I paint to reflect the beauty in the world around us. To produce serene, happy scenes for reflection, my watercolours are very gentle in the mix of colours and in the choice of simple shapes. I feel that there should be difference between a painted work of art and a photograph. Therefore, my landscapes convey mood rather than show a lot of detail.
I mix the colours to achieve bright, sun-filled landscapes, encouraging the viewer to leave the painting filled with a sense of optimism and good cheer. Every so often a subject comes my way which makes it ideal for graphic art, combining watercolour and pen or calligraphy. These pieces are suitable for children´s rooms as they are not formal but rather playful in nature.
Drawing skills are the basis of artistic mastery. They require training in observation as well as in drawing techniques. While other artists prefer to draw nature or architecture in considerable detail, I focus on portraits in pencil. They are the first step to developing pencil drawings with lots of detail and can lead to mastering formal portraiture in oil or acrylic.
I enjoy teaching mainly for the pleasure of seeing students develop in their artistic expression. Starting with watercolours encourages creativity and loose, free-flowing experimentation with colours before learning basic drawing techniques. While the classes are fun, they also require concentration and discipline, resulting in attitude and skills readily transferable to the outside world.
My artistic vision also leads me to photography where my sense of light and composition captures the subject and draws the audience´s attention to my interpretation of the moment.
Path to Art
I have been artistic all my life although I used other avenues of artistic expression such as interior design, house design and photography. My original career choice was to be an architect (hence the interest in house design) but at the end of high school I felt that my math skills were not strong enough for the program. As I had a gift for and interest in languages, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in German and French. Later on I completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and obtained the CMA designation.
When my daughter Barbori was still a toddler, I asked my husband to draw her portrait. He had had formal art instruction as a teenager and drew a few well-done portraits of his family. By the time my daughter was almost seven, my husband showed no interest in getting started even though I occasionally asked for the portrait to be done. I decided to take a drawing class for beginners through the Continuing Education program in Calgary, determined to do the portrait myself.
Having completed this introductory drawing course, for the next three years I attended a weekly group art class with other aspiring artists. There was no systematic teaching, just help available to paint whatever subject the student decided to paint in the medium of his choice. Before my daughter turned nine, I accomplished what I set out to do. After four months of work, I completed her portrait drawn in pencil.
I went on to other portraits and eventually landscapes in pencil and then in watercolour as well as some graphic art pieces. When my daughter had a serious injury, taking care of her took a lot of my time and energy. I continued to draw and paint on my own, becoming self-taught. Today I enjoy drawing a portrait with a good likeness using my skills of observation combined with knowledge of proportion and scale, skills which I would like to teach others.
My artwork is very versatile. I like to paint loose watercolours, detailed portraits, abstracts, or graphic designs. I use various media – coloured pencils, watercolour, pencil, pen and their combinations. In my paintings I aspire to create a mood by mixing cheerful colours and applying them in a gentle, delicate technique for a light–filled effect. For me, the most difficult part of creating is getting organized. Once I decide on the subject and the size of the finished work, I become completely absorbed in painting, doing what I was meant to do.
I became interested in photography as another way of creating inspiration for my paintings. It has now developed into another avenue of my artistic expression. The subjects range from landscapes to portraits, from pets to events, and from food photography to interesting close-ups of flowers and still life. This artwork is presented as greeting cards, or available framed or as stock photography.
In 2009 I joined the Foothills Art Club based in Cochrane which introduced me to a great group of artists. A year later I joined the Leighton Art Centre which offers the possibility of exhibiting all year around as well as two shows a year. In addition to events organized by these two groups, I exhibited in Peachland, Kelowna and at the RockPointe Church Art Show in Calgary where I also held watercolour demonstrations.
About Art Classes
I would like to pass my knowledge to teenagers – a group from which art instructors generally shy away. I have a good rapport with them and an appreciation for the curiosity, drive and imagination which this age group shows. Regardless of the skill level of the student, there is value in flexible structure so that students learn new techniques which they can use in future projects. Rather than giving a fragmented knowledge, my philosophy aims at providing stepping blocks for each aspiring artist.
Fine arts skills are not only applicable to producing paintings but also useful for drawing skills needed in other disciplines such as engineering, biology, medicine, advertising, industrial design and architecture. Students will be glad to have taken art classes when they work in positions where attention to detail and creative ability are required. Technically oriented teenagers will get a more rounded education, not to mention an exercise for the creative part of the brain combined with knowledge of old masters, colours and artistic material. The art classes are organized in such a way as to allow for different level of drawing skills and creativity while keeping the students challenged.
As an artist, my greatest joys in creating art are to express myself and to have others appreciate my art. To accomplish this, I like to use bright and brilliant colors in my artwork and paint subject matters which appeal to the viewer. Subjects for my artwork vary from landscapes to still-life, flowers to the human figure, and anything else which might capture my interest. At times, much of my artwork is inspired by the different seasons of the year. I also might focus on a series of paintings with a common thread, such as still-life, for intensive two or three months.
I had the opportunity to take quality art courses, where I learned new art techniques in a variety of media – watercolor, pencils, colored pencils, photography, acrylic, watercolor pencils, printmaking, oils, and sculpting with clay. My favorite medium to work in is watercolor as it allows me to paint loosely and freely. I especially enjoy trying new textures and techniques in watercolor.
When I need inspiration for my artwork, I often turn to one of my many hobbies – playing the piano and violin, listening to classical or 1950s music, going outside for a walk or playing a sport, taking photos, reading, or taking part in a lively conversation. Learning something new and gaining a new perspective on an issue is usually what replenishes my creativity and provides me with an abundance of new ideas. My goal in being an artist is to create meaningful and beautiful artwork to share with viewers. I want to invite the audience to make a connection with me, as the artist, through my artwork.
If it weren’t for my mom, I would not be where I am today. It was my mom who taught me how to persevere through tough times and it was from her that I learned the importance of choosing a career where I would be doing something that I love to do.
Having been homeschooled since grade 5, I had the time and flexibility to try many things and to develop creativity, independence, and critical thinking – skills which entrepreneurs possess. As a child and teen, I competed in sports such as swimming, figure skating, fencing, and cross-country skiing. I played the violin in youth and community orchestras and took piano lessons. I took a few art classes, and as a member of a 4-H club I learned public speaking skills.
Through trying many activities, I discovered that I really enjoyed art and music. Encouraged by my mom’s example, I always had fun experimenting with painting in watercolor and learning how to mix colors. I also had great times playing in orchestras and in music duets at recitals. Once I realized this, I could then see myself pursuing either art or music as a career after I had graduated from high school in 2008.
In 2012, I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco. In AAU's program, I had found an excellent program in foundational fine art skills and took classes in figure drawing, watercolor, portraiture, and more. In 2016, I graduated with my Master of Arts in Communications degree with a major in Public Relations from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
I enjoy doing art and music which I want to share with other people. Since fall 2010, I have been teaching violin and piano lessons. I can pass on my enthusiasm for playing those instruments to my students while at the same time providing a flexible schedule for them. In addition to teaching music lessons, I am also a freelance artist. I have participated in art shows over the past few of years – two with the Foothills Art Club, a Rock Pointe juried art show in 2010, my first solo art show in Oolong Tea House in April 2011 in Calgary, AB, and my graduating art exhibition in December 2012 in San Francisco, CA. I also offer my communications services to companies and groups for their communications plans.
I find inspiration by spending time in the mountains and by visiting new places. The mountains offer quietness and tranquility to ponder new ideas. I spent time in Oregon and Montana where I improved my photography skills and added to my selection of photos. I am very happy and thankful for all the opportunities and experiences I have had along the way. Each new opportunity brought a time of learning from which I gained confidence and new skills. Here is to everyone finding their path of happiness and fulfillment in life.
I was also honored to be a Finalist in the Miss Calgary 2017 Pageant and a National Finalist in the Miss World Canada 2015 Pageant.