Born and raised in the Catskill mountains of NY, Bayla has found inspiration in backyard animals and the critters under rocks from a very early age. Her work is primarily in watercolors and gouache and depicts botanical and zoological subjects with a focus on environmental issues, ecosystems, and natural history.
Bayla has displayed work with organizations such as the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Missoula Art Museum, Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy NY, and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.
Her work has been featured on album covers for artists such as Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, in museum displays, and even permanently on an oil tank along Interstate 95.
Bayla currently lives and works in New Haven Connecticut with a scientist, parrot, chameleon, a variety of poison dart frogs, and a snake.
What’s your preferred medium to paint? Have you tried different mediums before?
My preferred medium is watercolor. I chose watercolors a long time ago because of how easy it is to set up, clean up, and travel with them. Over the years my practice has gotten a little more complicated, using multiple color sets, and painting on unconventional surfaces such as wood or calfskin vellum, but it is still nothing compared to the set up and supplies needed for oil painting or other 2D mediums. In the past I have tried oil and acrylic paint, and would love to dive in again one day when I have the space.
Favorite living artists?
Favorite living artists today are Teagan White, Mab Graves, Alessandra Maria, Alex Louisa, Tiffany Bozic, Lisa Ericson, Katrina Haffner, Zoe Keller, ....just to name a few.
I think I have to say the Yale Center for British Art because I work there as a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Prints & Drawings. It's a wonderful museum with a great collection of 15th century portrait miniatures and lots of natural history art. I also find most of my inspiration from Natural History Museums, and visit every time I am in a new city.
What’s the meanest thing someone has said about your art? How did you respond?
I'm sure folks have criticized my work but it must not have bothered me much because I can't remember. I actually really appreciate good critiques and criticism because it pushes me to do better next time.
Who was you biggest supporter when you decided to pursue art as a career?
I am lucky to have parents who supported me pursuing art as a career, and encouraged me to go to school for illustration and art history. I'm honestly not sure I would let my kids go to art school though, I think so much of success comes down to who you know unfortunately. Sometimes I wonder if a business degree is the smarter way to go because being a working artist is 100% running a business.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to make art for a living?
As I mentioned above, although it's not what I did, I often wonder if getting a business degree would be a smart move. Otherwise...practice a ton, sleep when you're dead, find the hours that you are most productive and use them to your advantage.Bayla's Favorite Trekell Products:
One of my favorite Trekell products is the Gesso Primed Wood Panel. I draw my composition in pencil and then do three layers of clear watercolor ground, lightly sanding in between dry layers. I also love Trekell brushes and right now have a bunch of the Limited Edition Black Taklons I'm working through.
If you'd like a chance to be one of our featured artists, click here!