Popping in to say that it is my turn to be the featured artist at Soul Food and I have my very own interview for you! This is not all I have for you but you have to read down to the bottom to find out what surprise I have for you…...
Without further ado, a little bit about
Tell us about your art journey.
My journey began as far back as childhood. I would copy Disney cartoons, my favourite. When I was 16 I was featured in Dateline Arts magazine in 1986 as one of the Artists of the year 2000. Ironically, I was pregnant in the year 2000. I did attend art school at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick Canada, a small university with a well known and prestigious fine arts program. Of over 1200 applicants 24 were selected for my class. When I look back on that it shocks me. It never really sank in then. I have mostly been self taught, growing up and living in a small community there were no opportunities for art classes. Until my late twenties I always thought I had really done well if my paintings looked so real you could hardly tell they weren't a photograph. So often it seemed that was how people would gauge an artist's abilities. I broke free when I met a friend from Africa who painted her house wacky colours, bold and vibrant and she made things that just made me see things differently. Colors came alive and I no longer wanted them to look real. At this point I was still doing mostly realistic work and in watercolour. A few things happened in recent years that kind of made huge changes for me. I went from having no clue how to use a computer four years ago to learning to blog, to learning how to create digital artwork which I began selling in my shop when I opened it up a couple years ago. Around the same time, I found my first issue of Sommerset Studio magazine and fell in love! It was exactly what I saw in my head and rejected because it was not accepted in the art community. I realized then that I didn't care. As of late I have begun doing a lot of teaching and workshops in schools. I have been fortunate enough to have been selected for some grants through the Manitoba Arts Council and just this past month I attended an International Educators Workshop at Julliard at the Lincoln Centre Institute in New York and I loved it!
What are some of the things that nourish your soul? How do you decide what to create - where do your ideas come from?
To get inspiration, I love to browse my Sommerset mags. Sometimes it is the Sommerset Life magazine. I love to use the gorgeous colors and textures in the photos and sometimes I use those for inspiration. I pull the colours, textures, even the composition sometimes. I actually use the pages themselves for collage every so often. I love browsing other artists techniques on youtube, blogs etc. Sometimes just cleaning and organizing my workspace helps. I need to get real messy when I am creating and when I am done I can't even think about starting another project until I have a clean space to work. Things that nourish my creativity are usually things that give me an emotional response. Time of day, the lighting, music. I often play music while I am out walking usually in the evening or morning when the sunlight is peeking through trees, I walk feeling like I am part of a dramatic scene in a movie, something beautiful. My favourite scene from a movie was the swan scene in The Notebook. I just loved how beautiful and romantic it was. I love stuff like that and I love seeing that in my own everyday life. The beautiful, meaningful moments in life that so many of us miss while we are busy in the grind.
Do you have a signature set of colors?
Right now my signature colors, I guess, are turquoise, pink and warm green. That changes but for some reason I seem to constantly gravitate towards those colours. Sometimes my intention is completely different and then I go to do my thing and poof, all of a sudden those colors are there.
Tell us about the first piece you created that you felt really proud of.
One piece that I created that I was really proud of was my first public art installation. I had never created anything so large before and I must say I was rather proud of how it looked hanging in that library. It was also a very self affirming experience for me as the professional artist that I collaborated with on the project could not say enough about my abilities and my work ethic and professionalism. It was also a project that made it possible for me to get the grants that I have been awarded lately so I am sure thankful for that!
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with other artists?
One piece of advice I would share with learning artists is to trust your own inner voice. I learned by copying others work, studying it and figuring out by trial and error how they did what they did. This became a problem when I realized I had to think for myself and had nothing original, my own, to contribute. It took a long time to hear my own little inner voice and to start "seeing" things or more to the point reproducing "how" I saw the world. It's hard to jump off the reality boat it's kind of a crutch, but once you do it is so freeing. So if you feel like you are not sure if you can take it if someone says something discouraging about your work then don't ask them what they think. Just strut your stuff and if they ask why did you do that just tell them that was how you meant it to be!
And now for some fun!
I am giving away……..that's right, you have a chance to win a spot in the very first Soul Food class!
What I want you to do to win a spot in Soul Food is:
1. to leave me a comment right here.
2. then I want you to go post on your blog and tell your readers about Soul Food and in that post tell me one of your artistic dreams. Maybe want to improve your drawing skills, learn a new medium or break out of your creative shell! I want to hear about it!
3. I also want you to add my Soul Food giveaway button (see below) to your sidebar with a link back to this post. I will be checking to make sure it is on there so if you want to qualify make sure it is there.
If you don't have a blog just leave me a comment and and tell me your dream there but if you can please share the word about soul food where you can.
My giveaway will run for one month. The draw will be made and announced on NOVEMBER 30th.
I had always thought I might like to try it, it looked complicated. I needed the wool……..more stuff to buy meah. Well I owe an artist friend for introducing me to it because I am hooked! I love the practicality of it, a sort of art meets necessity kinda love.
I haven't decided what I am going to do with my failed nuno scarf yet but I am sure whatever it becomes will be lovely.
I did film us a bit and I may post the videos so you can have an idea of how we did it. The craziest darn thing you ever saw. The more you "beat" the felt the tighter it gets. A real frustration outlet.
You have to go onto pinterest and see the nuno scarves they are something else and when I can get my hands on some real silk chiffon I will for sure be trying it again!
Soul food instructor interviews have begun! You can check out all the instructors as the interviews are posted! And and and.........each one of us has the opportunity to give away a free spot in the class. Stay tuned for details for my spot giveaway! Of course if you wait you will miss out on the early bird prices, keep that in mind ;)