Home & Garden

Immersed in aesthetics

Kim Van Nordstrand with her daughter Nikita.
ArtSea, Morro Bay
Photo by Rebecca Juretic
Design Notebook 7-27-11
Kim Van Nordstrand with her daughter Nikita. ArtSea, Morro Bay Photo by Rebecca Juretic Design Notebook 7-27-11

Art permeates nearly every facet of Kim Van Nordstrand’s life, spilling out into her Morro Bay shop, ArtSea. Van Nordstrand was a decorative artist for 25 years in Orange County and moved to Los Osos in 2008 to take a property management job. “I was always around artists in Laguna, and I missed that,” she said. She pur chased a 1960s cottage and gave it her signature artful, winsome and whimsical style. She repainted, put up an old picket fence, planted a fairy garden in the yard and even spent three months covering the floor in a nauticalthemed mosaic using pieces of stained glass.

ArtSea opened last summer. It is aco-op of artists and artisans, all from San Luis Obispo County, selling items primarily for the home and garden.

Van Nordstrand sells her own mosaic pieces, including mirrors and birdhouses. Mosaics commonly use tiles, broken plates, marbles and the like. Her own style of mosaic also incorporates shells and iridescent shards of stained glass. She has created versions of the shop’s stained glass floor for clients. She calls it a“Mardi Gras” floor because it looks like a scattering of confetti on the ground.

Paint is another important medium for Van Nordstrand. At age 16, she took her first job as a house painter. By 24, she was the head painter for the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. Not long after, she was creating her own finishes for the design industry as well as for corporations such as Home Depot.

At ArtSea, she applies her paint prowess to refinishing vintage furniture and architectural elements. Furniture styles at ArtSea include cottage, shabby chic and Asian.

In order to showcase a diverse array of crafts and fine art, she sought out local artisans to bring in their work.

“I tried to find others who do the things I don’t know how to do,” she said.

Among the artists represented at ArtSea is Lani Briceland who creates landscapes, seascapes and animal portraits in pastel. Bonnie Shirkey offers her soy candles made with fragrant essential oils. Jennifer Sonja’s work includes photography and handmade wind chimes.

Van Nordstrand teaches mosaic classes at ArtSea, including kids classes. Her Mosaic Stepping Stone class is offered Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and is $45 for all materials. Private lessons are also available. A class schedule is posted on the website, http://www.artsea-morrobay.com.

ArtSea is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. It is at 736 A Main St. in Morro Bay, 602-1576.