There has never been a time that art and creativity haven’t interested me. As a child, my room was always covered in various projects, crafts and drawings. I really started taking art seriously when I was fourteen. Art became my way of expressing the feelings that I was incapable of expressing in any other way. It helped me understand what was going on and feel like I had some control in all of it. Since then, art has remained my expression of everything so personal to me that it can’t be otherwise expressed.
My childhood home was in southwest Calgary near North Glenmore Park, a beautiful protected park with a lot of natural wildlife. I’ve always felt most at home in a place where you can see the mountains and I draw a lot of inspiration from the natural beauty I find around me. My subject matter is mainly decided by my own thoughts and feelings. I depict whatever is most conducive to communicating my thoughts. I consider myself something of an onlooker - I tend to do more observation than interaction, which means that I have much more time and attention for my own thoughts. It also means that I have more freedom to notice details without the need to give my attention to actively participating in all social situations.
Above all else I am my own audience. I find that physically representing my thoughts and feelings through my art is incredibly important for helping me understand things that I find otherwise overwhelming. I’ve never been terribly good at communicating my more complex ideas with words, but I find that images come to me easily. An example of this can be seen in my painting Woman in Red. Depicted is a brooding, rain-streaked cityscape. The figure of a red-clad woman with a pale umbrella draws into focus. Her gaze, focused outside the scope of the painting, introduces an unanswered question to the audience. This piece emphasizes the unique beauty and mood of a rain washed city. When working on this piece I initially felt pressured, isolated and directionless, and I feel that this piece perfectly reflects those sentiments. It is an excellent example of how my internalized thoughts and feelings when working on a piece become clear in my final product.
Woman in Red, Oil on Canvas Original, 18x24
I feel that the most rewarding moments as an artist occur when someone really connects with my work and understands what I’m trying to convey. At those times I feel completely at ease and accepted, which is something I’ve never experienced in any other sphere of my life. It’s always very rewarding to realize that others also understand and appreciate my artwork.
I tend to work in oil and acrylic paint most often, but I would like to work in as many different mediums as possible. Being diverse and able to use a variety of materials to communicate my ideas is important to me. The unique challenges that each medium presents allow me opportunities to explore new facets of art.