This month's featured artist is Vicki Allesia. Not only is she an incredible painter but she also finds the time to prepare Blackberry Artist's Society meetings minutes and agendas as our board secretary.
Vicki paints wonderful views of our local area, often using scenes from Indian Arm as her inspiration. Her style is so lush that I feel pangs of jealousy when I see where she's been!
And here she is, in her own words and pictures. I can't be the only person wanting to see evidence of the outgator in the shop?
- How long have you been an artist? Since my first drawing of an “outgator” at age 4. School and interludes of “real” work sadly infringed on my career.
- Where did you train? Here and there… Cal State Long Beach (Fine Arts), Shadboldt Centre (Watercolour), Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Acrylic and Mixed Media continuing studies)
- Do you work in a studio or at home? Yes. I have a wonderful large studio in my home, and a magical, high in the trees studio at my Indian Arm cabin. Both built by my creative and supportive husband.
- Do you work as an artist full-time, part-time, or do you squeeze in the creating as a hobby? Definitely the squeeze, though it is more than a hobby for me. I am interested in professional development in my artistic skills as well as management of my sales and shows. My 8 years as Executive Director of the Port Moody Arts Centre gave me a unique perspective on arts management and administration.
- Describe how a piece progresses, from first inspiration to finished object in the gift shop. Mostly I see something in nature that I love and photograph it. Sometimes I am lucky and the light is perfect, sometimes I have to wait for the morning or evening light. I like sun, and deep shadows. I usually wind up cropping my photo to get a good composition. Quite often I will do a small (6 x 6” or 8 x 8”) canvas first, then if I feel the idea merits it, I paint a large version. I generally transfer the compositions by using a grid. I’ve been having fun with the colours left behind on my palette by working them into small abstracts.
- What's your favourite piece to make? I think I would have to say my 24” x 24” x 3” gallery wrapped, extra thick canvases.
- Who inspires you, and why? The Group of Seven, Tom Thompson, Gordon Smith, my fellow Blackberry and Port Moody Art Association artists, my family, my greyhound—you have to be in love with what you paint and some of my favourite pieces have been of my kids, my nieces and my dog.