Right now, I am staring at a watercolor print that is one of the only things that brightens up my rather depressing cubicle. It reads “Beyond fear there is joy” and, I kid you not, I stare at it at least once a day to try and remind myself that being an adult — and doing adult things like paying my bills and not spending my entire life watching Gilmore Girls — doesn’t have to be so scary. If I accept it, it could even be, I don’t know … joyous? (I am not totally convinced, but I’m getting there.)
The print was painted by Philly artist Allison Krosnick, who helms the company Hand-Painted Yoga, which she launched out of her Bella Vista home in early November. The words are local yoga instructor Emile Sorger’s — words he often says in his classes, and words that Krosnick feels can help people take their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives. In my case, it’s totally working.
Krosnick went to Drexel for graphic design, but as she explains, “I’ve always had a strong pull toward fine arts. Anything that sort of makes me a little more loose.” Three years ago, she launched a wedding card business called Hand-Painted Weddings, which was her sole business focus until Hand-Painted Yoga, but that’s not to say she wasn’t thinking about how to put yoga on a page.
Krosnick, who practices yoga daily at Amrita in Fishtown, says, “I’ve been lucky because I’ve had a lot of teachers, like Emile, who’ve brought a lot of yoga philosophy into my practice, so I’ve been able to bring the practice off my mat and into my life. That’s huge. But it took me a long time to figure out how I was going to contribute my art to the yoga community.” Not too long ago, she realized she could easily work some of the yoga philosophy she got in class, like Emile’s phrases, into her work. She pitched the idea to Emile, he was on board with putting some of his phrases on paper, and Hand-Painted Yoga was born. She now has a collection of 12 watercolor paintings incorporating Emile’s phrases — “Let go,” Come up for air, then dive to the bottom of the ocean,” “Do the work, let go of the agenda,” and more — that are available in a slew of forms, from greeting cards to prints to calendars.
Krosnick is hoping the work will inspire people in a different way than most of the motivational artwork out there. “There’s so much inspiration around working hard and working diligently,” she says. (Pretty sure she’s looking at you, “Get shit DONE” motivational Instagrams.) “I think there’s something very refreshing about this artwork; it’s about letting go. And I think that can help inform our lives in a different way.”
Krosnick also wanted to work in a way to give back through Hand-Painted Yoga, so she’s in the process of contacting different therapy and wellness centers to donate prints to. “Some of those places where people are going for therapy are very sterile. I think seeing something like ‘Beyond fear there is joy’ could help people who go to these places for treatment,” she explains.
You can check out all of her Hand-Painted Yoga pieces, which range from $15 to $18, here. Who else sees some holiday shopping in their very near future?
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