Monday, October 27, 2014

First Art: Sedona by Sebastian Alappat

I've been meaning to write about the wonderful painting that Sourabh and I commissioned from Sebastian Alappat for a while now, but I wanted to do it in the context of a home tour. Unfortunately, it turns out that putting together our apartment has taken much longer than we expected. And by "much longer" I mean, it's kind of fallen by the wayside. Things are more or less put together, but I don't feel like the apartment is 100% settled into or deserving of an apartment tour.

Since I didn't want to put off posting about the painting forever, I figured I'd share the process and painting now! 

Sourabh and I both liked the idea of getting some original art that would make our apartments feel more like a home. One thing we both love about my parents' home is how they've filled it with art, and we hope to do the same thing. Sebastian and I discussed the piece of art over the summer, however I had basically no idea of what I wanted or where I wanted to go with a piece. 

I had some vague ideas, but really no direction. Sebastian helped me narrow down to the travel/journey concept. I wanted to use maps, so we decided to uses pieces of maps from places that Sourabh and I have lived. 

From there, I talked about the colors I imagined. I wanted to use the palette of the American Southwest -- the vivid oranges, the deep blues. I sent some pictures from Sourabh and my road trip last year, and Sebastian instantly picked up on the snapshots from Sedona. Both Sourabh and I loved Sedona, so it seemed like a natural fit. 

Sebastian based the painting on this picture I snapped of the rock we hiked/ran around:

I wanted a more modern/abstract take on it -- something chunky, with an almost finger painted quality -- so the painting is in no way meant to be a mirror image. Instead, it's more of an inspiration point.

What I realized after we decided on this picture as inspiration was that it's actually Courthouse Rock. Pretty apt since both Sourabh and I work in the legal field!

Since our cross-country move came together so quickly, there was a bit of a scramble to get the painting completed so that it could be properly shipped. We didn't want to have to worry about taking a 3 ft by 3 ft painting on a plane! 

On moving day last month, Sebastian dropped off the finished work:

I was elated to see it, but unfortunately it immediately got packed up and stored on a moving truck for three weeks! 

In the last week of September, our furniture finally arrived and we were able to permanently unwrap the painting. It's currently hanging above our couch, adding some vibrant color to our living room.

From far away you can't see the map detail, but if you take a closer look, you can see the maps showing through. There are pieces of maps of places we've lived or, in the case of Chicago, places that are meaningful to us.  

It was so much fun to collaborate with Sebastian on this piece and see the beautiful finished product. Sebastian also does some really cool yoga and comics-inspired work. Sebastian is married to my awesome former trainer, Amanda, which is how I learned about his work, and it's allowed me to see a lot of his pieces in progress, which has been really neat. I am so excited to watch him continue to build his artwork collection, even if I can no longer see it in person!


  1. Woah, that is very cool! And sophisticated and adult-like to commission artwork. ;) Also glad to hear you guys are settling in nicely. It took for-ev-er for my apartment to finally feel like home. As in, I've been here for two years, and now it feels homey thanks to some plants and new throw pillows.

  2. Thanks for much for this fantastic write up Jenn. I'm so honored to have this piece hanging in your home for years to come. Best of luck to you both out west, Amanda and I will make our way out there in the future!