

It is the kind of location that feels akin to church when it comes to art. Where so much creative energy flows, and so many hours have been spent practicing mastering and messing up, there is an undeniable force in the walls. A painter herself, Astrid fell in love with the stacks of watercolors and oil paintings covering, and the mystique and bones of the old building. The afternoon and the images that followed are the sort of happy accident one can only hope for.

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“Joan Mitchell once asked me, in Paris, why I want to paint. I do not know if I want to paint” or do not “want to paint. It is just something that I do- like breathing and moving, walking and talking. I cannot imagine my life without it.”

– Amaranth Ehrenhalt

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