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Accessible Art

It's fall and along with kids returning to school, community groups are starting back up.

I have spoken in previous posts about my inspiring art community here in Tumbler Ridge, a group of gals who would gather weekly and share their creations inspiring each other while painting and chatting. We survived through COVID and through a location change, but as the seasons continue to change, people move on. This has inspired me and the remnants of our group to recreate ourselves, to evolve. The original group were veteran proficient artists, who have their works shown in various locations in our community, wonderful mentors, amazing ladies who inspired me to greater adventures in my art journey. In the last year it has become apparent that it's now time for me to inspire others, to become the "veteran". I look back at the painters who inspired me to paint from my heart.

Into the Woods
One of my first paintings - inspired by a BC art hero: Emily Carr

While I originally learned about Emily Carr and her ability to show movement and the emotions of the scene in middle school, it wasn't until adulthood that I realized the value in painting with my emotions. Painting is a joy for me, a way to reveal my ideas and feelings, but also to find myself. The act of creating produces "happy hormones" - yep it's a fact! Endorphins flow when you express yourself - and painting is one way to do that. So paint is again flowing, splashing and dripping onto paper and canvas as I become inspired to produce accessible art. Demonstrations that art isn't always serious and doesn't always even need a brush!

Iris Scott is a world famous FINGER PAINTER! Yep that's right. She decided to forgo cleaning her brushes and used her fingers to finish one of her oil paintings and this transformed her thinking. Oil and acrylic are often painted using palate knives and to produce texture, watercolour artists use sponges and salt, but art evolves.

Yep! It reminds me of when I was last at the Vancouver Art Gallery and there was a still life painting called Flowers, by French Avant-garde painter Henri Matisse (1906) that to me looked half finished. I said to myself "I could do that!"

It turns out that Henri Matisse was forefront in the launch of a revolution in painting including Cubism, Abstraction and my favourite: Impressionism. Little did I know about painting back four years ago when I was just starting out! Painting doesn't have to be about how realistic the image is, it should be about the joy of creation, the expression through colour and shape of an idea. Yes, realism has it's place, but it's not a great start for a new artist. So thanks to people like Henri, Emily and more recently Angela Fehr I have been finding my own personal style blending the ideas from the 20th century art movement and todays future liberations in how we express and create art.

One of my more recent published paintings - exploring painting "outside the lines"

On Thursday, September 8th we launch the Tumbler Ridge Lighthearted Art Club with my display of art styles from Cubism to finger-painting to stencil use. I have even attempted my hand at acrylic and oil pastels all with the hope that these items will inspire other to say "I could do that!" instead of "wow you are such a great painter!"

Here are some of my watercolour paintings for the Thursday's display. Each is a 6X9 image only, done using different "avant-garde" styles in contrast to a more standard version. Can you tell the styles I am using in each photo?

And here are some experiments using alternatives! While I am not a huge fan of acrylic painting, it was fun to play with a thicker media and create layers, texture and see how the underlaying colours used affects the final product. I got my fingers into it doing an acrylic finger painting version of the red flowers, and blending the oil pastels for the sunset over the mountain scene. A few years ago I bought watercolour pencils thinking they may be useful, I didn't like them but brought them back out to try showing their use in my lonely tree scene. And finally I picked up some scenic stencils to show that even if you can't draw, you can still create art.

I am hopeful that people will be as excited about gathering to be creative as I am. I have a collaborative canvas that I hope they will get into just to see how fun it is to mess around with colour. Meanwhile I have a few more pieces that are unfinished I intend to post the progress photos in the future once they are done - to show the joy of the journey.

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