Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Show Professionalism & Gain Accreditation as an Artist

Continuing our last session of "Artists and Entrepreneurs", we mentioned "Once you consider yourself as an entrepreneur, you are tapping in to the Art of Business". The #1 quality Artists and Entrepreneurs both share is "Professionalism". Today we'll share more about joining memberships in professional arts organizations in order to be known and seen as a "Professional Artist".
*Read to the end for your exclusive bonus!

You may think...

What does it do to my Artistic career? And
How is it going to prove my expertise?

We've searched around and talked with different successful Artists, and we noticed most of them are members of the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA). Digging deeper, we want to know more about this organization. Similar in the way you learn and understand more about art such as its history and trend, all color pigments, different mediums, type of paint brushes, different usage of palette knives, canvas materials, and etc so that you can make the best choice of work / decision.

So let's look further into this organization which can grant you "Professionalism" status -


To advance the knowledge and appreciation of art and culture to all Canadians, offering education, exhibition and communication in the Visual Arts, and to support and promote emerging artists.


The FCA was founded in 1941 by a group of Canadian artists, including the Group of Seven luminary, Lawren Harris, whose art was just exhibited at  the Vancouver Art Gallery last Winter. It continues to operate as a registered not for profit society with members throughout the world and Chapters in Western Canada. The FCA is dedicated to raising artistic standards by stimulating participants to greater heights of knowledge and achievement by offering what is believed to be the first completely artists sponsored gallery in Canada.  


The Federation Gallery is located on beautiful Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, featuring bi-monthly juried exhibitions of works by emerging and Signature members as well as two juried international shows held annually.


"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

The FCA is involved in many special collaborative shows with other art societies. They also encourage their members and non-members to be involved in their open programs such as workshops, classes, critiques and lectures in the fine arts media, with instruction by successful established artists who can help all artists to explore and develop their artistic interests and talents.  

Their critiques program is a tremendous idea helping new artists to achieve the following goals:

  • get accepted into more galleries
  • win more competitions  
"The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
Carl Rogers

We believe there is always room for improvement, and in order for new artists to get to the next level, some constructive feedback from experienced artists and groups (instead of anonymous feedback) will provide positive impact on their work. This in-person education program is provided through Federation Chapters and the critiques are performed with several of their Signature members.

For the artists who wish to further their education, the FCA also support them by granting bursary awards! One of the past exhibitions: 
Limitless, supported and assisted some students enrolled in a Visual Arts program at the University of British Columbia.

Current Calling: 

For more info on 2015 granted award winners, click the links below.

How to Submit your work (launched today, June 29, 2015):


Membership in the FCA is open to all who appreciate art. Here are some exclusive benefits you will receive:

  1. Educational programs and workshops to enhance and explore advancement as an artist;
  2. Opportunities to advance to new levels as an artist with recognition;
  3. Opportunities to submit for juried shows and exhibitions;
  4. Free subscription to Art Avenue Magazine;
  5. Bi-weekly E-Newsletter with information on current events and ongoing programs;
  6. Invitations to Opening Receptions;
  7. Option of having your website link displayed under Artist Sites (Active & Signature Members only); 
  8. Gallery rental opportunities with selected programs;
Members are allowed to exhibit their work in their 1,200 square foot gallery in which approximately 20 unique exhibitions are presented each year. There is no exclusivity requirements like standard commercial galleries do. In fact, they hope that their members will find other galleries to show in because that’s all part of development of their careers, and that's how FCA can foster them going towards that direction.

Gift Pack: For the first 15 people who sign up as new member and quote this blog (#BelleFusionArt)


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fingers Dancing on Canvas - Let's meet artist Gigi Hoeller!


Gigi's paints are done almost entirely with her fingers. "My fingers are my most useful tools, painting with them makes me feel close to the painting, more connected, like I have more control of the outcome. Neutral colours were never a part of my visual dictionary, until I started painting the Totem Series; the colours I choose for this series are rich and the paintings are very powerful because of it. "

1. When have you realized that being an Artist is going to be your path?

I always knew I was meant to be an artist.  From the time I was five years old, and when people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my response always was, I want to be an artist.

2. What inspires you or stimulate your thought?

Everything.  I feel like I see things differently.

My biggest inspiration is having an emotional connection to something.  Usually nature, or wildlife, a beautiful scene or landscape, sitting on my kayak floating in the water, walking through the woods...

3. What is your average day like?

My day starts off with a dog walk, I have two St Bernards and a rescue dog from the Caribbean.  We walk in the woods to a beautiful view point.  Then I come home, have a smoothie, (I am vegan)  do any housework that needs to be done, answer e-mails etc.  Then I start to paint, which gets interrupted quite often, by dogs, or husband or visiting gallery folk.  We converted our garage into a gallery, so people drop by on a regular basis during the summer months.  I also like to garden, and take time to watch my flowers and veggies grow.

4. Why do you think it’s integral to work as an artist?

Definitely connection.  If I can't connect to something, I can't get an emotional response.  I need an emotional response in order to paint it with integrity.

5. What kinds of story do you like the most? Why?

I enjoy psychology, understanding the way people operate, breaking free of our social programming. I like personal growth, evolution of the mind, body and soul.

6. How has your practice changed over time?

As an artist, I have completely and utterly evolved.  I used to paint flowers, now my subject matter is much broader.  It depends on what I connect with...

7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?

I am a bit of a loner.  I've never had a mentor.  I do like the masters, such as Monet (in fact I went and saw his garden in Giverny), Leonardo DaVinci...

Specially in today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearing have, what kind of advice you will give to those who are also looking for the direction and path?

There is the creative side of art and then there is the business side of art...  You have to promote yourself and get comfortable putting yourself out there and getting a hard enough shell to hear criticism.

8. In your opinion, what role are Artists playing nowadays?

I believe as artists, we have  a responsibility to speak out about the injustices in the world.  Not only through our work, but with our voices as well.  I am a strong environmentalist and conservationist.  I did an entire series of elephants in order to bring awareness to the poaching that is happening.

9. What is your 5 year goal?

World domination.  Just kidding.  To continue to progress and evolve as an artist, and to be understood as an artist that speaks out.


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Next Artist Interview. Stay Tuned

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Handmade Luxury - Let's meet Industrial Designer Dean Cloutier

Jade table in Canadian jade and 24k gold

Fascinated by Dean's handmade Jade tables and some of his prototypes, it was very worthwhile to make a trip visiting his studio. This super decent designer surely has a passion talking about his work, yet also knows how to enjoy a good life. He is a very knowledgeable person! During our conversations, I sometimes throw out some facts, he would then finish the stories about how and why they happened.  

His design is absolutely one of a kind piece of functional art that upscales your home atmosphere! 

1. When did you realise that being an Artist was going to be your path?

I still struggle with whether I am an artist, a designer or a builder. I am all three, and sometimes just one. But it was around 2006 that I knew that I chose to do design/build.

2. What inspires you or stimulate your thought?

I have always enjoyed reading for the way it forces a different point of view upon me. It gives me many voices that I can connect to and puts me in the mind of another person for a while. For inspiration I like to put on a record at night when the house is quiet, sip on a good glass of whiskey and recap on the day. I find this is a good time to inspire new angles on current projects.

3. What is your average day like?

Dean Cloutier
I split my time between a few different projects most of the time. But I am up between 6 and 7:30 most days. If I can I spend a bit of time with my son before I head out if I am working away from home. If I am working at home I wake up a little later, spend a bit more time with my son and enjoy the morning with him while I do some reading, write emails and update my website. Dinner is family time again and I like to sit at the bar with a beer and talk with my wife while she cooks us dinner. Evenings is work again for a couple hours before switching off and reading for a bit before bed. I try to spend two or three nights a week out in the neighborhood catching up with the locals.

4. Why do you think it’s integral to work as an artist?

It gives me a freedom where it is all about my rules. This is something that designers and builders struggle with. But as an artist I can get away with this freedom.

5. What kinds of story do you like the most? Why?

I like adventure stories, the classic character who is smart, capable and charming. Someone who has to work for their success and yet is not completely driven by wealth.

Blueprint group owns a handful of successful bars and nightclubs in Vancouver. I was approached by the talented studio of Hopewell to lead the design of a major feature wall. In all there were 80 frames, most of which were different sizes. Due to the curve of the wall, each frame would have a radius that would allow the frames to follow the wall nicely. Its all about the details.

6. How has your practice changed over time?

I have learned to rely on myself more and more. It is harder but in the end I am only held accountable to myself and my family. Business seems often about taking from others rather than adding to our environment in a positive way so in many ways I am trying to find my business success by following my heart.

7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?

My favorite local artist is David Robinson. His sculptures show me the struggle of man in our complicated built environment in the simplest way possible; essentially one man vs one machine.

8. Specially in today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have, what kind of advice would you give to those who are also looking for the direction and path?

Do not spend lots of others money trying to figure out if you are an artist. Learn by doing and have someone pay you for this. While school is a great way to learn, it is also a great way to create debt and this makes it hard for people to follow their passions. And as a young person in today’s world, you are not entitled to anything. Jobs and homes especially are not just handed out by birthright for most of us.

9. In your opinion, what role is Artist playing nowadays?

The same roles as artists always have. Beauty, creativity, and a way for people to come together.

10. What is your 5 year goal?

To continue with what I am doing now but gaining more ability to move around more. I love Vancouver but I want to start spending more time away every year, about 4 months. I am into my second year of my current plan of gaining this freedom, and by year 5 it should be complete.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Committed to art as a spontaneous and therapeutic process" - Let's meet artist Donna Giraud

EKIM 36x36

Photographed by Charles Zuckermann
Fascinated by the endless possibilities of artistic expression, Artist Donna Giraud paints purely from the heart and attempts to convey intensity, strength, beauty and tranquility.  Through many years of involvement and presence in different Vancouver Art scene and culture, she has established a recognizable and unique style that defies the historic rules of painting and creates work that evokes conversation and challenges personal exploration.

We share the same vision on the belief of artist banding together and creating a supportive and inspiring community. 

Let's talk more...

1.When did you realize that being an artist was going to be your path?

Honestly, this is an ever evolving realization. This whole process of artistic expression completely started out with no real intention and has evolved into such a deep seeded passion that now just “has to get out”. I have been blessed with the ability to create emotion on canvas and I am now just realizing that this path found me and not the other way around.  Now that I have realized that being an artist is what I am meant to do, I am inspired to build “my empire” which includes much more than just painting on canvas. I hope everyone is ready to come along for the ride because it’s going to be great!!

2.What inspires you or motivate you to paint?

I paint purely from my soul. I take every day interactions, conversations and contemplations and express the thought process on canvas. I get excited to paint when I can hash out my feelings about love, I get inspired to paint when I can work through my emotions about frustration and I get moved to paint when I am challenged to remember to be present despite the world provoking me to do the opposite. My art is an extension of myself and I allow every detail of it to help guide me to my next creation. 

3.What is your average day like?

BEFRI 36x36
An average day in my world is never the same. As I transition out of my full time job as a nurse, I am more and more focused on filling my evenings and weekends with as many artistic opportunities I can get my hands on. From actual painting, photo shoots, interviews for magazines, to going to art openings and working on the back end of the business (social media and returning emails), I am making a concerted effort to be as present in the art world as possible. I have a vision of creating a life that is made up of a variety of artistic components so i make it a point to keep my days full of new challenges and experiences. You never know how a simple introduction or event could change your life, so I am open to it all.

4. How has your practice changed over time?

I am often amazed about how far I have come in this whole journey of my painting and I am not naive to know that it won’t dramatically change continuously. I started out with never having painted a single brush stroke to now being represented by a gallery in New York City. Over time, I have made it a point to simply just keep painting. As the actual act of painting became more of a priority in my life I have been able to be become more courageous and intentional and my work has taken on a new level of depth, both visually and conceptually. Now that I have made a commitment to art as my profession, I have developed a new respect for the whole process and I continue to strive to finds ways to be more involved,  passionate, inspired and productive. The key is to continue growing and evolving and never stay stagnant. 

5. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?

I am not your average classically trained artist that grew up idolizing the greats like Monet or da Vinci. Instead, I am passionate about supporting and being inspired by local artists right here in Vancouver. I absolutely adore Linzy Arnott and Tanya Slingsby as they both just have a way of making me feel incredible when I look at their work. It’s their unique techniques and ability to create a visual depth that keeps me inspired to continue to create my own brand as brilliantly as they both have. 

6. There are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have. What kind of advice would you give to those who are looking for their direction and path?

This is one of my favourite questions that I get asked. I am a firm believer and very vocal with how passionate I am about emphasizing the importance of artists helping other artists. I am devoted to sharing any piece of knowledge or expertise with anyone that is willing to ask or listen. So having said that, my biggest piece of advice would be, don’t “reinvent the wheel” and surround yourself with a community of other artists that are willing to share their story. We need to create a culture that we are in this together and not against each other. By creating an environment where we constantly share, collaborate and encourage, the chances for success are limitless. 

On a more individual basis, I would advise emerging artists to understand that the difference between being an artist and being a successful, thriving artist comes down to the attention to details. Make it a point to separate yourself from the rest by going “above and beyond” and taking the time to send a personal thank you note to a proud new owner, or a bottle of wine to a repeat customer. It’s these types of gestures that people remember that make them more inclined to come back wanting more. You take care of your fans and customers and they will take care of you.

(Note: We absolutely agree with her suggestions here. For emerging artists wanting to learn more advices we compiled for you, check out our previous session on S.M.A.R.T. Marketing)

7. In your opinion, what role do artists play in today’s day and age? 

I think that art and creativity is integral to a beautiful life. whether it’s making a scrapbook or creating exclusive fine art collections, art provides a visual journey, visceral emotions and creates dialogue between people that perhaps never would have spoken to one another had it not been for the art. Being someone that has the ability to create these emotions and interactions between individuals because of my work is of the highest honour. I think that artists, specifically here in Vancouver, have a huge role to play in today’s day and age. Our art has the ability to create community, to expand thought and to most simply, create joy. Vancouver is looking for new ways to get inspired and involved and I feel that artists have the duty to help make this a reality. I look forward to expanding my creative expression and hopefully inspire someone along the way. 

8. What is your 5 year goal?

As the momentum and excitement for my artwork continues to increase, my five year plan keeps changing as I am now realizing that the possibilities are endless. Having said that, I do hope that in five years I will have made the transition to painting and exhibiting on a full time basis and would also be offering specific services like mentorship opportunities, public speaking engagements, painting classes and working collaboratively with a select group of interior designers to get my work hanging in as many homes as possible. Aside from the art career endeavours, my hope is that in five years I will still be surrounded by an incredibly supportive community of family and friends and waking up every morning being grateful that I get to live my passion.  


Next Artist Interview - Stay Tuned!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Sharing gentle kindness - create images from my feelings that are guided by my spirituality" Let's meet artist Doris Anderson

UNSTOPPABLE Original acrylic 18 X 24 inches by Doris Anderson (c) copyrighted 2014 All Rights Reserved

Doris' previous solo exhibition: “Freedom of the Heart” in May 2015 was a great success. Click here to check out more of her work and her biography. I suggest meeting her in person, you will admire her passion for art, her positive attitude towards life, her kindness to family and others; a fantastic artist with a fantastic heart!

Let's learn more about her!

When did I realize that art was going to be my path?

A good question. Art has been a part of my life forever. Growing up with my family, in Montreal, my parents had a few original pieces of art. They never purchased prints. My environment was also enriched with classical music with some “modern” tunes and I was part of the Beetle era. To me, art, music, sewing, cooking are all art.

Nature was a strong force and its appreciation was demonstrated to me early on. As a child in school, I loved how I would loose myself in painting, creating. Art is all around me. I am giving my self the gift to be me in retirement.

What inspires or stimulates my thoughts?

Nature inspires me, being connected to it inspires me and my feelings stimulate my painting. I do no heavy thinking when I paint. I am in my zone.

My average day is full and busy. It changes every day and I am doing my best to stay in the moment.

Why is it integral to work as an artist?

It is me, who I am and I want to share my expression with others. The world. All my life’s experiences are expressed in my art and writing.

What kinds of stories do I like and why?
I enjoy well written stories, rich in language creating strong visuals. Where I, the reader, is left with a message, a feeling and a sense of having learned something about themselves or a place etc. I adore humor, do not get enough of it.

PROMISES Original acrylic 18 X 24 inches

How has my practice changed over time?

I like to think it is maturing, showing more confidence. I am getting closer to it and it to me.

Who is my favorite artist and how do they mentor me?
Difficult to answer, I love Gauguin, Cezanne (colours/shapes), to Kandinsky and Jean Paul Riopelle, Borduas. Many had very strong spiritual beliefs.  Jackson Pollack. Lauren Harris. Emily Carr. They were true to their voice.

Suggestion to other emerging artists – find your voice. Be who you are, not the other artist. Play, play, play to create and connect with your creative self.

What role is the Artist playing now?

Possibly as entertainer, a stimulator of thought, conversation. Depends on what the viewer is looking for, how they see the world. Each piece of art takes on a life of its own. Artist is a pioneer to the new world.

Art defines and combines elements in a room or setting.

What is my five year plan?

OFF THE HEART & BECOMING 18 X 24 inches by Doris Anderson
Before 2015 is over, I would like to participate in at least one or two more local art shows.

I am expanding my studio space. Within 2 years, I would like to be represented or even have my own space open to the public.

I plan to be part of ART!Vancouver 2016 and there after.

My work will be in demand by home stagers/decorators.

I plan to have increased sales and steady demand for my work, in Vancouver, Canada, U.S., U.K., Germany, Hong Kong – even Dubai. Global is the intention.

Sales of my work will have a percentage donated to a charity of my choice.

I look to teaching and mentoring others choosing this path.

That is the plan besides continuing to live well, to take courses and keep myself mentally and physically healthy.  Everything works in conjunction with the other parts.

I also like to continue  growing own collection by adding pieces from other artists.


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Next Artist Interview - Stay Tuned! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

7 successful qualities Artists and Entrepreneurs have in common

"Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business, a startup company or other organization. The entrepreneur develops a business plan, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure."

It means, an entrepreneur can be a small business owner, or an international organization with multiple entrepreneurs running the business. Artists can be categorized as entrepreneurs as they start their art business, find their clients to purchase art, maintain and utilize certain resources to their benefits. All in all to their own responsibilities towards their success or failure.

7 qualities Artists and Entrepreneurs have in common

1) Professionalism

Artists including painters, dancers, musicians, comedians who are skillful at what they are doing and performing at their best level. Entrepreneurs usually refer to professionals who own and run their businesses such as lawyers, doctors, retail owners, developers, or online businesses. Artists and Entrepreneurs are both committed to offering 100% of the time and resources, They are experts in certain area. 

One of the winners from Lori McNee from Art and Fine Art Tips says "... what makes me feel professional right now is a well organized studio, business cards with my artwork images on them, memberships in arts professional organizations, acceptance into juried shows, postcards mailed to a growing mailing list, subscriptions to arts magazines, a growing body of work, and people who purchase my artwork.” If you are not sure about "memberships in arts professional organizations, we suggest checking out The FCA, which is one of the most professional membership platforms for Artists to pursue the image of professionalism.

2) Passion 

Warren Buffett said, "obsession is the price for profession". Artists and Entrepreneurs have passions about their work and treat them as their lovers: "you think about her, want to see her all the time, can't have enough of her everyday..." Artists love their work and work long hours because they love Art, Entrepreneurs devoted full time and energy to the business because they love what they bring out to the public.

3) Customers

In order to sustain a business, both of the Artists and the Entrepreneurs need to maintain their client base and to meet their clients regularly to build a good relationship with them. When a good rapport is built, most of the time, referrals will come naturally. They both target and serve different demographics: gender, age, ethnic group, and etc. Chacun à son goût!

4) Maintenance of Income / Revenue / Expenses

They both need to maintain the income statement and to file tax / revenue, as well as to budget costs of rental and purchase of appliances, equipment, supplies, Having a well-structured income statement will help forecast future profits and losses.

5) Creativity

Needless to say, Artists are creative! Successful entrepreneurs might not be aware of it but 99% of them always think outside the box and find a creative way to express their products. If one way of doing business does not go well, they tend to find other ways to boost the business. Many successful millionaires had failed many times before reaching the ultimate goal and became successful. They never give up. 

Same with Artists, they keep practising, creating and transforming until achieving their best possible piece of art or performance. Many of the Artists we love and support are so creative and you can tell they never get tired of adopting new ideas. To name a few Artists we love: Doris Anderson, Evaly Art, Aurélia Bizouard, Dean Cloutier, Donna Giroud,  Gigi Hoeller, Shakun Jhangiani, Therese Lydia Joseph, Jan Kasparec, Tasha McNulty, Bjorn Ollner, Heidi Thompson... fabulous work!

6) Local or Global

Some artists and entrepreneurs maintain their business locally; some travel around and sell globally, some even are shareholders or members of some local or international organizations or charities. Whichever market they prefer can make them successful. It is the work they love and they want to show them to their clients, locally and/or globally,

7) Branding

Their names need to be out there for people to recognize and remember in order to increase their client base = to make sales. Building the brand using personal network and social media are common practices. Nowadays, there are so many different ways to elevate the brand awareness. You may check our last two sessions for Power Marketing for Artists - Value Proposition and Power Marketing for Artists - S.M.A.R.T. Marketing for some ideas on how to promote your brand. There is an increase in adoption on online market places, self publishing platforms, and joining non-profit organizations - all are very good tools for Artists and Entrepreneurs to promote themselves.

Anything else you wish to add? Let's share!


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hunger, creativity and passion: Meet Therese Lydia Joseph - artiste extraordinaire!

Interview with Belle Fusion

Therese Lydia Joseph


1. Therese, when did you realize that being an Artist was going to be your path?

I always knew my career path would be a creative one. While raising two boys and running a successful afterschool care business I enjoyed using my creativity to teach arts and crafts to the children. After selling the business I redirected my attention to learning about mixed media and acrylic painting. This opened up a new hunger for art and expression. My creativity, blended with this new-found passion, enabled me to create art intuitively, expressively and impulsively. The feelings of pure contentment, seemingly endless freedom, and deep satisfaction left no doubt in my mind that I was on the right path for me.  

2. What inspires you or stimulates your thought?  
Every day I stumble upon the hidden beauty of ordinary, often unnoticed and disregarded subjects including my fellow humans. I often get caught up in the unexpected wonder of a subject’s shape or form, colour or pattern, disposition or mood. My purpose as an artist is to grab a hold of the intense feeling this provokes in me and capture it on canvas. By approaching the canvas with that same intensity and spontaneity, I am able to be creative seemingly without limits. Using acrylics and mixed media allows me to express my love of bright colours, deep texture and detail. Ultimately I seek harmony between “strength and fragility” and “vibrancy and serenity”. When I feel the same awareness of wonder stirring in me as when I first came upon the hidden beauty of the subject - I know the painting is done and art is created.   

3. What's your average day like?

 I start with answering emails and catching up with social media. Around 10 am I head down to my studio and paint, collage, prepare canvases, sketch or draw until 3 pm. Of course I have a lunch break where I reflect on my work and see if I want to make any changes. Often I work on multiple paintings at the same time. I take photographs during the process and also of the finished work. If time permits I might write a blog post or add my new work to my website. In the evening, I enjoy cooking dinner and spending time with my family.    

4. Why do you think it’s integral to work as an artist? 

It is essential for me to create and invent in order to feel whole. The need to process and articulate my thoughts, feelings, and experiences is satisfied through artistic expression. For me, art is a method of communication - a way to interact with the world I live in. Painting is a visual language - a visual song and dance. Art is essential for mankind. It provokes diversity of thought, makes the viewer challenge their reality, wonder what if, and  evokes all sorts of emotions while stimulating the senses. Art can heal, bring people together and open up new possibilities.

5. What kinds of stories do you like the most? Why?

 In my artwork I like to engage the viewer in a story about a moment in life. Although these moments might be sad, tough, unfair or undesirable, I focus on that flicker of hope, that unseen beauty and strength, an honest thought, a genuine mood or a daring dream that hides inside my subjects.

I am intrigued when I find awesomeness in something or someone ordinary. I feel great satisfaction when I discover “the Beauty in the Beast”.  

6. How has your  practice changed over time?

 During my first years as an artist, I primarily created abstract paintings. My work had an organic feel to it as opposed to a graphic feel. I used acrylic paint, medium, impasto and textiles in my paintings to create texture.Later on the abstract organic shapes were replaced with shapes of branches and trees. At that time I was participating in a weekly life drawing session and my trees morphed into the sensual shapes of semi-abstract female nudes. My nudes became more and more realistic as time went on. After receiving a grant, I embarked on a project called “Faces of the North Shore”. As a series of portraits,  the project represented the diverse cultures of the North Shore. I used acrylic paint and collages of the North Shore Newspaper.  Taking the idea of print collages to the next level, I moved to  create large figurative works with themed collage from magazines - now part of my “Figure-It” collection. These can be viewed on my website.  

7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you? 

I have a few favorite figurative artists I admire. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt and Alexej von Jawlensky – German Expressionists. I am fascinated by their bold brushstroke, their daring use of colour and their somewhat simplistic shapes and forms of the human figure, portraits and clothing.

8. In today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have, what advice can you give to those who are also looking for direction and a path? 

First and foremost, a painter must paint, paint, paint! You must spend time in the studio every day. Second, take criticism constructively rather than personally. Go to a professional artist to have your work assessed and critiqued. Know that you will not be able to please everyone with your art. Remember why you paint. Third, join some sort of a painters group or an artist’s guild. Feeling connected to other artists is a great source of strength and support especially at the beginning of your journey. Guilds and clubs will help you to get your art in group shows which are excellent as first exposure.  

9. In your opinion, what role does 'Artist' play nowadays?  

The role of an artist is first and foremost to make art, but showing and sharing are very important as well. Artists should share their inventions and creations, their stories, views and ideas with the community. It is healthy, visually and emotionally stimulating, and contributes to the wellbeing of a community.  

10. What is your 5 year goal? 

In the near future I plan to produce a new series of figurative abstract work. It is my goal to exhibit across Canada on a regular basis and establish a significant online representation. As it is every artist’s desire, I plan to sell more art each year. 

Thank you, Therese, for sharing your experience with us.

Therese is also very involved in community connections and has participated in many kids art education as well. Check out her blog for more info! 


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Next Artist Interview -  Stay tuned~~