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Celebrity artist drawn to the Comox Valley by its natural beauty

Her art has taken her around the world, and given her the opportunity to meet some of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars and now Stacey Wells calls the Comox Valley home.

Her art has taken her around the world, and given her the opportunity to meet some of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars and now Stacey Wells calls the Comox Valley home.

“My daughters were both working here as nurses, so we decided we would move over… and both my sisters are here as well, and my parents were here before they passed away,” said Wells.

“So my family has been here a while. It kind of feels like a second home for me.

“The bonus is, it’s absolutely gorgeous here. The beach walks, the colours, the glacier, I’m just blown away. There is so much inspiration here.”

Wells’s art has caught the eyes of everyone from Arrowsmith lead singer Steven Tyler and Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, to NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman and Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp.

“I like to say I am a bit of a mixologist of music, wine, pop culture and humour,” said Wells.

Wells’s launch into stardom was sparked by her wine bottle art - paintings of wine bottles featuring intricate designs and portraits.

She said the wine bottle art was inspired by a trip to the Napa Valley with some friends, where they tasted some wine from Cosentino Winery that “was so good, it was rock-star worthy.”

“We bought a bottle of it to take with us for dinner that night, but we forgot it in the hotel. So the next morning, we were leaving, and I grabbed the bottle of wine and we sat on the patio and drank it with our breakfast like a rock star would. The wine bottle was sitting in the sun, and it looked so pretty with the reflections coming off of it.”

Wells put her sunglasses around the wine bottle, took a picture of it, and ultimately made a painting from the photo.

She sent a photo of the painting to the winery and thanked them for their hospitality.

“The manager sent back a message saying ‘oh my gosh, we love your art. What else can you do?’

“So I thought, well, I can’t just do paintings of wine bottles with sunglasses wrapped around them, that would be boring. So how can I reflect the good times had with music and wine? So I started reflecting rock stars… within a year of creating that series, I was invited to my very first gallery show, at the ROCK STAR Gallery in Scottsdale. They invited me to hang my art at a private event with Gene Simmons, and my art hung on either side of his Kiss Axe base guitar. So that was my introduction and it kind of spun from there. My Rockstar Reflections became very popular, and it spun into different series… Hollywood and Wine, Spin the Bottle, which featured Playboy centrefolds.”

The Spin The Bottle series garnered Wells an invite to the Playboy Mansion, where she dined with Hugh Hefner and his wife, Crystal.

She has also created celebrity portraits, some of which are owned by the celebrities themselves.

Her earliest brush with fame came when she was 15.

“I did a drawing of Rod Stewart, off an album cover, and he pulled me onstage twice, in Vancouver, at two different concerts, which was fun.”

She eventually received a phone call from Rod’s son, Sean, who purchased several pieces of her art.

Arrowsmith’s Tyler discovered Wells’s artwork while in Hawaii.

“I saw a picture on Twitter of Steven Tyler with one of my paintings, so I quickly called the gallery (in Hawaii) and he said that Steven absolutely loved it, had to have it, and walked out of the gallery with it later that night. (The gallery owner) said he had gone to hang some more artwork for Steven and it was hanging in his bedroom alongside (pieces from) other famous artists. So that was kind of cool.”

Wells has been commissioned for her artwork by some noteworthy businesses, such as the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, and the Las Vegas Raiders, for Allegiant Stadium.

“The originals are all hanging in the VIP area of the stadium, the suites. I did a Celine Dion, I did a Siegfried & Roy… so Las Vegas celebrities. And there is an Arrowsmith one there as well.”

Wells has a philanthropic side to her as well. She has donated art that has raised over $400,000 to help kids in need and help people survive cancer. She has also provided free art lessons for homeless children in Los Angeles, teens in Scottsdale and school children in Vancouver.

She has a home studio in the Comox Valley and anticipates having some exhibits in the future.

“I am planning some local shows. So I tell people to subscribe to updates on my websites and then they will hear about anything going on.”

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Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 24 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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