art

Meet Michigan-based artist Lauren Bigelow

Artwork name: “Fly”
Graphite on paper
16″ x 24″

laurenreneebigelow.com

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Michigan-based artist Lauren Bigelow pairs detailed, lifelike images with abstract, expressive elements. Her work combines the controlled nature of representational art with the dynamic qualities of geometric and intuitively-drawn lines and shapes. Her contrasting approaches to drawing suggest the importance of both careful observation and creative innovation in our modern world.

As a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University, Lauren is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Multimedia Design. In addition to continuing her fine art career, she plans to expand her creative audience by becoming a graphic designer.

 

Interview with Celina Miller of MoonLight Studios

by Monika Blichar

I love seeing artists emerge in our community because it shows me that one more person is being courageous. Being an artist takes a lot of self confidence and risk not only because they don’t know when they will sell something or be commissioned, but also because they put work out there for the world to react to. Some people will fall in love with what they do, many won’t. Some people will support the arts, but many won’t know how to respond to creative works.

What I have noticed over the years is that many people don’t realize the hours and hours of work it takes to be an artist. From working on pieces in between jobs to spending each weekend at markets and shows promoting your own work. Being an artist not only takes courage, it also takes persistence, determination and motivation to continue despite fear, failure, or hard work. For these reasons, I am always so proud of emerging artists and creators. Today, I catch up with Celina Miller of MoonLight Studios whose work is often created in the moon light hours while her family is sleeping,  but who also prides herself sharing her passion with her family and now, with the art world.

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1-When did you start making art?
I started as soon as I was old enough to hold felts or crayons or a paint brush. I remember being a kid and painting my bedside table (I got in serious trouble) but I just needed to create, no matter what it was.
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2-What is your preferred medium to use?

Paint and canvas is my all time favourite and I gravitate towards that more then others but I have worked with many different mediums.

3-What inspires you to create?
Honestly, everything inspires me. The colour of the leaves, the waves of the ocean, the swimming of an orca, the wings of a bird flying, the blades of grass, the different colours of sand on a beach, my husband, my daughter, my dogs, I honestly find inspiration everywhere I look!
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4-Will you have any special promotions or new releases for AWE guests?

This is my first real art show so all the pieces I will be painting will be new releases for me.

5-Where would you like to see your art business in the next five years?
I would love to be doing this full time, having my own studio, my art in a gallery, my name out there in the art world. I’m excited for all the things to come for me!
6-Just for fun: Where would you go on vacation if you could go anywhere in the world?
My dream vacation would be Europe. Greece, Italy, France, the art, the culture, the food, I would love it all!
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For more information about Celina, visit her Facebook Page. Be sure to purchase your ticket to the 8th annual event and support Celina by using her affiliate link here.

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton’s Soft Touch Photography

by Monika Blichar

Photography has to have an artistic eye behind it to stand out these days. After all, anyone with a smart phone can shoot and edit photos from their phones instantly today! When I saw Soft Touch Photography’s work come through on our submissions for our Edmonton show, I was excited because their photos not only capture the essence of a fleeting moment, but they are colourful, attractive and intriguing. Today, I caught up with Soft Touch Photography to learn more about their process.

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1-What is Soft Touch Photography?  When did you form your company?

Soft Touch Photography is a photography business runner by my husband and I, we formed our company in 2013, and had started as a dream, and now has developed into a reference only business and hopefully in the future more

2-You work with your husband. What are the best things about working together?

The best thing of working with my husband is that we compliment each other, we have fun, and keep each other focus and working towards something different that will take us outside the box, to create beautiful images and memories for our clients.

3-What kinds of things are your favourite to photograph and why?

This is a fun question because I love to photograph people and my husband loves outdoor photography.  This works great for us because he is the one that finds the spots to do those amazing images that we sometimes are fortunate to have.

4-What kinds of products will you be selling and promoting at the Art World Expo Edmonton on Friday night?

We are going to be selling some of our most favourite prints.

5-Where would you like to see your photography business in five years time?

We see our photography business growing and being able for one of us to be full time in a studio someday soon.

6-Just for fun: Who is your favourite photographer and why?

My favourite is BARON STUDIO https://youtu.be/VQVZhEBdTT4the reason why is because of their creativity.

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Learn more about Soft Touch Photography on their Facebook Page.

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Barbara Mitchell

 by Monika Blichar
It’s always very exciting to meet artists who push boundaries and really go for it creatively. Barbara Mitchell is one of those kinds of artists. She mixes, changes, adds and alters things that we wouldn’t normally think of to create really wonderful and unique pieces of works. She is also an avid teacher and welcomes all kinds of people to take her workshops. I caught up with her today to learn more about her process and her work.
 

When did you start to make art?

I began doing acrylic mixed media in 2008. Never having done any form of artwork before that, I was surprised to find out that I loved the outpouring of the creative muse on the canvas, which was different than how I had expressed myself previously. Ever since quite young, I had always written articles and stories,  but mainly poetry, and I was blessed in having been published many times. Writing was my expression.
But in 2005 my mom died and from then on, words became too heavy and so I was looking for a new way to say what needed saying. Art is a wonderful way to do this because one can disengage from emotion and just paint with feeling, whereas for writing, one must be involved fully, emotionally, so that the words can make it to the page in the manner we want them to be heard/read.
I went on from acrylic painting to encaustics to water-media to many forms of mixed media…alcohol inks on tile and yupo paper, shadowboxes, mix media ladies, altered bottles, jewelry…and it continues to this day, always changing things up. I  create late into the night, and because I am retired, I paint all day too! How lucky can a gal be!!
 
You are teaching workshops – can you tell us about your programs and how people can sign up?
In my studio I hold many women’s classes focusing on art, techniques, demos, but we enjoy a lot of sharing and camaraderie also. I do instruct outside my studio too, and have been blessed to teach frequently at the Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store, Camrose Chuck MacLean Art Center, Central Lion’s Senior Center,  North Edmonton Senior’s Association and Smeltzer House, along with visits to Calgary where I have taught also. Recently I enjoyed a day-partnership with Darlene Madden from Inspiro Mix Media Works,  co-instructing with her in her own studio in St. Albert…I led the group in poetry, Darlene guided us making spirit boxes. We will be adventuring again, together in this, on March 10th.
You can contact me by email :  brjn@shaw.ca 
Or by phone/text – 780-289-2121
It is best when you just contact me with your interests and tell me what day or weekend works for you. I get back to everyone and send images by email of my workshops and what you can expect. I do a lot by word of mouth, or when I am at markets, shows, gallery showings or teaching, I hand out brochures.
I teach alchohol inks on tile (tile whimsy), vases, cupboard doors also  “art in the round” where we take upcycled light fixtures and turn them into beautiful globes that come with a stand. They are decorative and usually displayed indoors, though I have found they can sit outside in a covered area if there is no direct sunlight. Alcohol inks though brilliant in color, will, like anything, fade quickly in hot direct sun.
I love teaching altered bottles, mix media ladies, encaustics, tissue painting and acrylic such as The Socerer’s Forest (shown above), and lately I am instructing alot of pour workshops where we utilize acrylics in our pours but mix it up with other yummy ingredients.

You say you are an experimental artist. Can you tell us what that means?

Experimental to me, means I am not bound or guided by rules. If it is suggested not to mix two ingredients together, then likely I will want to pursue it just to see what effects I can get. Most often I am very pleased. It might mean painting on cupboard doors instead of canvas, mirrors instead of wood, integrating leather and lace in a perhaps “conventional”  painting, which then makes it more avante garde and not so conventional.
I guess in a tiny way, I am a rule breaker.  I do follow some fundamentals of basic art principals, like using the right brush to create clouds, or the right watercolor brush for a certain watercolor affect, but generally I am happy “dancing in a pot of paint” creating my own adventures, that I then share with the public at markets and workshops.
Dancing in a Pot of Paint is my website name which I hold onto and pay for, but no longer have the actual website. After being severely hacked a couple of years ago, I just didn’t quite find the time to put myself back out there….so I guess I am also ‘experimenting’ with having no website and no social media. But the experience has shown me I am very busy by word of mouth and I email a lot with potential seekers of art and workshops, by just sending my photos and information through the one-on-one channel of communication.
For me, it works.
It would not be everyone’s way to go.
 
Will you have any show specials, promotions or exclusive offers for Art World Expo Edmonton attendees on March 16 at the Muttart?
I do have a draw at my table where I give away an art item I created. Please stop by, say hello, enjoy the art and put your name in!
I will be showcasing many of my tile art pieces and will have an “Art World Expo special”  where anyone who purchases two tile art can have a third at half price.
 
I will also have many of my altered bottles on display as well as a few mix media ladies and my curved glass pieces.
Where would you like to see your art/business in 5 years?
In all honesty I am very happy where I am at now.   I love to hold the classes while people wish for them and the interest is there. But I also love time for my kids and family and friends, travelling and enjoying my yard/garden. So I re-evaluate each six months or so, and change things up according to how I feel at the time.
Certainly in five years time I still want to be creating, enjoying color, and dancing with the muse!
Just for fun:  If you could interview any artist living or deceased, who would it be and why?
I would wish to interview Rumi. He was a poet and sufi mystic, born 1207 and died 1273, whose treasures of wisdom and colorful insight offer me constant poetic uplifting. His poems make me think, ponder some more, want to change the way I live my life, embrace all things good and beautiful and find joy in the not so happy moments as well.
I would want to ask him….who did you love that you write of such joy…and such sorrow? Where did you walk that you know not only the beauty of the landscape but the inner landscape of emotion of the heart and soul as well? What pictures did you draw in your own mind that you can so readily impact me 870 years later, with your simple but profound language and make me paint beautiful and invigorating artwork, just by reading your words?
To learn more about Barbara Mitchell, send her an email or visit her at the show! You can’t find her online so you must be sure to get a ticket for the show on March 16, 2018! See you there!

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Emily Lozeron

by Monika Blichar
Nature is one of the most important things we have but often the one we appreciate the least. With all of our fancy technology and advances in transportation and industry, nature and the environment have long been suffering as a result.
One thing that I have come to value deeply in the arts is the ability aritsts have to give meaning and share important messages via their work. From pop songs to photography to paintings and poetry, artists of all sorts have been sharing important messages about our world for centuries. Today, I caught up with Emily Lozeron who stands for nature in her work. She is a member of Artists for Conservation and through her work is able to raise funds for conservation. Here’s what she has to say about being a full time artist and her inspiration.
1-When did you know that you wanted to be a professional artist?
I knew from a child that I wanted to be an artist.  It seems that life sometimes creates detours and I pursued art as a hobby for several years as I became a nurse.  But my passion for painting won out and I couldn’t ignore the fact that being a full time artist was what I truly wanted to do.  I have been blessed to be able dedicate my time to painting for the past couple years.
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2-Your work features a lot of Canadian animals. What inspires you to paint animals?
I grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta and spent a significant amount of time out with nature and animals.  I feel the most at peace in nature.  I love to hear the birds chirping and watching animals in nature.   When hiking through the forest or camping, it seems like all stress and difficulties fade away.  I can live in the moment and experience nature with my family.  The sights, sounds and smells. It doesn’t get any better then that.
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3-You are a member of Artists for Conservation. Can you tell us a little about the organization and also what your role is within the group?
Artists for Conservation is a worldwide organization that is dedicated to artists and conservation.  Our world is fragile and takes effort to keep it as beautiful as it is now.  I am a signature artist in AFC and donate a portion of sales of paintings to a conservation organization. It is a juried organization and every year has a juried show that includes artists from around the world.  I am very honored to have been juried into the show several times, and the paintings tour around the United States and China.
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4-What is the best part of being an artist? What would you say to an emerging artist?
The best part of being an artist is being able to do something I absolutely love.  It takes a lot of work to get to the point of selling and being an artist, but worth it to do what you love.  I was just talking with an artist and our conversation was “Just Paint!!! A lot!!!”.  It takes effort to dedicate time to painting, but soon it turns into an obsession that is difficult to ignore.  Plus the fact that I have set my studio up in the living room so that I am always surrounded by it.  I’m always reminded that I am in the middle of a painting.  I would also say to surround yourself with artists who are like minded and who are encouraging and keep you reminded of the end goal.  Which, for me, is to continue painting what I love.  Some of my artist friends have completely different mediums and styles.  It keeps me striving for new ideas and pushes me to try new things.
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5-What can guests expect from your exhibit at Art World Expo Edmonton? Will you have any show specials, contests or limited edition pieces for sale at this event?
People can expect to see paintings that represent what I love and experience.  I hope to share with others what makes nature so special to me and encourage others to see nature in a new and beautiful way.  All the paintings that I have at the show will be originals.  I do plan to have a draw at the show for a small painting.  Everyone who joins up on Facebook and/or Instagram will get a to have a ballot for the draw.
6-Where would you like your business to be in five years time?
I hope that my business continues to grow over the next couple of years.  I plan to dedicate my time to increasing where I am showing my paintings.
7-Just for fun: What is your favourite travel destination and why?
Oh boy it would be easier to say where wouldn’t be my favorite destination.  My husband always makes fun of me because everytime I hear of a place to go, I want to go there.  I live in Northern Alberta so anywhere that is warmer then here is a desireable place to go.

EMILY LOZERON BIOGRAPHY

Emily lives near Grande Prairie, ab. She grew up on a farm in northern Alberta, where she first discovered her love for the outdoors and animals. She started drawing at an early age and loved to draw the horses and animals that lived on the farm. Eventually Emily ventured into watercolors and oils, but discovered that acrylic is the medium that gives her the flexibility and desired effect that she prefers. Emily’s main subject matter is wildlife and landscapes. Her goal is to achieve an accurate likeness and maintain the character of her subject while also giving an artistic effect to the painting. She does not look for the perfect or the beautifully manicured subject, but loves what makes the subject unique; the scar on the leaf, the rusted barbwire, the wrinkled face or the shedding of a winter coat of fur in the spring. Her inspiration is the beauty of nature and hopes that she can share what she sees to others, through her artwork.

Emily is a signature member of Artists for Conservation @ http://www.natureartists.com and her artwork has been juried into international shows in Vancouver with the organization. As well her painting has accepted into the international juried exhibit in Wausau Wisconsin in the “Birds in Art” at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
and also has been displayed at the Cloverdale Rodeo, Langley BC and at The Calgary Stampede. Emily is a member of Grande Prairie Guild of Artists. Her artwork can been seen online at www.emilylozeron.com or on Facebook at Emily Lozeron Painting.

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Danyella Axani

by Monika Blichar
One of my favourite kinds of art is POP ART. It allows us to step into all things popular in our culture but also into new interpretations of them. What I love about POP ART is that it is bold, colorful, and full of life. I’ve been long inpsired by Warhol and Lichtenstein and can still remember the first time I saw a real Lichtenstein in person at the Seattle Art Museum. For me, POP ART says a lot about our current reality and as with any good art, it also moves you and inspires you to think about the message behind the work. 
Today, I caught up with Danyella Axani who attracted me to her work because she is using cultural phenomenons in her work to develop her style and platform. Her work as an illustrator and designer have proven to showcase talent and amusement but also depict pop culture and intertwine what is concrete and imaginary within her work. Ultimately, she allows the viewer to distinguish reality and imagination.  
 
1-When did you start making art? 
 
As far back as I can remember I have always had a need to create, draw or paint pictures. The need to be creative is such a large part of who I am. I have always loved drawing people. It is one childhood comfort I never out grew, like a ratty old comfort blanket, no one quite understands why this makes me happy. Never the less, it is a part of who I am and I will never let it go.  GWTW5x7 - Danyella Axani.jpg
2-You are obviously inspired by fairy tales and well known characters from stories and movies. Is there a reason you have such an affinity for this subject matter? 
 
What can I say…I’m a bit of a fan girl,  I love watching movies and briefly escaping into another world, identifying with the heroine. I also love steampunk fashion. I wanted my princesses to show strength, sassiness and confidence, so I thought Steampunk inspired princesses would be the way to go. 
3-What kinds of work will you have at the Art World Expo? 
I will be showing my series of Illustrated steampunk inspired fairy tale princess available in prints, stickers, bookmarks and buttons. I will also be showing my acrylic paintings.    Jasmine
4-What is your favourite thing about being a visual artist? 
 
There are two favourite things actually…I love seeing the joy it brings to the people around me. The recognition of someone’s face lighting up because they like something that I have created is amazing. Secondly, I love the inspiration I get from other artists. I can spend all day at Galleries, Art/craft expos and see all the amazing talent that flows out of people and talk to the artists about their technique and what inspires them. Repunzel
5-Where do you want to see your art business in five years time? 
 
Time will tell. All I know is I will continue to share my art with the world around me. 
 
6-Just for fun: What character would you be if you had to choose one? 
 
Princess Jasmine for sure. Having a pet tiger as your confidant, going on a trip around the world with your true love…not to mention being friends with Genie. That would be pretty fun.
For more information about Danyella, please visit www.danyellaaxani.com

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Nitasha Costa

by Monika Blichar

Every so often, I find myself contemplating other realms, parrellel worlds and questionning what happens in the afterlife. What does it all mean really? Do dreams tell us something? Are there aliens or angels? What happens after we die? I’m sure many of us think about many of these mysteries-sometimes being drawn into Netflix series, fantasy novels or even stories our friends or family swear are true.

Today’s interview is with Nitasha Costa, also known as L0velydoodles. Her work forces her audience to analyze those very questions we all ask ourselves and close friends and family about what’s out there. Through her work, she inspires playful thoughts about the universe while being deeply rooted in the questions that lie inside all of us. Here’s what she had to say about her work, imagination, and stepping into other worlds.

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1-What is your style? You say that you are a surreal automatist?

My style is quite abstract fantasy in nature. I would say that it is the closest to Surreal Automatism because my drawings have no intention other than allowing my imagination to wander. Surreal Automatism is when the artists suppresses the conscious mind allowing an artist’s unconscious mind to connect to its own imagination and creativity. When I allow my mind to be still and focus on the lines and curves of drawing it displays creatures, alternate realms, and emotions. Through this process, I find myself often looking at my drawings with curiosity.

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2-When did you start creating the female alien that is represented in your work?
The female character in the drawings became visual once I became more intensively invested into creating art. When she is present in the artwork it gives the art a more emotional feeling that individuals can connect to. I was unconsciously immersing myself into the realms, creatures, feelings and connecting in some fashion. I have only recently discovered that I created this female as an extension of myself. She was never pre meditated or planned, but I find myself drawing her in more and more pieces. I believe that she is a symbol of how our minds are able to create monsters, situations and certainties that we subconsciously make to exist in our current reality.
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3-What can guests expect to see at your exhibition? Will you have show specials or contests?

I have multiple prints of my artwork framed and ready to go. The collection I am showcasing will be a mixture of 2017 drawings and some new 2018 drawings. I have approximately 20 pieces I will be showcasing. On top of that, I always have a draw that allows guests to have a chance at winning a free print in frame of my choosing, so stop by the booth and ENTER! I always love receiving feedback and insight it when people give me their interpretations of the art I draw. I believe that all artists enjoy this aspect of showcasing their artwork.

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4-You say you are inspired by mythology and fantasy. Do you have a favourite tale? If so, what is the summary?

I am inspired by fantasy and mythology as it has been a gateway for individuals for years upon years in many cultures. Fantasy is a big hit in the gaming world, children’s books, artists, even in movies for all age groups. It is quite a large genre and can be found absolutely everywhere. In mythology there are often warriors and gods that take on tribulations that cause for the hero’s journey. Engaging in struggles with their environment, grotesque beings, the unknown, the known, temptation, and rebirth and life choices. I find that my artwork portrays this same idea, that all of us as individuals are on a journey that engages us on becoming our true powerful selves. My art is always fun, intriguing, unsettling and sensual to look at.

5-Where would you like to see your art business in the next five years? 26731192_1700187926710833_6544827843501329406_n - Nitasha Costa.jpg

In the next five years I would love to see my artwork on the walls of homes, businesses and high traffic buildings. The intention of my artwork is to make peoples imagination wander and go on adventures. My artwork being displayed in places where the everyday hussle and bussle is present would be ideal for the purpose of my art. I want people to look at my artwork and immerse themselves into imagination, everyone needs imagination and I feel my artwork opens that door. In that moment you become absorbed by the odd but lovely story, pondering and feeling the influences the drawing imprint.

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6-Just for fun: You are inspired by other realms and the possibility of other life forms. If you had the choice, would you leave this world to go live in another? What would that world look like?

 

For Fun, if I had a choice to leave this existence and travel to the next freely, yes, I would. I often find myself with my head in the clouds, imagining these foreign places and startling forms that I create. I truly do wish that I could physically immerse myself into my drawings, I think it would be incredible to experience. I do find myself having to ground myself, taking notice to what is currently and physically in front of me. I am not in that realm, but I can visit it unconsciously every once and awhile when I begin to draw.

To learn more about Nitasha’s work, visit her Facebook Page where you are sure to find inspiration, imagination and an opportunity to step into another world. Be sure to get your ticket to the March 16 Art World Expo Edmonton event at the Muttart Conservatory today!

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Shane Baker-Baker Boyz Designs

by Monika Blichar

I love all kinds of art forms and appreciate creativity for what it is in all its relams. In today’s world, we can truly create so many different works of art and it’s amazing to see lots of variety within the art forms represented at our varied shows across Canada. I caught up with Shane Baker today and asked him a few questions about his work and what inspires him.

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1-When did you start making art?

I have been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil. But went full time in the airbrush industry in 2003.

2-How has working with metal inspired your work? You have a shop where you also work on cars and motorcycles. Can you tell us about this side of your business and how it compliments your art?

Being in the auto body industry I have always loved the effect of ground metal . The way it moves and shifts with different direction of grinds. . Over the years of working on vehicles (Painting) I have also learned a lot about color and different effects that can be created by manipulating how they are applied.

 3-You have hosted air brush nights with other artists in your shop. What inspired you to start this endeavor and how has creating this community with other airbrush artists inspired your art business?

When I first started airbrushing it was a very tight lipped community . Nobody was really open to helping anyone to start airbrushing. I felt that there needed to be a place for everyone to come in and enjoy this form of art as well as pinstriping allowing for everyone to feed off the energy and learn from everyone around them. Keeping the art form alive.

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4-What kinds of work will you have at Art World Expo Edmonton? Will you have show specials or contests

I will have various ground metal panels as well as airbrushed paintings. I will be offering 20% off on all art at the show.

6-Where would you like to see your art in 5 years time?

In 5 years, I would like to be full time creating art and leave the auto body behind .

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To learn more about Baker Boyz, visit their Facebook Page and be sure to get your ticket to the Edmonton Art World Expo! The event of the spring season in Edmonton!

monikaheadshot

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Interview with Edmonton based artist Frances Pelletier

Frances Pelletier is an artist from Edmonton who is showing and selling her work at Art World Expo Edmonton on March 16 at the Muttart Conservatory. We caught up with her today to learn more about her work, meaning and goals.

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What’s your background?

My background probably has the most influence on my art today. I was born in 1965 and raised in Edmonton, AB.  Growing up, I was exposed to photography, music, writing, painting, and singing.  My family is very artistic/musical.  My dad introduced me to oil painting at an early age.  I finished 3 paintings I believe.  Then I assume my piano lessons took over.  I don’t remember painting again until my late teens.  This time it was watercolors that I dabbled with on my own.  One work is really all that came of it.  A lighthouse that is hanging in my parent’s home.

Dad was a photographer and he would take me on road trips in the countryside to take photos of old houses and barns.  It was quite an adventure.  I would climb around in these old buildings and pose for pictures in doors and up high in windows.  Visits to my uncle’s farm every summer were great fun, too.  My uncle had granaries full of old treasures (not grain!).  At the top of the hill we could visit a huge array of old cars.  A car graveyard.  Rural scenes, old cars and old buildings are now a favorite subject for me to paint!

Growing up in Edmonton gave me an appreciation for city life.  It might sound odd, but I happen to really like the look of oil refineries.  They were practically in our backyard!  At night the lights look so pretty.  I hope to do a painting that flatters the refineries.  One day.  Bussing it to university every day, I got to see the river valley, cross over a lot of bridges and take in all the high rises of the city. I guess this is why I also like to paint cityscapes.

After completing my BA Special in Criminology at the U of A, I was unable to obtain work in this field.  Marriage and children happened instead.  What a blessing!  My husband, Mark, and I moved to his home town of Legal, AB.  Mark returned to farming and we moved out of town and raised 4 children.  I really had no time or space for art as the kids were growing up.

Fast forward 30 years to 2017.  I am not sure how it really happened, I just decided to buy a cheap acrylic paint set at Walmart and try my hand at painting again.  Since I have no formal art training I turned to YouTube and discovered I could learn quite a lot from some of the tutorials!  Living on the farm gives me so many photo opportunities which in turn develop into art.  My “art heart” is torn between city and country life.Let's Take a Walk - Frances Pelletier (1).jpg

What does your work aim to say?

I aim to show the beauty in whatever I am painting.  I like to paint realistically in most cases.  I’m a stickler for rules and laws, a “by the book” kind of person.  I believe that’s why I like to paint things true to their likeness.  Basically, a painting should look like what it represents.  That’s how I’ve always felt.  Impressionism and abstract art seem difficult for me to comprehend and even harder to create! However, I am trying to grow my style by taking a few art classes and painting subjects that are out of my comfort zone.

My paintings of old buildings, cars and rural scenery are an attempt on my part to capture what is fading away in the countryside.  Eventually, all the old houses, homesteads, cars and machinery will disappear, to be replaced by new homes, modern cars and farm equipment.  We can never go back.  It’s kind of sad, but the past will live on in my artwork.Awaiting the Storm - Frances Pelletier (1).jpg

Who are your biggest influences?

I would say that I am inspired and influenced the most by my Dad and my sister. Dad, because he photographed and painted a variety of subjects from the countryside and from the city.  And of course, he introduced me to painting early in life.  He’s supportive and encouraging in all my artistic endeavors.  And my sister, what can I say…she inspires me because her art is so unique and unstructured.  She works with mixed media and where my work is quite detailed and controlled her art can be abstract and freeing!   Sometimes we work together in her studio and I learn so much!  Techniques, mediums and enthusiasm!

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How have you developed your career?

My “career” is pretty short, having just got going in March of 2017.  I’m pretty prolific and spend quite a bit of time in my studio.  At first, I did a few art walks in St. Albert.  It’s there that I was introduced to Instagram.  Thanks Karen!  I learned about The Art from the Unknown from my sister.  That was a great experience.  Rachel Notley does a geat job with that show!  I sold my first 2 paintings to people other than friends and family! I also joined the VASA (Visual Arts Studio Association) gallery and took part in an exhibition this past December. I started up my website (www.fdp-artworks.com).  There are all sorts of opportunities if you spend some time searching the internet.  I will be the feature artist at the Dow Centennial Center’s Alberta Lottery Fund Art Gallery in Fort Saskatchewan, AB during the month of July.  I’ll have about 25 paintings hanging there.  Instagram connected me with The Art World Expo in Edmonton.  I just want to grow and expand, connect with other artists and let it happen!

Where do you want to go with your art?

I guess I would like to continue to expand my art to include other mediums besides acrylic.  Watercolor is something I would really like to experiment with.  I want to get my name out there.  It will be a challenge since I live in a somewhat remote area.  The idea of Studio visits appeals to me, but again, my location poses a challenge.  Being surrounded by open space is appealing, though.  I’d like to keep my artwork affordable, but if one day a big gallery takes an interest my work I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity!  I want to continue to paint what appeals to me and not get caught up in just trying to please everyone else.

 

To learn more about Frances, visit her website HERE

 

Interview with Edmonton based artist Mr. Patrick Ennis

by Monika Blichar

Every once in a while, I come across an artist that is both proficient in marketing and creation. Let me tell you, this is not a common denominator in the Art World! When I do happen to find an artist who is steadfast about his or her career and is taking hold of all angles of business as much as he or she is creating, it gets me excited! One of the many things that we at Art World try to teach artists is that they need to be their own advocate for their art and really be their own brand ambassador. Mr. Patrick Ennis is doing just that and we are thrilled to have him be one of the artists in our Edmonton show on March 16.

Today, I caught up with Mr. Patrick Ennis whom I hear is a staple in the Edmonton art scene. Here’s what he had to say!

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1-When did you start making art?

I have  been painting 14 years and have made about 3000 paintings, had dozens of art shows across Canada as well as participated in a T.V show called “Painting with Pat”. I have worked with  many people over the years,  including being an artist in residence  at the Lotus Art Galley and Isbe Domain Gallery . I received formal training from the last Poet Laureate of Ottawa the Honorable Patrick White.

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2-You are working full time on your art. What kinds of things do you do daily to be able to turn your art into a full time career?
When I start my day doing work, I usually pre-paint the canvas and draw out the sketch. I try and get to work in the mornings, and spend the afternoon networking and advertising.
3-A lot of your work has reference to the universe. What draws you to painting this subject matter so often in your work?
I have always been fascinated with space, it’s kinda the Biggest thing in the universe, and the mother of life and creation. I also look for similarities in life, like patterns that replicate like the way trees grow like veins,or the universe existing on a microscopic level.
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4-What kinds of pieces will you have at the Art World Expo Edmonton? Will you be offering any show specials or contests at your exhibition?
I am going to have a variety of paintings at the Edmonton Art Expo, from still life to surrealism, and landscapes. I find people take creativity more seriously if you can also paint realistic art.
5-What has been the most interesting thing about being an artist so far on your journey?
The most interesting thing about being an artist is it’s always different. Everyday the possibilities are endless. To quote Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited.”
6-If you could achieve anything with your work, what would be your dream within your art business?
I have always enjoyed the responses to my art the most.  Having people have their minds blown by creating illusions of perspectives that can’t exist in the physical universe, but can be created using art. I often merge realities like people swimming in nebula. Art is very subjective to the person viewing it and the real mystery is that people can have different emotional responses to the same painting.
To learn more about Patrick, visit his Facebook page HERE. Get your tickets to the event today! Limited number remain!