Artist. Blogger. Teacher.
A painting has a journey all its own. It comes into being through the hand, heart, mind, and spirit of the artist and then goes out into the world where, with good fortune, it finds the soul who resonates with it. This is my wish for every painting I create. And also my wish for you - to find the painting that speaks to you and will bring you pleasure for years to come.
I’m crazy about colour and at the same time, a limited palette is my jam! Whether I’m painting in soft pastels or paint (acrylic, watercolour, or oil), my focus is on creating a visual extravaganza of colour using the smallest number of colours. Crazy huh? (Whether you’re a student at the GailSibleyArtSchool or a subscriber to my HowToPastel blog, you’ll hear about the benefit of a limited palette. All. The. Time.)
Along with creating art, I also love teaching. With the last two pandemic years, so much of our lives have been pushed online and that’s where you’ll find me sharing my knowledge and encouraging students to believe in themselves and their unique voice. Happily, in-person workshops are coming back!
Life has a funny way of distracting you from your soul’s purpose (in my case for example, taking on the work of a Masters degree in Art History and more recently, creating IGNITE! an art-making membership) but always, always, the call deepens and when I hear and surrender to that call, returning fully to my art-making, I’m my most joyful self. Creating artwork that reveals the beauty in the world even in the most ordinary and mundane of subjects is the challenge and the reward.
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I have two art processes – one is a response to the outside world of ‘reality’ and the other is a response to the work itself, one that follows an inner sense. The medium for both processes can be pastel, acrylic, charcoal, watercolour, or oil.
In the first process, I paint what I see, often the mundane things in life – two pears, a vase of tulips, a couple conversing outside a restaurant, laundry in the wind. These are the ordinary parts of our lives, often invisible until attention is put on them, yet those small moments of experience can make us glad to be alive. Every day I see some combination of light and shadow or colour that begs to be painted and some days I am lucky enough to have the time, the intention, and the confidence to capture the feeling of what I have seen.
In the second process, reacting to the artwork itself, takes for me, more bravery, more determination, more detachment from what is already on the canvas; I must surrender to its needs, not mine. I let the piece lead the way rather than dictating the outcome.
The beginning is paint, collage, gel – scored or mounded, anything that creates a surface of colour and texture. This is a time of play and freedom of expression. Then I look and ponder what is offered. I refine that offering, little by little, by emphasizing the shapes that have revealed themselves. And then I look and look again. I either continue on the journey that is in progress or, as happens all too often especially when I am dissatisfied with what is there, I take a new road and things change and there is suddenly a new vista. And so this process continues – looking, painting, looking, painting – until the work has nothing more to tell me. The conversation has ended and so the piece is finished.
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