Getting to know Jill Higgins
Inspired by nature in all its beauty, I live and paint from her home in Rothesay, NB. Trained and registered as an Architect (Reg. AANB), painting has always been my passion.
I’m working with the award-winning firm Acre Architects in Saint John, we are working on some very amazing projects at this time and have recently been awarded the “Prix de Rome” in architecture. We have a lot of exciting things coming up in the future.
I work mostly in oils but also in both watercolour and acrylics. I enjoy painting a variety of subjects including, landscapes, boats, seascapes and florals.
Why do you do what you do?
I use painting as a relation tool. When I sit down at my easel I can tune out everything else in my life that is going on at that moment. I love painting landscapes since it is very different from my work in architecture, less strict and more fluid.
What is your most important artist tool?
For me I would have to say oil paints. I keep trying different brands and types of acrylic paints, but I haven’t been happy with the vibrancy of the colours. As you can see from my paintings I love vibrant colours. I will keep playing around with acrylics, but they aren’t my favourite.
Name three artists that inspire you?
Gordon Harrison, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, their art really shows off the beauty of our Canadian landscape.
How long have you been painting?
I’ve been painting all my life, I even stole my mother’s tole paints and painted everything in sight. I then discovered an old set of oil paints of my grandfathers and that was the
end of tole painting.
What themes do you pursue?
I paint mostly our maritime landscapes. It’s so beautiful here that there is always something that I see that is inspiring. Lately I’ve been painting a lot of sunsets, I love that time of day when the colours are in the sky and it’s so quiet and peaceful. It’s almost as if a hush comes on the world because of the beauty
Jill is Number 1 on the tour
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Getting to know Donna Berry
Who am I and what do I do?
I am Donna Berry a visual artist and I produce realistic works of art using water mixable oil paints. Nautical scenes of the beautiful Bay of Fundy are often my inspiration. I enjoy the contrast in tonal values from the deepest blues of the Bay to the sparkling of highlights on the surface of the water produced with a mixture of yellow ochre, raw umber and white among other colors.
Is there an element of art I enjoy most?
The element of art I most enjoy is the period when objects in the painting start coming together. This happens as I work through the details by adding paints and blending various area together. At this point I will stand back and view my work. Although the painting is yet to be complete it will hold a degree of positivity and will soon be ready for public showing.
Best and worst part of profession?
The best part of being an artist is having the ability to take an abstract idea through a creative process and with paints, brushes and canvas am able to transform the idea into a painting.
The worst part of my chosen profession is the uncertainty over whether a painting is sellable. Evenwith this factor I still paint subjects that inspire me rather then choose to paint what is popular at the time.
What is integral to my work?
An integral part of my work is producing paintings that reflect the beauty displayed in scenes around me.
Beauty is everywhere and my challenge is to capture this on canvas.
The most important artist’s tool
The most important tool for an artists in my opinion is the brush. The brush is the connection between the creative process and the canvas. As color is applied with the brush the creative process begins and with many necessary strokes applied a new painting begins.
Why do I do what I do
I choose to do this type of work because it is an important part of who I am. I express myself on canvas especially with my surreal paintings such as the works I produced after the implosion of the old General Hospital in 1995.
Getting to know Krista Hasson
How did you first get into painting?
I have been making art ever since I can remember. My mother always encouraged me to draw and paint. It has always been a part of who I am.
Describe your creative process. Does experimentation come into play?
This method is a very non-traditional method of painting, it uses wax in a similar fashion to batik but I use rice paper and watercolour instead of fabric and dye. This process is very exciting to me with the many alternating layers of colour and wax. Normally you would watch your painting come to life as you paint it, but with this method of painting I have to trust my creative instincts until the end when I remove all of the wax and see the final result. I am constantly experimenting and trying new mediums and techniques; as an artist I believe you never stop learning.
What draws you to paint natural forms and landscapes?
Growing up in the country gave me a lasting connection with nature. The vast array of colourful flowers, beautiful landscapes and peaceful trails through the woods kept me captivated. These qualities of nature are what fuel my creative spirit and are reflected in my art.
Colour seems to play an integral role in your pieces. Can you talk about your approach to colour?
I have always been drawn to bold rich colours. With the watercolour batik I do not mix colours. I layer one colour and after it is dry, I layer another one on top of it to make the next colour I need. This gives the colours a variegation and glow that is not possible when you use a mixed colour.
What current projects are you working on?
I have recently started painting flowers in oil; I love the vibrant colours and texture that can be achieved with this medium.