Abstract Art|Denice Lewis
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Born in Lynchburg, VA.  My father was an engineer for a major oil company so we were constantly relocating to various states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Georgia, Mississippi and Maryland.  Finally, when I was approximately 12 years old we settled in Houston, TX where I grew up, living with my parents until I was 19.

My first career was as a professional cosmetologist.  I worked for three years at a salon called Menchacas.  I left there and went to work for the very prestigious Gemelli and Pierre.  It was during my tenure there that another salon from New York city named Bumble and Bumble came to Houston to participate with us in a local hair show.  Andre, from Bumble and Bumble, asked me to be a model in the hair show, rather than a stylist, as he thought I was very pretty.  After the show, they asked me to come to New York to try modeling. 
Two weeks later I was happily ensconced in Manhattan.  That was 1983.  I started with an agency called Legends who dropped me after two weeks--boy, was that a blow.  So, I went over to meet the fine people at Ford Modeling Agency.  They took me on and shipped me off to Italy.  I stayed in Italy for three months, returned to New York for two months, and was shipped back to Italy for another two months.  Boy, did I feel like a heifer!  In those days, the girls worked anywhere from two to three different jobs a day.  I was one of those girls.  They called me Bella, the Italian word for beautiful.  I then returned to New York and to my chagrin, the very next day Ford dropped me--go figure. 

denice lewis baby picture
I went to see John Casablanca at the Elite Modeling Agency and they took me on and shipped me off to London, England for six weeks.  Before I knew it, the six weeks became eight years and I had traveled the world to practically any country you can imagine--working, working, working!  So much so in fact, I had to add pages to my passport because there wasn't enough room for all the immigration and visa stamps.  I think I went through three passports during that time. I traveled the world, experienced many cultures, met a lot of amazing people and defined myself.  In 1991, at the height of my career, I decided it was time to become a movie star--kind of, sort of.  Paris Hilton had nothing on me (except for maybe a certain video)!  I relocated to Los Angeles, CA.  I've worked in five feature films and God knows how many television shows and decided that wasn't really for me.  I didn't like being at someone else's disposal. 
So here I am.  Now, I want to share with you one of my very favorite trips that was the pivotal point in the discovery of my spiritual being.  The year was 1986, the place was Bali.  I was reading a book by Shirley McLaine called "Out on a Limb." I was staying in a beautiful hotel in Ubud in the middle of a rice paddy. While reading one of the passages from her book, I had an out-of-body experience.  Boy, did that freak me out! 

You have to understand that Bali, Indonesia is probably one of the most spiritual places I have ever been.  They don't even allow babies to touch the ground before they are one year old--they carry them everywhere.  They have temples in the cars, their cities, their homes.  They have a tremendous respect for Spirit.  You can feel in the air, you can smell it, it permeates everything.  Everyone has a smile on their face, joy in their hearts and they really know how to celebrate life.  So much so, in fact, you should see a funeral where friends, family and even strangers celebrate the life of the deceased with a marvelous festive send off.  This ceremony resonated with my spirit, and fast forwarding to the present, serves as the blessing for my "Tribute" series of paintings where I mix the ashes of the dearly departed with my oils and acrylics and paint an abstract expression of their life.  They serve as a lasting memorial to our dear departed loved ones.

Today, Bob Dylan's lyric is my inspiration; "she's got everything she needs, she's an artist, she don't look back."

Thank you for taking the time to allow me to share with you a little bit of myself with all of you.  Have a beautiful and blessed day.

Press Release November 1, 2004

© 2004-2005.  Denice Lewis.  All rights reserved.