arts

Interview with Edmonton Artist Maureen Donovan

by Monika Blichar
There are many artists in Edmonton but what drew me to Maureen was actually her Instagram account. She is active, robust and very engaging on her IG which is something very nice to see. Her work ranges from all sorts of subject matter but it is her eagerness to express herself creatively that is so conveyed in her work. I haven’t met her yet, but I know that from our interactions in the vortex of the online world, we will become great friends I am sure! I caught up to Maureen and here’s what she had to say about watercolour, life and super-powers.
1-Why did you choose watercolour as a medium?
It found me actually. I was so busy in my life that I needed something  to bring me back to calm, peace, my center and found advertised in our community paper of Onoway AB Adult Watercolour courses at the high school by artist Dave Ripley. That was it. I took one course and I was hooked.
2-You say that you had spent most of your life doing anything but art. How has art changed your life since discovering your passion for it?
Art enhanced my life! It takes me out of life’s whirlwind of busyness and captivates me. Art keeps me spellbound while creating in the moment. Mixing colours and transforming them into an art work is rewarding. It’s a positive, spiritual experience. It’s fun! It’s JOY!
3-You mention that you have taken inspiration from your travels for your art. Where is your favourite place you have visited and have you painted it?
I have been to so many countries.  I have just begun to paint series of paintings from those travels. I Love Africa, our ocean adventures, Asia…there are too many places to mention and so much to paint. It would take more than a life time to paint all my favourite places and wildlife. And we are still traveling.  It’s like I paint from my photographs and memories and people get to know who I am through my art.
4-Where would you like to see your art in the next five years?
Because there is so much to learn and so many people to learn from I hope my style becomes recognizable as my own. If in 5 years one person was to say ‘that looks like Maureen’s work’,  I would feel like I have achieved this goal.
5-What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Let your self resonate in your creations. Experience the love and joy in expression. Be confident in and trust your uniqueness. Let your passions guide you.
6-For fun. If you had a super power, what would it be?
I would love to be able to give others the ability to see their gifts and talents and the trust to develop them to acheive their dreams.

Words to share:  Never be afraid to try new things and take advantage of every opportunity – for you never know – you just might uncover a  passion that may change the way you dream, care for yourself and how you discover every moment in life that belongs to you – colour it proudly!

To learn more about Maureen, visit her famous Instagram account and check out her exhibit at the Muttart on March 16, 2018! Get your tickets today, we are running low with only 83 tickets left!

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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!

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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.

Studio Seventy Three

by Monika Blichar
It is always really exciting for me to have organizations join our events. I always really appreciate when I see a collective join as not only are they usually representing a multitude of artists, they are usually representing a community engagement process that serves those in our backyard. Today, I caught up with the team at Studio Seventy Three and asked them a few questions about their group and what they do in our community!
1-What is Studio Seventy Three?
Studio 73 is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a storefront located in Surrey, supported by Community Living Society. The artists and artisans contribute in all aspects of running this business. We volunteer and engage with the community as much as we can in order to help bridge the gap between all members of society. We make and sell beautiful, hand- crafted, usable and wearable art.
2-How long has the organization been running and what are the main programs offered?
Studio 73 has been at its storefront location for just over two years. We offer space to other struggling local artists to sell their art for a cost that they would most likely not get elsewhere. We also provide flexible fused glass classes to the general public as well as team building classes for businesses or corporations.
3-What is your favorite part of working at the Studio Seventy Three?
Well, of course we all enjoy getting our pay checks! However, we also enjoy the friendships we have made, the opportunity to express ourselves through our art and the relationships we have made in the community.
4-Have you been able to help a memorable artist in the community via your organization or is there a moment that stands out for you while working at Studio Seventy Three?
We have had many memorable moments! A very recent one – being nominated in the category of Arts and Innovation for the Surrey Mayors Art Award – which acknowledged those who have had a positive impact on their community. We were a top finalist for this award and feel truly honored to receive this recognition.
5-Are you currently looking for members or volunteers? How does someone get involved if they would like to be a member?
At present we are not looking for members or volunteers as we are a small shop. In the future though! If anyone is interested in getting involved you can reach us at 778-565-5095or by e-mail at studio73@communitylivingsociety.ca
6-What are some of the goals of Studio Seventy Three in the next 2-3 years?
We see ourselves with a larger storefront and more artists and artisans.
For more information about Studio Seventy Three, please be sure to stop in at their exhibition space at our event and visit them on Facebook. 

Interview with Beatrice Lucia Grimoldi

by Monika Blichar

Beatrice Lucia Grimoldi came across our radar because of our good friend Yves Decary and Cynthia Skabar at Future Hair Training Centre in Vancouver. I catch up with her today and ask her a few questions about her art, Italian background and aspirations for the future.

1-What inspired you to start make up?
Since I can remember, I’ve always been a creative! I’ve always loved colouring, shaping, and creating beauty for the eye. I started to get into the art of makeup as a teenager. At that time, I was mostly driven to making women feel as confident and as beautiful as they could be. I’ve always been a firm believer that beauty is in everyone, and I just really wanted to help out the ones who had difficulties in seeing it for themselves.

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2-How did you get into body painting?
Once I decided that makeup would be my future, I enrolled with the best makeup school in Milan. I needed validation, I had to show my very traditional Italian family that artistic creativity was a gainful and admirable pursuit. I needed to show them that I was worth it. My time at my makeup school was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I felt like I was all of a sudden back to life. Like the magic of spring when existence comes alive with colors and perfumes after a long grey winter. My imagination, inspiration and creativity awaken, I took a course on body painting and special effects. This is the moment when my zest for beauty collided with my untamed imagination! I’d found it!! Body painting is my freedom. I consider body painting as an awakening of character, color and vitality.
3-Do you have a make up artist that you idolize?

Alex Box. Innovative, unbelievable creative skills aside, she understands the deep emotional attachment and the connection created with a person when becoming a canvas. I look up to her as an artist and as a human being.

4-You do different projects as seen on your instagram. What kinds of projects you like working on the most?

I do love photography the most. It gives you such creative freedom. One of the best parts is brainstorming with the other creative minds on the set. The photographer, assistant, stylist, makeup artist and hairstylist coming together with more and more ideas being generated. Everyone offers their best to achieve the same goal. Watching the magic happening and the ideas coming to life, such a thrilling feeling!!

5-Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
Having just recently moved to Canada, I’m in the process of rebuilding my future and my career here. So if I close my eyes now and daydream about my future, I see myself working with photography, doing editorials as well as private clients that ask me to make them feel as beautiful as they really are.
6-Can you give us any hints about your design for this year’s Art World Expo body painting competition?

Mmmmh…I don’t know if I can do that! 🙂 Just kidding! 🙂 Let’s just say I’m looking at the 7 Wonders of the World in their primitive, natural form!

Wishbeads: An Artistic Endeavor Aimed at Helping Dreams to Become Reality

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When was the last time you made a wish, and really felt as if it could come true? Every child blows out birthday candles or tosses pennies into a well, and not only makes a wish, but also genuinely believes it’s likely to become a reality. Then adulthood happens, and belief in things of that nature generally tends to fade. A new product is in the works that seeks to recreate this experience for adults, and rekindle the belief that wishes can come true. Known as Wishbeads, it’s a unique arts and crafts kit.

Wishbeads is more than a just a bracelet-making kit; it’s an opportunity to pause and think what you truly wish for. After visualizing a wish, it’s then written onto paper, and the paper is transformed into paper beads. These beads form the bracelet. Wearing is aimed at inspiring the owner to take action.

Wishbeads comes with a 21-day action journal, complete with prompts to enable the wearer to start seeing elements of his or her wish in action. The theory behind it is that if you focus on something hard enough, the law of attraction will bring it to within reach. Wishbeads claims to be able to aid in doing this, and help the wearer to manifest exactly what he or she wants from life. Do we believe that it’s actually capable of making dreams come true? We reserve judgment. What we do know for sure is that making the bracelets is a fun activity, and can provide a great bonding experience for women if done communally.

The kit is currently being financed via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s already creating quite a stir, with the women who have already created Wishbeads bracelets waxing lyrical about the experience. Perhaps this marks a return to those halcyon days of making wishes and really believing in them. Who knows, maybe Wishbeads will one day become the adult equivalent of blowing out candles or tossing a penny.

 

Art World Expo: Vancouver Art, Fashion & Body Paint

When people think of Vancouver, most think of mountains, trees, ocean and, high priced real estate! If you aren’t from here, you probably won’t hear much about the huge pool of talent that lies within our city bounds unless you are a savvy collector or art buff.  One of the amazing  thing that we get to do each year is feature amazing artists, designers and musicians. Among some in this year’s show include Nancy Perreault, an eclectic and wild designer who is humbly making waves in the city and beyond. Guests can expect a range of designs that range from ready to wear to a glamorous party to wild, one a kind pieces perfect for glass cases on walls. Another highlight each year is the emtertainment. Among some of the great performers, Art World features some 20-30 performers each year including musicians, dancers, jugglers, hula hoppers, actors and of course musicians. Some of the artists performing this year include Gayle Arnold’s two person band The Strangest Days, as well as Kara Lockwood Music. In the past, we’ve highlighted local musicians including first time performers like Mat Walach to veteran rockers Bif Naked and Doug Fury. We pride ourselves in sharing local talent in all stages of their careers.    Another highlight of the show is our auction. Not only do the proceeds help support arts based initiatives such as arts programs for kids and adults, funds are also used to produce art exhibitions and support artists in the event. Guests can expect to bid on everything from hotel packages and BC activities and adventures to art from artists in our show and beyond!  This year, we are giving away two tickets each week when you repost this image and hashtag #artworldexpo! Body paint by Jess Hawkins. Line up!  Gary Weston 2014. Glamour Noir theme this year. Consider purchasing a mask this year by Coastal Storm Gallery. $20/ea or included in a VIP ticket. 

Guests can bid on amazing items and services in the auction. 

 

 

FREE Art World Expo tickets for you!

We are so excited about our show this year, after all, it IS our 5th Anniversary! In honor of this momentous occasion, we want you all to be sure to have your tickets ready long before the event in May and have a special promotion for you until September 8!

This month, our founder and CEO Monika Blichar, is participating in a pop up gallery “Acts of Random occupaTion” in Deep Cove along with 7 other talented local artists and designers, some of whom are also part of AWE 2015! As part of her mission to bring everyone out to the Expo for the Fairy Tale Inspired 5th anniversary event, with every purchase made on any of pieces by Monika Blichar from the gallery, clients will receive two free tickets to Art World Expo!

A fabulous deal for those who would like to collect Monika’s work as well as join us at our event on May 1, 2015!

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As an added special bonus, if you show this coupon upon purchase, either printed or on your Smart Phone, you will also be eligible for 10% off any of Monika’s pieces on top of claiming your complimentary Art World Expo tickets! Tickets to the Expo are currently $40/each.

Monika is exhibiting 20 pieces for sale at the exhibition running until September 8, 2014. Ranging from hand painted and mixed media tiles, to paintings, signed limited edition prints and one hand sewn custom collarette. Pieces range in price from $60-$2500.

Each week, participating artists will also be doing live demonstrations free for the general public. Monika will be live painting August 21 & 22, September 5 and Face Painting by donation to support AWE 2015 Toronto Expansion on August 24 for Deep Cove Days.

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For more information on the gallery hours and a full list of exhibitors, please visit the Acts of Random Occupation event page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/666266263458563/ 

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