Stella Maria Baer is a painter, photographer, and mother based in Denver, Colorado. Her celestial work is both aesthetically pleasing and intricately detailed - the surfaces are rendered meticulously, the scale is carefully considered, even the canvases she works on are created by Stella for the express content of her work. I remember when I first stumbled across Stella online. I was so entranced by her work and by her as a person; I spent the better part of an evening scrolling back through her feed. What I witnessed was a stunning, graceful, real-time evolution of her palette and subject.
You probably recognize Stella for her pastel, desert hues and washes of abalone, sand, and pearl - but if you go far enough back, you'll see phases of rust, gray, blue, and even green. It's a slow transition, but each color takes over her feed thoroughly and completely. This felt like the mark of the truest kind of artist - one who immersed herself in that which was inspiring her at the time. She shared images taken from plane windows, in her home, outdoors, and of her work. All different sources and mediums, but tied together by palette and tone. She does not create singular works based on trend or outside influence - she is living in her perspective daily and pushes herself to truly move through her work, understand it, and improve it. I was captivated by this visual representation of a talented artist's journey, and felt so grateful that she was sharing it with the world. Each painting she shared took on even more weight as part of her body of work as a whole.
I forget the exact order of events, but we ended up doing a trade - a moon print for a few ES garments, and the rest is history. Seeing our neutral tones find homes in her vignettes, our natural fabrics in her studio - it was thrilling to me and solidified my desire to create clothing for creative women. It also solidified my desire to encourage women to not treat our clothing as precious. To me, Stella's paint splattered Linn Tee is even more beautiful and valuable than a pristine one. We went to visit Stella at her home in Denver. She worked a bit in her studio, where our simple silhouettes and unobtrusive tones facilitated focus and comfort (she wore the Linn Tee and Florence Pant both in Flax Midweight Linen). We spent some time puttering around the house with her gorgeous son, Wyeth, and we discovered that the Linn Tee is perfect for breastfeeding and the Clyde Skirt's pockets are a perfect fodder for curious baby toes. Then, we headed out to Red Rocks to see Stella painting in nature. It was effortless and impressive; she seemed so at home despite the lack of creature comforts. Cotton canvas and linen were practical and paired seamlessly with the natural landscape.
We left our day with Stella feeling in awe and inspired, and it was as if I got to step right inside the visual world that drew me in from the very beginning. Her holistic approach to life, art, and motherhood feels so natural and full of ease, and our clothing finding a place in that is quite a privilege.
We asked Stella what role clothing plays in her life, and here’s what she had to say:
“Clothing is a canvas. Working in the studio, it's important that my clothing not get in the way of painting and that the colors I'm working with aren't warped by the color of what I'm wearing. I love clothing that I forget I'm wearing, that feels like an extension of my body, whose fibers are natural and lines sculptural. Elizabeth Suzann's pieces are all those things.”
Stella wears the Linn Tee in Flax Midweight Linen, Florence Pant in Flax Midweight Linen, Linn Tee in Black Midweight Linen, Clyde Billow Skirt in Natural Cotton Canvas (see similar style here), Linn Tee in Ivory Midweight Linen, Florence Pant in Khaki Cotton Canvas, and Clyde Trench in Natural Cotton Canvas.