What I didn’t know at the time was that this trip would be the catalyst for my love obsession of exploration and adventure. While in the Philippines, I discovered the power that different cultures, thoughts, ideas, ways of doing things had on me. I started to understand what patience was, I started to realize that there was so much more going on other than my little life back in Vancouver and I started to understand that I had so much to learn from the world. I knew I didn’t know everything and that I had a lot to figure out, I just never understood that the world could be such an incredible classroom.
Upon writing this blog post, I did a lot of reflection about the last 9 years and how my artwork, career, vision and mentality have evolved and I can honestly say that IDS Vancouver has played one of the biggest roles that has gotten me where I am today. The show encompasses beauty and design coupled with innovativeness and ingenuity. But the words I think of most when I think of IDS Vancouver are friendship and support. They continue to to believe in my work and every year my career propels in new and exciting directions.
I always get asked, “Who are your favourite artists? Who inspires and motivates you?” So I thought this would be an awesome topic to share with you this month. It takes a village to be an artist and a part of the journey is surrounding yourself with fellow artists that will hold you up when you can’t do it on your own, who will be your supporters and promoters and who inspire you from afar.
In the beginning, I used to think that I would always remember every piece that I created. But as the years have gone on, and more and more paintings leave the front door each year, it’s actually really tough to remember everything that has been made. Having said that, there are a few pieces that have found their way deep into my heart that I will never ever forget.
Over the last three years, I have had over a thousand people through my studio and I can honestly say, every class is a magical two hours. My philosophy with Paint with Donna has always been, anyone can be creative and creativity should be fun (Did I mention that I encourage wine to be brought to each class?? That always helps with the jitters). And the best thing about my class is that there is no pressure to have the painting look like “something.” We are painting abstract!
It takes A LOT to be an artist. I mean a lot!! Not only do I have to know how to paint (and well for that matter), I also have to put on the hat of a photographer, an accountant, a PR person, a graphic designer, a writer, an event planner, a salesperson, a retail store front operator, a gallery owner/manager, a social media marketer and oh yeah, a web developer (to name just a few). People always ask me, how have you managed to retire from nursing and be a full time artist? And a thriving one for that matter? What are the tricks to being an artist?
Everyone has the opportunity to choose this path, but not every one does. For what ever reason, (combination of luck and hard work), I was given the clarity that this is what I wanted to do and I did what I needed to do to make it work. And every day I am grateful and present to the fact that I am living my dream.
DARE TO CONNECT is a show that abstractly depicts onto canvas, 12 of my most impactful relationships and how I have discovered the beauty of connection in each of them. My hope is that this body of work encourages you to take a deeper look at how you are connecting and perhaps inspire you to find a little more. Maybe turn off the Netflix a little earlier, stash your phone away when you’re having coffee with a friend or only take one picture of your dinner. May this work open up a dialogue and help us all find the courage it takes to truly connect.
I often hear other artists complaining about the guilt they have when they take time away from their art. I am not going to lie, I too have had these feelings of guilt when I am sitting on a patio in Argentina drinking a spectacular Malbec rather than sweating away in the studio. But then I have to remind myself about the power of taking a break.
Welcome to The Space, An Art Gallery. Located in the heart of Yaletown, The Space is an artist run gallery that is unlike any gallery you have ever been in. As a collective, we feel art should be a thing that brings people together despite your knowledge of art. We believe that you should have a glass of wine or beer in your hand while you are in our space enjoying all of the fine art we have to offer.