Unlimited Potential-An Interview with Steven Lemire


By Alyssa Laube

About: Steven Lemire recently discovered his passion for painting and expressing himself, along with his wife, Sanda. He creates abstract paintings and will be showcasing them at this year’s expo.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe each piece of art as one of a kind. They’re uniquely painted,modern, contemporary oil paintings with an emphasis on depth, varied colours and deep textures. Each painting draws out various emotions and perceptions, especially when spot or focusedmood lighting is added, which can give the piece more character.

Lemire_Painting 2_Laguna

What do you like about creating abstract art?

Creating abstract art affords me the opportunity of not being limited, which allows my emotions and environment to affect how the paint is applied.It’s like the old saying, “If it feels good, do it!”

Which artists inspire you?

Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí are on the edge of inspired chaos, which makes their art fun and exciting!

Lemire_Painting 3 - Raven's Escape

How do you choose which colours to use in a painting?

I run a range of colourpalettes in my thoughts, and the very first one that captures my attention gets the paint flowing onto a new canvas.

How do you use turpentine/linseed oil?

I use paint thinners and linseed oil to stretch and thin the paints. Since they are like oil and water when mixed, itcauses a natural separation, which causes some of the paints to take on a life of their own. Experimentation has led to some amazing reactions – and sometimes failed outcomes – but the surprises are what makes it more interesting.

How long does it usually take you to create a piece?

The time taken to complete a painting is mainly based on how long it takes the layers to dry.  If I had a large enough studio, I think I would do multiple paintings at once, but 4 – 5 days is average if you don’t count waiting for drying times.

I worked on my first commissioned piece for 1 month before I realized I didn’t like where it was going, as it felt forced. Later, I smeared the entire canvas, began to work over the original, and let my feelings go. Within 2 days, it resulted in one of my favourite pieces (found here:

Do you usually go into a painting with an image or idea you want to bring to life, or do you create as you go?

I’ve tried to start with an idea in mind, but it doesn’t seem to help me reachmy goal, so I usually paint as I go. Most of the pieces I start with an idea in mind become paintings covering paintings until the result is more than what was intended.

You work with your wife, Sanda. What is it like to work with your spouse, and how do you encourage each other as artists?

Honestly, I don’t know if I would enjoy painting without her. Each time we paint, we share candlelit nights, amazing music, bottles of wine and a lot of laughter. On hot nights in Mexico, we take a late-night dip in the pool on painting breaks. It refreshes the mind and helps to create excitement and longer nights of painting!

How did living in Mexico influence you?

Living in Mexico influenced everything.Warm nights, bright starlit skies, happy people, a much slower pace of living and the lack of any stress helps to open the mind andlet it flow.  As a result, we hope to return this year and not look back.

See more of Stevens work at!


Life and Loss

Life and Loss

An Interview with Uma Sharda


by Alyssa Laube


About: Uma Sharda is a “design specialist in product packaging and labeling”, painter, and overall creator! Raised by Hindu parents, there are spiritual themes to her recent work as well as those focusing on femininity.

Your “Unborn Series” features images of “babies, hearts, wombs, blood and bone.” Could you explain the meaning behind it?


When I think about the unborn, I think of a fetus and womb. The colours, textures and various visuals of bone and blood is fascinating. I think of miscarriages, abortions, life not yet breathing and the heartache and anxiety that can occur in the time of pregnancy. I wanted to distort the simple shape of the heart and use the womb, rib cage and pelvis to depict the twisted feelings of love and loss. I wanted to explore the concept of life incased in bone, muscle and tissue – not knowing the outer world of air and earth. I explore infertility, femininity and whether motherhood is an essential role in a woman’s life.


How did your studies in art history impact you?


It is great knowing how art developed with human evolution. Not only do I appreciate the complex and various ways we can visually express ourselves, but also the ability to add and extend that knowledge. Personally, art history allows me to explore movements and recognize the visual documentation of how we live, think and understand our reality at any given time. Reading about artists who were exploring similar challenges as I am is fantastic. Seeing their successes and strategies for overcoming them is even more incredible!


How was training at Emily Carr in graphic design different?

The culture and way of teaching at Emily Carr is unique; I haven’t met any art or design students from other institutions that have described the same experiences. I learned to be resourceful and ruthless with refining the best idea out of many. My fellow students had diverse backgrounds and we were able to provide many perspectives that challenged and opened each others minds. I learned to define how I get creative ideas, what creativity is, and how others access it.

Does your culture and/or heritage impact your life? How so, particularly in British Columbia?

Of course. Your identity is the lens with which you view life, and I want to be true to myself. I acknowledge the privilege of having Hindu parents and look into what I have learned from the valuable culture they raised me in. I continue to find ways to express being Hindu and born/raised in northern B.C.. A small town like Kitimat was uniquely multicultural with over 20 different languages spoken in a population of 12000.

To expand on the previous question, could you briefly describe your “Lotus Series” and how Hinduism is integrated into your work?

The lotus is a symbol for calm and peace. This was seen in paintings with goddesses holding a lotus in their hand and gods meditating on the flowers in the lake, representing peaceful, not chaotic, minds. Since the lotus rests on the surface of the lake, but has roots below and flowers above, I think of it as an umbilical cord from earth to sky. In my paintings, I take it further: from water to stars. But there are other ways I use Hinduism in my work. The “holy trinity” describes how life is experienced with Shiva the destroyer, Vishnu the preserver and Brahma the creator. The Shiva dancer manipulated time and space and was part of the natural motion of the world. I didn’t want to paint the specific gods and goddesses, but I love the dancer as the force that moves us all through time and space, so I took the positions from Classical Indian dance (Bharatham). Also, I incorporate the “om” sign to provoke a feeling of peace. I currently have my Lotus Moon Dancer series artwork on display at the Naam Restaurant from Jan 20-Mar 3.

What’s your favourite quote and why?

“Do or do not there is no try.” Not every action will show success but every action snowballs into another. This momentum ensures success. When I think I’m trying, I know I’m worrying, and I have to stop myself and say, “Keep it simple – Do or do not.” Failure doesn’t matter.


Uma Sharda     

cell: 778.893.6144   email:

Uma’s work is currently on display at The Naam Restaurant in Kits. (January 2015-March 2015) Visit The Naam on Facebook: