About Lanee (Butler) Beashel
LaneeB.com's Environmentally Friendly Overview of Products and Production
Knowing how important it is to the oceans to keep them clean and garbage free, almost all my materials come from recycling new and used sailcloth obtained from sail-lofts around the world. Here I am working saving the world one bag at a time by using these small pieces of sailcloth that the sailmakers can’t use and turning them into useful and unique bags and canvases instead of ending up in the landfill.
All Handmade Personally
I collect all the materials, cut and design the bags and create them into their own individual style. To me, each bag has a story, from where I got the material, what kind of materials I use and the patterns created that come alive in each piece.
About Lanee becoming an Artist
I have been very fortunate to have traveled all over the globe competing in sailing and windsurfing competitions. I have always been interested in art and inspired by the ocean. Creatively, I am always thinking of ways to portray the different layers of the sea onto a canvas.
Over the years, I have used ceramic, wood, photography, acrylic, oil, sailcloth, webbing, rope and material to express my creative side. Throughout my high school and university years I was able to really challenge myself through different artistic mediums while slowly figuring out which direction I wanted to take.
Since I spent so many years doing Olympic campaigns trying to fundraise and sell ‘Myself’ to potential sponsors, I have stayed away from becoming a commercial artist because I wasn’t ready to put myself out there for public judgement.
I started breaking into the commercial arena by starting my company, WhatKnot, which was born from an idea I had about making a weaved sailcloth and webbing ‘Sailor Girl’ bag. Designing bags became my way to get my creative side into the public eye.
In 2002, I started selling WhatKnot bags leading up to the 2003 America’s Cup in Auckland. Since then, I have made bags for Team New Zealand and numerous other America’s Cup Teams, Yacht Clubs, sailing friends and family all over the world.
Over the last 10 years I have been designing and making all sorts of bags, pillows and nautical home furnishings on a small scale while starting a family traveling around the world.
Although each of my bags and items are all handmade and to me pieces of art, putting something on a canvas is another way to express an idea, moment or feeling and keep it as a snapshot hung on a wall.
I started making these ‘Strandlike’ canvases back in 2005, but only for family members.
In November 2012, I went to see Will Calver at the Ocean Gallery in the Viaduct in Auckland to see what he thought about selling my pieces and that is where I started myself as a commercial artist. I feel I have found an interesting way to use sailcloth, webbing, rope, grommets and transform a canvas into a layered and complex water scene, but in a simple geometric style.
My inspiration comes from a lifetime of being obsessed by the ocean and bodies of water changing through wind and weather. How one moment the water can be glass-like and the next filled with an array of patterns, in a spectrum of different colors, revealing a depth you can't describe into words. To me, my pieces try to depict what I see looking out at the water.
I hope you enjoy them.
Lanee's Background and Resume
Born in Manhasset, New York
Learned how to sail on Long Island Sound during the summers from the age of 6
Grew up in Dana Point, California where I starting windsurfing at the age of 13 in Dana Point Harbor
Graduated from Dana Hills High School in 1988 focusing in Drawing, Photography and Ceramics
Graduated with a Bachelors of Art Degree in 1993, with a concentration in Studio Art, from the University of California at Irvine
Graphic Design Certificate from the College of Graphic Design in Sydney, Australia in 1996
Worked as a Graphic Designer throughout the USA, Australia and New Zealand from 1993-2003 while I was Olympic Campaigning for the sport of Windsurfing, representing the USA
Represented the USA in 4 Olympic Games 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004
As an Olympic athlete, I traveled throughout the world competing in the sport of windsurfing representing America for over 20 years chasing the summer from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere.
Started WhatKnot, my own business making 'Sailor Girl' handbags in Auckland in 2002. I designed and self taught myself how to use an industrial material to sew heavy sailcloth and webbing materials.
2005-2013 I added to boys into the mix, moved and lived in 4 different countries while travelling around with a sewing machine and art supplies keeping my passion alive and supporting Team New Zealand along the way during a few more America's Cups.
Moved back to Australia at the end of 2013 and still currently live north of Sydney.
I started Laneeb.com a few years ago and I hope you enjoy it- Lanee