scienceworld

Surf Art? Yes Please! 

By Monika Blichar 

I always love meeting new artists and sharing them in our network. This time, I catch up with Lindsay who has a daring sense of adventure in her art and life! 


Lindsay graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Television Film and New Media then proceeded to get her MAED at University of Phoenix. Lindsay is from the Hollywood area where she worked at DreamWorks as well as other film companies and eventually took on her own clients. Some clients include Marriott, US Hanger Company, Hilton, San Diego Rescue Mission, Pussers and many more!

“My work is shows the compliments of coastal living and the carefree lifestyle of surfing. I like to do work with passion that shows the beauty of the sport of surfing becoming one with nature. I like to show how creative nature’s beauty can be. I live outside of the DC area and was born and raised in southern California which I am constantly coming back to. I create ocean art, accessories and jewelry. www.BlueFusionSurfArt.com Paradise Found is a favorite spot in Kauai.” 

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Being a Pirate and a Gypsy

By Monika Blichar 

When it comes to daydreaming and thinking up creative ideas, most artists can say that deep down, that’s all they ever really want to do. Being an artist is often like being a pirate and a gypsy; searching for that golden idea while striving to keep it secret until it is time to unveil. 

I caught up with Paula Godden owner and designer at The Pirate and the Gypsy and asked her to give us a few insights into her world of wonder. 


1-A lot of your inspiration to create a company came from your travels as a young girl. Do you have a favourite place that you have visited? 
Jerusalem, a place so rich in history and culture. As a young girl, I was wide eyed with wonder walking through the streets of the old city, visiting historic churches and sites, places I had heard about in stories and later read about in books. The lush greenery of the Mount of Olives, the beautiful beaches, floating on the Dead Sea, touching the spot where the Star of Bethlehem landed when it fell from the sky. The market places were always so filled with color and the hustle of merchants with their beautiful art work and jewelry. It was magical, like fantasy had come to life, especially after watching movies like Indiana Jones which romanticized the Middle East with all its natural treasures and mysteries. My imagination ran wild and it was at that time my writings and drawings really began to develop.

2-Is anyone else in your family creative? 
Yes, I have a lot of creative family members but the person that stands out the most for me is my Father, he was an amazing artist. I remember when I was little I would watch him, I was mesmerized by his drawings. I would constantly be bugging him to draw things for me and then as I got older he was the one I would go to when I wasn’t sure on how to draw something. He really helped me develop and hone my artistic skills.
3-Your work is made from many natural materials and stones. What is your favourite material to work with? 
I love working with all metals and stones but if I had to choose one of each I would have to say that copper and Larimar are my favourites. Some think of copper as a “poor man’s” metal, a dirty metal, but its not. Copper is such a wonderful easy metal to work with and has amazing healing and conductive properties. It has the ability enhance the properties of all other metals and stones that are in contact with it. Copper also has such a rich, vibrant colour it reminds me of the sun setting on the water; those deep reddy orange hues shimmering on the waves of the ocean. Turquoise is usually the favourite for natural blue stones, but Larimar has my heart. It reminds me of horizon where the ocean meets the sky, blue seas and white pillowy clouds. As you can probably tell I have my head in the clouds and my heart at the ocean.

4-What’s the most memorable design you have created? 
I’d have to choose the custom engagement/wedding ring remake I recently did. Working with a customer to bring their vision, their story to life was an amazing experience for me. This was definitely a challenging piece for me to do. I took on the project not just because of the story behind it, but for the opportunity to push my boundaries of creativity and increase my skill level. This customer hadn’t worn her wedding ring set for 15 years, saying the setting was too high and that it would get caught on things and scratch her children when carrying them. She gave me her vision and trusted me to take it and put my own creative twist on it and after 15 years she is now able to wear the expression of love and her family on her finger once again. The joy I experienced when I saw her face as she put her new ring on for the first time was overwhelming and I was even more moved but the testimonial she posted on my website. The process I went through on this custom piece brought my skill set to a whole new level and confirmed my love for the process of discovery, design and creation, this is why I hand pick all of my materials. My husband and I believe that in every piece of wood, glass, metal and stone there is a story and it is our joy to translate that story into the unique piece of art it becomes.

5-Where would you like to see your business and collection be in 5 years? 
I see my husband and I doing this full time. The Pirate & The Gypsy will have moved out of our home studio into a small local store front in New Westminster on Front Street with personal studio space for the two of us. Our online store will have expanded and flourished, going from a largely local audience to more expanded national audience. I see us growing and evolving. As the business grows so will our skills and possibly our creative direction. The Pirate & The Gypsy has grown so much in the past year with the addition of my husband’s woodworking and stained glass art. I am blessed to have him with me along for the ride, to be able to share our ideas, methods, and dreams for the future. I see some stained glass pendant collaborations in the future and maybe even some wood and metal pieces. In 5 years we will still be sailing the seas of our imaginations and creating form the heart. We want to create a culture where people come to us from all over the world when they want unique custom designed pieces that tell a story or that celebrate their life and their journey.  

6-Will you have any specials for Art World Expo attendees this year?
I have a few surprises up my sleeve for Expo attendees. I will be debuting a new limited edition collection at a special Art World Expo pricing. We will be giving away a complementary gift to the first 25 customers who visit our booth and while they are there they can enter our draw to win one of our necklaces.


For more information, be sure to visit The Pirate & The Gypsy Facebook Page

They Really Make Money from their Art?

Did you know that one of the biggest struggles that artists face is making their art an actual career?

Gary Weston's Exhibit 2014

Gary Weston’s Exhibit 2014

When we meet artists, immediately one of the first things that we think of is, really? How can this person really be making a living off of their art? For the majority of artists, their biggest challenge is to be creative and be a business person.

One of the ways that we like to help artists make a living is to help them sell art. When you visit our show or follow our social media, you’ll see that we love to share and post art for sale from our vendors. At the event itself, we also have a silent auction and when you bid on the art from the auction, the artist receives 50% of the sale. Some sales are big, some smaller, but each sale of art in the auction supports the artisans in our event.

Art World Expo Auction 2015

Art World Expo Auction 2015

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Hajni beside two of her pieces at the auction in 2014. Both pieces sold.

Sabrina from Coastal Storm Gallery helping out at the Art World Expo Toronto Auction

Sabrina from Coastal Storm Gallery helping out at the Art World Expo Toronto Auction

If you know an artist who would like to be involved in our event, please share this post. Additionally, if you have a product or service that you would like to donate to our event auction, please register by filling out our donation form which can be found on our website! DONATE TO THE AUCTION HERE

See you at the show!

Sincerely,

Monika Blichar, Show Producer & Founder
Art World Expo TM http://www.theartworldexpo.com
MAB Ventures Inc.-An Arts & Entertainment Agency

3 Days Left for Early Bird Tickets! 

You heard right! There are only three days left for early bird tickets! Early bird tickets end February 29, 2016-secure your tickets now!

Fashion Show by Nancy Perreault

We always love this event and each year strive to make it more interesting and amazing for the artists involved as well as the guests who attend. This year we will have an array of art for sale from over 100 artists from Canada, USA and Europe; we are very exited that once again, we have artists exhibiting from out of country. We will also continue with live painting, stage demonstrations, live music, a fashion show, silent and live auctions, food vendors, drinks and of course, the always popular body painting competition.

Little Monsters Studio returns! Photo: Gaby Saliba

Our theme this year is “Glamour Noir” as our event date falls on Friday, May 13. Guests are encouraged to adhere to the dress code and wear only red, white and black to the show.
Please continue to support this fabulous event and all the imagination and possibility that lies within it. It’s more than just a show, it’s the Art World-a place you can truly experience everything and anything creative.

Stump Artist is back-maybe even live chainsaw carving!

Michael Griffin Fine Art is back-be sure to chrck him out!

Lisa Austin, The MT Canvas, and Deanna Fligg setting up a few years ago!

A feature from the 24HR -thanks Sarah Rowland!

Producer and owner of Art World Expo, Monika Blichar is creating #GlamourNoir50 , a collection of 50 new paintings to be unveilled at this year’s event.

Gary Weston’s art is a crowd favorite!

Guests enjoying an array of stage performances all night!

Gypsy Jean and her walking art-ask us about hownto get a walking ad for your business at the show his year!

 

Open Door Gallery in 2015 -amazing!


Purchase your tickets before the 29th of February and enjoy early bird discounts. Order your tickets HERE.

Consider purchasing a VIP ticket including a limited edition Coastal Imagination Glamour Noir mask by Coastal Storm Gallery. Created specifically for this event in support of Make and Break Arts Foundation who annually support kids and adult arts programs, artist exhibitions, and creative professional development both locally and internationally. A VIP ticket also comes with a fast track line up, a special swag bag, and a drink ticket.

Thank you Twin Peaks Construction for your ongoing sponsorship for our annual event. Be sure to visit their website for all your home and commercial renovation and new build needs!

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The Dreamer An Interview with Hajni Yosifov

By Alyssa Laube

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About: For Transylvanian painter and poet, Hajni Yosifov, art is all about self-discovery. Her paintings (“painted diaries/journals”, or “dreamscapes”, as she calls them) use bold colours and heavy texture to evoke emotions of love, wonder, and struggle. Despite starting out her artistic career as a jewellery designer, Hajni has found her true passion in painting, and will be exhibiting at this year’s Expo.

When you mention the “idea of existing” as a key concept in your work, what do you mean?

My artistic journey is more than seeking; it’s a chance to go on, deeply and permanently, into the idea of existing. Art is how I record life.

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The way that you’ve described your work on your page is quite poetic. Do you write poetry?

The dance between words and pictures is unlike anything else. Nothing compares with the discovery of your own verse, and some of my paintings gives my mind the power of words. “The Dreamer” is my self portrait in words.

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Which artists inspire you?

There are many inspiring artists, but none touches my heart and soul like Emily Carr.

How did growing up in Transylvania (and then moving to Canada) influence you?

When I came in Canada in 1990, the course of my life changed. My first show happened to be at Hamilton Art Gallery, where I met the gallery Director, Ted Pietrzak. His encouragement and guidance led me to the most rewarding journey as an artist. That was the beginning.

How did you get started in jewellery design?

At the end of the high school I decided to become a jeweller. It was a fascinating process between melting gold and polishing the final piece. The finished piece always became someone’s treasure.

How did you discover that painting was your true passion?

Painting must be my true passion, because I paint after working at my job, even if I don’t have a showing or commissioned piece. I’m painting when I’m hopeful or hopeless.

Would you describe your work as abstract and why/why not?

I don’t consider my art abstract because abstract art seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colours and textures without representing an external reality. I call mine “dreamscapes”, because when I paint, my intention is to touch an emotional chord with such intensity that I can’t distinguish if it’s pain or happiness.

How do you like to use colour and texture in your art?

My inspiration comes from a thought, building textures and bright colours, and then balancing with soft pastel.

You’ve participated in over 190 exhibitions. Is there one, or a few, that stand out in your memory and why?

After over 240 exhibitions, each of them is important. I had so many amazing moments and met so many people that inspired me.

How do you think that your work reflects the “awakening of life”?

I’m collecting bits of nature, human forms, and sparkles of light and putting them back into my artwork romantically. The awakening of life is an endless wonder.

How have you found your “new self” through your art?

I’m an artist; this is what I do. My art is the bridge between me and the world.

Why is creating art important to you?

My art gives me the courage to be vulnerable, and to be myself.

What will you be showing at the Expo?

At the Art World Expo, I’m showing my recent work. As a collection, each painting orchestrates the mood and story behind it. The theme, ”Shades of Love”, echoes through each of them.
You can see or purchase Hajni’s work at this year’s Expo, or:
http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/h/hajni/.

You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

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Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor Twin Peaks Construction!

www.twinpeaksconstruction.com 

Free & Happy-An Interview with Angela Ayre

angelaayre3 angelaayre4

By Alyssa Laube

About: After her time working with Canadian Forces, Angela Ayre decided to take a very different route and pursue a career in art. She is attending New Image College of Fine Arts for makeup artistry and is currently working with everything from body paint to beauty products!

What is it about body painting that you enjoy? Do you have any favourite techniques?

I enjoy body painting because it’s challenging, I can work on my communication skills with the model, and have a lot of fun along the way. The body is beautiful and it’s amazing how body paint can transform someone.

What was it like to serve with the Canadian Forces, and what was your role?

It was an honour to serve as a medic and clerk with the Canadian Forces, which was both my career and my family. I’m sad to leave but excited for what the future holds.

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Why did you choose to move to such a different profession as makeup artistry?

When I closed my eyes and was honest with myself about what I could see myself doing and loving, makeup and art came to mind.

How do you feel when you’re creating art?

I feel free and happy when creating art.

You also like to use high contrast colour. How come? Do you have any favourite colours to use, and why?

I’ve always enjoyed high contrast colour cause I like how things pop and stand out. My favourite colours are pink and anything bright because it brings the piece energy!

Why did you choose to attend New Image?

I was inspired by a friend to take the course at New Image. I saw how much fun she was having and the projects looked interesting!

What makes you happiest?

What makes me happiest are the little things in life that make me grateful to be alive. When someone else appreciates the work I have done it makes me feel proud of the effort I put in.

What will you be showcasing at the Expo? Do you have a theme in mind, and if so, why did you choose it?

I think I will be donating my framed chalk drawing of a jean jacket. This piece is one of my favourites because it took a lot of time and patience to complete.

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For more of Angelas work, visit:

https://instagram.com/angelaayre/

Avant-Garde & Colourful A Glimpse Into the Mind of Makeup Artist Anita Chan

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By Alyssa Laube

 

About: Although Anita has a Degree in Communications, she is currently studying her true passion at New Image College of Fine Arts: makeup artistry! Her dream is to work in the entertainment and fashion industry, and to run her own company where she can apply all of her diverse skills. At this year’s Expo, Anita will be demonstrating her body painting skills for the AWE audience.

Youre a student in Makeup Artistry and Film/Fashion Design. What made you interested in these specific studies, especially film and fashion? 

My love for the fine arts started with drawing lessons when I was little. My teacher taught me the fundamentals:drawing straight lines without a ruler, shading, working with different mediums, tracing, colouring, and sketching. Later, myGrade 6 art teacher, Ms. Kolaric, inspired me and taught me new techniques; I learned to create a swan wing out of tissue on construction paper, use a sponge to make a background look like papyrus, and work with paper maché!In the curriculum, Ms. Kolaricintroduced us to Mesopotamian, Greek, and Egyptian history– it was like a grand tour of world art history!

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Later, when I worked at the Park (movie) Theatre, I was able to get hands-on experience with creatingsets for the lobby. I replicated scenes from the film that was showing at the time, and even got to recreate some of my favourites: Lord of the Rings and Apocalypse Now! After my cousin graduated from the Visual Arts program at Emily Carr and started working in the film industry, I realized that it’s a great place for me to express my creativity. With film, the sky’s the limit.

My official interest in makeup artistry started in 2008 when I became a volunteer with Anime Evolution. There, I was exposed to many talented cosplayers, photographers, and designers, who led me to pursue my passion as a makeup artist.

How do you think that social media is important for artists? 

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I manage seven social media channels for work and understandhow time consuming – yet important – it can be. It’s a great way to inspire, promote, and catalogue your work. You can use it to create a portfolio, help with your research, and mentor or connect with other artists. Still, one important thing to note is that one should always be careful of what they post. Always show respect and professionalism, as you are on displayall the time!It’s also important to remember that personalization is key; A catch phrase or a logo is what sets you apart from other artists.

Would you suggest your school, New Image College of Fine Arts, to other artists? 

Absolutely! The small class sizes at New Image College are great. I’m in an evening class of 10, which I love because we really get to know, learn from, and inspire each other. I also receive more one-on-one time with teachers who provide constructive feedback, help the students realize their potential and turn their ideas into reality. As a whole, the school is responsive and adaptable in regards to problem resolution.When aconcern is raised, the president and teachers sit down with the class to discuss probable solutions. This opens communication between students and teachers, which fosters an inviting environment for all!

How has your education changed your work? 

Key assets I learned in makeup school are to be flexible and open to new ideas. Each artist has their own unique style, some of which may extend beyond your comfort zone. When this happens, I embrace it and ask myself, “Why not?” At school, I also learned how to think analytically and ahead, which is critical in the fast-paced and ever-changing makeup industry. After all, you would not want a bride to become “Bridezilla” because you forgot to include extra eyelash glue in her take-away kit!

Where do you get the inspiration for your work? 

I get my everyday inspiration mostly from the world of science fiction, fantasy, and Japanese anime, especially goth and punk. When it comes to techniques and mediums for communication, I draw on an art history course I took in university. In particular, the styles of Picasso, Lisa Steele, Yoko Ono, and Jackson Pollock inspire me.I also travel a lot and have been to different places in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North,Central and South America, which inspires my work both visually and expressively. Lastly, my grandfather taught me skills specific to the art of Chinese finger painting, which influences my work as well.

Do you consider yourself to have a niche in the makeup artistry industry? 

To quote my Makeup for High Fashion teacher, Tiana Tran, my style is very “avant-garde and colourful”.

Do you cosplay, or help others cosplay? 

Yes, I’ve cosplayed as Minion Dave and turned my friend into Minion Kevin from Despicable Me. Other cosplays I’ve done before include Poison Ivy from Batman, Ryuk from Death Note, and Sailor Galaxia from Sailor Moon. In total, each cosplay took me about 48 hours to complete.

What advice would you give to future makeup artists? 

Volunteering for events is a good way to network and meet mentors. Jump at the opportunity to work on a gig, even if you don’t feel like you meet the qualifications. Tag team with a classmate or friend so that you can support each other. Keeping a positive attitude also helps, as negativity can affect more than just you. Most importantly, show respect to everyone you work with.

What will you be showing at this years expo? 

In line with the fairytale theme, I will create a look based on nymphs. In Greek and Latin mythology, a nymph is defined as a minor female deity typically associated with a particular location or landform; They are the spirits who make nature come to life.

How does your personality or interests show in your work?

I love colours, and my favourite is purple, so I use a lot of it in my work.As a person, I’m a happy-go-lucky girl and feel that my work proves that; they’re upbeat, funky, and fun! I also love adventures and experimenting with new things, so the process of creating my art is equally as important to me as the art itself.

Your long-term goal is to have your own company. Can you explain what this would look like, and how/when you plan to get there? 

During the next 3 years, I hope to build my repertoire as a makeup artist, event planner and communications specialist. Overall, I want to incorporate all of my skills and provide a one-stop, home-based shop for my clients! I think that the toughest task to do is coming up with a business name and going through all of the administrative and legal procedures.My family owned a floral business for over 20 years, so once the setup is complete, coming up with a business plan will be fun and easy. In 10 years, I hope to have a thriving business and have both local and international clients.

Pushing Past the Limit-An Interview with Autumn Blake

By Alyssa Laube

Autumn Blake Puakai (1) Autumn Blake Robot (1)

About: Autumn Blake is a freelance makeup artist and married mother of two from the TriCity area. Her passion is creating unique and interesting characters with her skills, but she is currently dabbling in a little bit of everything, from fashion and beauty to film and body painting. She will be showcasing her work in this year’s body painting competition at the Art World Expo.

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How would you describe your work as a makeup artist?

My enthusiasm in the industry works strongly with the creative side of makeup artistry. I strive to create something that captivates the eye. I apply that drive to my makeup; be it fashion on the runway, special effects (my favourite), or a full character makeup.

How were you trained in makeup?

I was professionally trained at Blanche Macdonald Centre in the Global Makeup Program (and graduated on January 16th of this year), so I learned everything from everyday makeup and bridal to special effects and character makeups.

Many of your pieces seem to have an alien-like look to them. Is this the look you aim for, and why do you like to create it?

Though I really do enjoy science fiction characters, I feel as if I just truly enjoy freedom in creativity. Creating without restriction can result in some amazing pieces. That freedom makes the art push past the limit of natural world ideas, which is why the characters sometimes come off as alien.

Where do you get inspiration for your pieces?

I get inspiration everywhere! One week it could be comic books and video games and the next it could be organics and nature.

How does your makeup style for yourself compare to the one you use on your work?

My makeup style for myself is the complete opposite! It’s usually very subtle and natural, whereas my work is generally more bold and colourful.

What’s your favourite makeup design trend, or even time period?

I am a huge fan of the art style in folklore and fantasy, though I am still a huge sucker for winged liner and red lips!

What are you hoping to accomplish at this year’s expo?

I’m hoping to push my abilities, create something new and different, and share my and other artist’s work.

To view more of Autumn’s work, visit: https://www.facebook.com/autumnsmakeupandhair?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Folktales and Faerie Stories-An Interview with Melissa Mary Duncan

By Alyssa Laube

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http://www.melissaduncan.ca/

About: Melissa Mary Duncan is a Mythical and Faerie Artist living on Canada’s West Coast and working in the northern European tradition of Faerie Tale and Celtic Myth . She is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Art World Expo at Telus Science World, in Vancouver. She looks forward to welcoming you to her inner landscape

 

Your mother taught you to paint. Was she an artist? Was her style similar to yours?

Mom painted in oils and taught painting to children. She tried to interest me in painting but I was a most recalcitrant student preferring the wild out of doors to the inside of her studio or the classroom. And my style, subject and use of medium are nothing like hers.

 

Youve been influenced by Celtic legends and Brothers Grimm. Are there any in particular that had a lasting effect on you?

Celtic Legends are an interesting mix of oral history, hero tales and magical happenings. They are different than Fairytales in that the stories are believed to have happened. The characters are varied and often rather intense in their passions and motivations. I would say that my love of history and traditional Celtic Music drew me to Celtic Mythos as much as my passion for a damned fine yarn.

My favourite tale from the Brother’s Grimm is “ Hansel and Gretel”. I have always delighted in a good wicked witch and who can not be charmed by spunky little sister Gretel. The children best this witch not through any use of magic but through their own pluck and daring. I think that if the material in Hansel and Gretel was taken as the plot line and produced straight-up, as a film, it would be terrifying.

What is it about fantasy and folklore that fascinates you?

Fantasy can be a very effective vehicle for metaphor. I like my fantasy with real world sociological, historic and anthropological roots. I am very traditional in that regard, although having said that I must admit to often painting narrative Faerie tales based on noting more grounded than a collage of fay, mythic and human beings interacting in the twilight world, as if we, the viewers, have suddenly stumbled upon this motley collection of characters and interrupted them at their own foxy, magic and mysterious business. That kind of fantasy, at first glance, can be just for fun. I am a romantic at heart but I do not always expect or even enjoy a saccharine happily ever after. I use the fantastical as a metaphor for life, the sacredness of the environment and to make sense of our mortality. I also use it unashamedly as an escape.

 

When and how did that fascination begin?

It started during childhood, as a child with a love for good old-fashioned bedtime stories and a wonderful song about a Dragon with Thirteen Tails. I was a sickly little girl often confined to resting indoors and I remember my father and our local librarian engaged in a heated discussion about what I was and was not allowed to bring home from the library. I had set my heart on a gilded late Victorian edition of The Tales from The Arabian Knights translated into English by Sir Richard Burton. Now, you need to understand that these were not the tamed down nursery versions of Aladdin and Albi Baba with which you might be familiar, but Adult Folk tales which begin with an invocation to Allah. These stories informed the reader not just of a King with supreme power over the life and death of his wives but life in a harem, of monsters and seduction and … Well, you catch my drift. The librarian was scandalized. My father held fast and I brought home Sir Richard Burton’s volume. Faerie tales, the stories of Aesop and The Lays of Marie of France, Shakespeare’s 12th Night, the Opera Turandot seem to have always been part of my life so I suppose my fascination began with my first lullaby.

 

Are there any places that youve been to which have inspired you or had a fantasy-like atmosphere? Are there any here in British Columbia?

In British Columbia we are blessed with beauty. We live in a very scenic part of the world. Take me to the woods. Take me to the sea shore . Take me down an old narrow alley in Victoria’s China Town, or on a bus or to the supermarket. In every human face there is magic. In every aspect of the natural world there is the wondrous. In every vestige of civilization or ancient building there are the echoes of “Once upon a time…” I love the Lady Chapel in St. James Cathedral, in Vancouver. In that sacred space one can feel the tradition of prayer that has gone before and hear the echo of song from the choir singing in the Victorian Romanesque main chapel. As Fantasy is a product of human intellect and imagination it is inherent in ourselves. It is informed by the mechanics of the natural world and sprinkled throughout with superstition. It grows in traditions and in the fascination with the obscure. Fantasy is a product of the exotic and of wishes. It is the cousin of hope in the face of our own mortality. It is all around us because we carry the seeds of fantasy in our subconscious.

Your book, FAYE ~ The Art of Melissa Mary Duncan, came out in 2013. How do you feel about having a book dedicated to your work? How did it change your life?

It got me Nominated for the Canadian Aurora Award as Best Artist of 2014 for illustration and cover art…Dead shock! It was a labour of love. It taught me a whole lot about the craft of making a book. And it sold, which again, was rather a surprise to me.

 

You had a bit of a challenging childhood. How did those challenges help you grow into who you are today?

I am a Polio Survivor. Despite the fact that I draw Faeries and fantastical beings I am very pragmatic. I seem to possess most of the typical character traits of a Polio survivor in that I am a bit of a workaholic. I feel that Folktales and Faerie stories took me out of myself to other worlds when it was not so easy for me to go into the world. I think that is also why I find life so wonderful.

 

Your artistic career started with your membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism. What was it about this group that encouraged to to develop your work?

Ahh . . . The Society! I am smiling as I write those words. The Society showed me a different kind of art from what my mother tried to teach me. It introduced me to the magic of the manuscript, the delicacy of ancient music, and the earth, body and spiritual morality of the Miracle play. It gave me encouragement and a place to try ancient craft. It let me experience through doing and that gave me a visceral hint of what I might have experienced had I lived in another time and place. That is what the SCA gave me and still gives it’s members.

 

How did your graduation from Emily Carr affect your artistry?

 Emily Carr did not teach me what I expected it to. It taught me other things which I did not know I needed to learn, like most college experiences. It was both a positive and a negative experience for me. I was almost afraid to paint and draw what interested me most because it was so different from what the staff and the other students were pursuing. It was really long after Emily Carr that I returned to my love of Magical Realism. I think I would just have confused them at college painting Faerie tales and witches with due diligence – and minus that Disney gloss.

 

Explain your interest in strong female archetypes and the importance of character.

I come from a long lineage of strong women. My mother used to tell me stories, which now, as an adult, I have come to realize were fabrications about my grandmother, a woman I never had the privilege of knowing. According to Mom, my granny was one of those suffragettes who chained herself to the fences of the Houses Of Parliament, in England, to help women get the vote. Mom used to tell me another family yarn about her great aunt, who had been the last woman in Wales accused of witchcraft. With that as an example of female empowerment, how could I not be fascinated with strong women? My mother was certainly a strong woman, as well as an unrepentant teller of tall tales. I too have a certain reputation for strength of character. My husband calls it stubbornness. So do my daughters. The apple’s not falling far from the tree. I think my mother, in her own way, was trying to give her sickly daughter positive strong female role models. She succeeded.

For me, some of the best characters in ancient tales, are those of women: King Leer’s daughter Cordelia, Titania the Queen of the Faeries, Queen Guinevere, Mother Holly, and Queen Mauve of the ancient Irish…they’re inspiring women ! Having said that, all of my subjects are character-driven creations whether they are women, men or Mr. Bunny Rabbit Esquire. Character, I hope, gives them believability and makes them more engaging and thought-provoking.

What is your favourite medium for creating art?

I love egg tempera made with pigments I have ground or concocted myself according to medieval recipes and used on real vellum. Labour intensive? You bet!

How does your family – in particular, your husbands job as a landscape architect and Fantasy Author – affect you and your work?

Family and friends often end up modelling for me. Bless their cotton socks!

My darling husband and I often bounce ideas off of each other. He will read me a little taste of his latest story and I will ask him if he thinks that a figure in my latest drawing is positioned well. He will tell me if that is not how a long sword is held, take up his long sword and assume the correct position. He is a bit of a Western Marshall Arts aficionado. I get going with my pencil and correct the drawing. Then I will tell him that the woman in his story would never react that way, and explain how I would react if I was set upon by barrel-shaped aliens in a Victorian steam punk world. He then considers my statements and sets to typing. In short, we trust each other and care about helping to facilitate each other’s success. We share a passion for history, myth, and fantasy and have the same love of nature.

You will be helping AWE design their flyer this year. What are you hoping to incorporate into this design?

Any depictions of Faerie should be alluring and somewhat familiar, like putting on a comfy old sweater. They should also be just a little bit uncomfortable, like those moments when you awaken from a deep dream and can not quite tell if the dream is done. A flyer should bring that out in the public. It must be engaging, informative, memorable and an accurate depiction of the event you are creating.

I hear that you love hats. Do you have a favourite one? 

I could cheat out on this question and say the hat that I am wearing . . . Ta-da! But that would be fudging. In truth, my favourite is an old rumpled hat. It was, when new, a work of craft and art, made of soft wool felt in Italy. It is a wide-brimmed, black Fedora and it was my mother’s.

Bringing New Meaning to “Language Arts”

An Interview with Cristina Petersen

by Alyssa Laube

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About: After returning to her home town of Vancouver after 14 years, Cristina Petersen now works as a painter and ESL instructor at the University of British Columbia. She is new to showing her work, and looks forward to developing and improving as an artist.

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As a newcomer to the Art World Expo, what are you expecting?

 

I am expecting to talk and connect with a lot of like-minded people, and to have fun being involved in such a great and vibrant event! I hope to sell some work, but I think that just being there is a step towards even considering myself as a real artist.

 

You are new to showing your art. How did you decide to do that, and what was your experience like?

 

I was encouraged by Monika to do more art and to get it out there, but also met a local artist in my neighbourhood named Marty Andaluz. I worked with him to have my first art show, along with two of my friends, who are also new to art. We had fun organizing it together at a local café, Room for Cream on Kingsway. It also helped to have encouragement from my fiancé, Tom, as well as family and friends who support this new adventure of mine.

 

You’re juggling two jobs – as an artist, of course, but also as an instructor at UBC! What is that like for you?

 

It’s very difficult to find time sometimes to paint, as teaching is a very demanding job. I love teaching and it is my priority of course, but I try to paint on weekends or when I feel inspired.

 

You’ve mentioned that you love to write. What do you enjoy writing? Have you ever considered this as a career?

 

I like to write blogs sometimes for my work. They are about teaching. Writing is just a fun way to express myself about things I’m passionate about. I have toyed with the idea of going into editing as I have a keen eye for errors, having taught ESL for about 13 years now. But ultimately, I am very social and think that being a writer might be too isolated for me…perhaps something later in life! I am always open to trying new things.

 

Do you think being in Ecuador will be an artistic inspiration for you?

 

Yes of course, traveling is always an inspiration. New experiences are what keep things fresh.

 

How has working as an artist affected your work as an instructor, and vice versa?

 

I am not sure that it has affected my work as an instructor, but sometimes I feel like teaching language is a very creative job. When I am in the classroom, I can create a mood or focus on certain things, much like painting. Although with my job, there are administrative duties that sometimes zap my creative side and make me wish I were just able to paint!

 

What subject(s) do you teach?

 

I teach English as an additional language. I teach in different programs all the time, so sometimes I teach in the Intensive English Program, (IEP) or the English for Academic Purposes (EAP), the English for the Global Citizen (EGC) or Explore (with French Canadians). I teach all the skills, but if teaching IEP or EAP I usually try to pick the Speaking and Listening classes or writing courses. I like teaching Speaking because I like to facilitate discussions, teach presentation skills etc. Writing essays is a bit of an art form too. I have always loved to write as well.

 

You work in acrylics. What makes you choose it?

 

Mostly because they are forgiving and easy to clean, as I usually paint in my apartment, so I have to set up everything and take it all down at the end. Cleaning brushes etc. is way easier. I also like to add water or Gesso, sometimes crackle paste for variety as they mix well. I can add oil on top if I want more texture later.

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What are the most important things in your life?

 

Things or people? *laughs* My fiancé, my family, my friends, my dog… but aside from that, being a given, I love horseback riding and skiing; those are the two hobbies that I am passionate about. I try to stay healthy by exercising and eating healthy, delicious food. I enjoy a good glass of red wine, living a simple life, and travelling when I can to explore the world – particularly foreign places where I don’t speak the language. I’ve been studying Spanish off an on for about 10 years.

 

Do you have any significant goals for the future?

 

Well, I am getting married next June, so my fiancé and I are planning our wedding. We are saving money right now and also hoping to take our honeymoon in Ecuador. Hopefully sell more art to help fundraise.

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Can you think of a particular moment or person that inspired you to become an artist?

 

My half-sister Dana loves to paint and is really quite talented. I think she will surpass my skills! I bought her a painting lesson almost 3 years ago with Monika and went with her. This was my first painting lesson too, and ever since then, with Monika’s encouragement, I have kept painting. I have always loved art and art galleries too. I think it was always in me, but it was a matter of being in the right head space to pull it out. And to have that initial “ah ha!” moment, like “Wow, that was really fun, I want to do more of that!” Now I am older and have found my path as an instructor, so I feel like expanding my horizons and trying new things. Learn new skills. Be creative. Always grow as a person.

 

Do you find that, on a bad day, painting can make you feel better?

 

Yes, of course. It is very calming and therapeutic. You can lose yourself in the art and not worry about anything else. Although I have to tell myself sometimes not to be a perfectionist. I like to paint with bigger brush strokes and more abstract style on days where I need a release.

 

Is there a specific technique that you like to use or find interesting?

 

I love work by Dali, it’s so weird and crazy, as well as work by the Group of Seven. I really like abstract scenery and more free flowing brush strokes. Not really schooled in art, so not sure of any specific techniques, but I know I am still experimenting and learning a lot.

 

How do you hope to improve as an artist?

 

I hope to improve my ability to draw or paint specific features like eyes, noses and mouths. I also hope to let go of my own criticism of my own work. I have to accept that not all pieces turn out quite how I envision them, but sometimes that is the beauty of it.