Lives (on Canvas)
Celebrating a passion for art and art making
that brought us together seven years ago.
Our individual artist statements tell the story of each person’s path and vision. Together we’ve built a community where we inspire, motivate, learn from each other, discuss and critique our work, support one another… and laugh.
Here is our individual thoughts regarding our work:
I paint because it makes me happy.
Even when I struggle to get a painting to the moment I know it’s finished, I’m happily engaged.
The paintings in this exhibit are my travels, so far, along the range of possibilities within minimalism.
The natural world fascinates and intrigues me, from lake water to craggy trees, from sunsets to the dying flowers and leaves of autumn.
Whether abstract or representational, my paintings are often inspired by the beauty, fragility and the power of nature.
I have always found myself drawn to the creative aspects of life. Ever since I was a little girl I can remember designing and imagining paintings and pieces of art in my head. Since I rarely had time for myself while raising four daughters, I would always have some art projects on the go for them and enjoyed seeing what they would come up with.
One of my loves in life is portrait painting. I have finally found an outlet with which to express my creative thoughts. Portrait painting also allows me an escape from all the stresses of everyday life. I especially enjoy painting my family, as these pieces remind me of happy times. What I like about portraiture is studying the face; there is such beauty in how shadows fall.
My preferred medium is oils, as I love the way they blend, move and bring life to any painting.
I have done a series of “studies” exploring the idea of landscape in our times. I am interested in the kind of menacing aspects of our everyday surroundings, whether that sense of unease or even doom is caused by nature or by our own activities. I admire the paintings of John Hartmann whose exciting portraits of cities capture both the energy and the beauty of those landscapes, as well as the photographic work of Edward Burtynsky who reveals the mesmerizing beauty of our sometimes destructive tendencies. I hope to keep working towards understanding and conveying the psychological impact of these “disaster landscapes” that have become so common in our times.
For me art making is a meditative practice; a sense of freedom from leaving the everyday and coming home to a creative space.
My inspiration comes in many forms, both obvious and unexpected.
For instance, I am drawn to the beauty and resilience of walls over time, so rich in meaning:
protection transformation history
separation a holding of secrets
imprisonment and authority refuge and rebelliousness
Painting with acrylic and incorporating commonly found materials I layer and, whether I plan to or not, often bury meaningful elements or text. What remains available of the foundation or bones of a piece is an exciting part of the process.
I love the dance between intention and spontaneity that allows each painting to come into its own.
For me, making art is an act of pure faith.
A high-wire experience, a slog in the mud, the sweetest strawberry on a summer’s day.
The encounter commences with little or no plan. An intention to open to what wants to come through. The results are abstraction, non-objective expression. Acrylic, mixed media, pastel and collage. Raw emotions, coloured textures, buried layers, fractured space.
Embedded are questions, declarations, conundrums:
Are we coming or going? What’s on the horizon?
What is real? What is figment?
What remains? What does not?
Inside out and outside in
Art helps me see.
See the beauty in proportion, in line, in colour. It’s about being present to essence and trying to capture whatever speaks that way—nostalgia, harmony, grace and joy.
And sometimes it’s the opposite: learning to see how I feel when a mood colours the painting and when I’m done I go ‘oh, so that’s what it was…’
My artwork represents subjects that in some way touch me. While the themes are broad ranging, the passion to capture a particular image, a feeling of a place or person, act out an emotion on canvas is consistently compelling. While painting I assume that my piece is an experiment. That gives me the freedom to explore, be freer and not worry about the outcome. When I become attached to the work, I know it’s the end of spontaneity and the beginning of obsession.
Even my most unstructured paintings, while less capturing of my fixation, have an order that must feel right to me.
My paintings are in acrylic, sometimes with molding paste, graphite or ink.