Spotlight: Artist Bree Poort aka @justbree


Bree Poort

We recently caught up with California native artist Bree Poort to find out the inspiration behind her resin pieces that creatively reflect the ocean and its vibrancy.

Bree wearing Reef Voyage Side

Tell us about your style of painting.

Resin moves like water (which is why I started it in the first place), but I get to move that water-like fluid around, mixing in colors and sometimes textures that connect to the feeling the ocean gives me.  Resin is also the material used to make surfboards.

Bree Poort
Bree Poort painting with turquoise

What inspires your artwork?

My art is inspired by photography and views taken from the perspective of looking down at the ocean from the sky. I have a drone and that was a huge push to get me started in this art, but my love for surfing, movement in yoga and the energy we pull from balancing life in general is always my inspiration.

Reef Voyage Slide

I grew up in Dana Point/San Clemente surfing with my family and having a connection to the ocean in that way, is generational. It is something I can share with my loved ones and seeing this art grow and drive deeper has been so progressive for me. As I study the ocean for my art I have noticed I am becoming more in tune with myself as a surfer, water-woman and photographer. 

My favorite thing is taking videos of the ocean patterns with my drone and watching the waves and water move above the sand. To see the water crashing on the sand or the pull of the tides is calming to me. I try to channel that into my artwork as best as I can, to give the ocean the respect she deserves. 

Yoga has everything to do with my life as an artist. I didn't expect to grow this quickly in my art form and didn't expect the baggage that comes with putting your life on blast. I have yoga to go back to when I am in solitude and trying to find the calm in the storms that swirl around me. I have certain playlists I listen to while I paint and I like to kind-of move/dance around the painting and give it my full attention like I would during a yoga practice. I focus on my breathing, my posture and my mindfulness when I paint. Yoga has benefitted my life in more ways than I can count but I'm grateful I have it in my back pocket for stressful moments.

Bree Poort

How does traveling and adventure tie into your lifestyle?

It is something I started doing once I was done with high school and on my own when I could. Once I got married to traveling became more of a priority for both of us. For us, to travel and understand the way others live in their environments is so cool to see. The connection we make with the places we travel to and people we meet highly influences my artwork and how I want to be as a human being in the world. 

Bree blending colors

For someone wanting to try to paint, what would you say is the best way to get started?

My best advice is to get a blank anything. Paper, canvas, wood. Go to your local store and buy some cheap paints. Get creative with the tools you use to paint with. There is no right or wrong way to paint, and putting color on a blank white canvas is so therapeutic. If that doesn't satisfy your love for painting I recommend taking a workshop where you learn from another artist in person. Every artist has some good advice and opinions when it comes to painting, you may not agree with everything they have to offer but I bet you will leave that class feeling fulfilled and inspired to keep creating. 

Bree Poort

Do you have a simple DIY for someone getting started?

A fun DIY is grab some white acrylic paint and one other color of your choice and a canvas. Take some cups or bowls and fill them with different mixtures of your two paints (white/other color). Put on some gloves and stick your hands into the paint. Place the paint on the board and get messy. Watch the colors mend and mesh, use your fingers, paint brush, q-tip, sponge or anything you have on hand.

Enjoy the process and soak in those colors.

Bree Poort

What does #justpassingthrough mean to you?

 You know that term "tread lightly"? That's what I think of when I see or write #justpassingthrough. We are here on this earth to be creators of some form. I hope while I am in this earth I can influence others to create a life of abundance, strength and love. I want to pass through this life, my travels and my passions with light and love. I am not here to stomp on something or someone else, I am here to make a beautiful mess while also leaving this world better than I found it.

Reef Voyage Slide

How do you put a spin on Reef Sandals by painting them and giving them your own flavor?

As I was painting this round piece, I put the first layer of acrylic on while I was wearing the shoes. Naturally the paint will drip onto the ground and when I'm not paying attention, it will drip on my feet. I end up getting quite messy when I am painting, so I just allowed the shoes to get messy in the process. As I was waiting for some of the paint to form and move before adding the resin I felt like putting my signature into the sole of the shoe. 

Bree adding her own flair to her Voyage Slide sandals

These Reef Voyage slippers are my daily house slippers. I have nicknamed these shoes my "Zen shoes" because when I am wearing them with my kimono from the Sri Lanka travels, I feel like I am in my little living room turned paint studio. My painting is meditative and I am constantly crouching, walking around barefoot that shoes while painting have become a necessity.

Bree's custom Reef Voyage Slide sandals
Reef Voyage Slide

Is there anything else you want to add about yourself?

As I have traveled through this last year of art, adventure, and lots of flights; I have learned that life can throw us some really difficult trials. It is up to us if we want to catch and hold onto them or if we want to let them go and move on. With every art piece I do, I do with gratitude and love. I hope that I can influence others to turn the negative into positivity or to let go of what doesn't serve them. So write a letter, do a piece of art, make a flower arrangement or get creative everyday. Put your struggles and joys into that creative process, then it's up to you whether you want to keep it or let it go.

The final art piece
Bree Poort's artwork

Learn more about Bree's work at justbree.com and check her out on Instagram!

Photos by Bobby Poort.

And don't forget to check out the Reef Voyage Slide and the rest of the Reef Voyage family.