Getting to know Kathy Hooper

I was born in Kenya, when I was about four we moved to South Africa. After several moves, ( as a child you don’t ask why) but at last we settled on a very beautiful farm miles from anywhere and my younger sister and I grew up there with no “sensible” form of schooling. As a result everything was fascinating to us, plants, animals, everything  around us. We played and drew and painted all the time. I wish all children could have the education we had.
The role of the artist in society.
To give people another way of seeing and feeling. I think a very important role.
How has your art changed over time.
I tend to work through ideas which I am interested in and generally a series will emerge.
What themes do you pursue?
Generally I work with figures either animal or human and often they become mixed up, but I also love abstract painting too.
 
What do you dislike about the art world?
I don’t think about it often but I suppose mostly it is how important it seems to have to become well known, I think it makes it hard for most people who might have wanted to be “an artist” if they weren’t scared of not being good enough. Of course there is also the problem of probably having a hard time making a living, but its quite a wonderful way of being and living.
Should art be funded?
Yes of course it should be. Its a very hard way being able to pay bills etc especially to start with so a great many people give up and teach and thank god they do for the kids, but it is hard to also do your own work.

Getting to know Helen Shideler

Photo credit: Lyndsay Armstrong-Media

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I am a detail oriented person who, for some reason is attracted to complexity.  This shows in my art and almost everything else I take on.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

So many. Ocean waves. Sitting under aspens and listening to their leaves dance in the wind.  Playing with friends outside. Warm sunshine.  Not liking bees.

Why art?

Because I can’t sing and really wish I could.  But seriously – producing art has helped me through some very difficult times. I get a great deal of satisfaction from painting. I have been drawing since I was a small child drawing animals over and over.  I can still remember when I discovered that you can add shading to a line drawing!

Upon graduating for high school I was fortunate to win the Clyde Finnamore Memorial Scholarship for Sunbury Shore Art and Nature Centre.  I was able to take a three week art course with Gary Lowe.  It was literally life altering.  Wildlife art in watercolour.   Cathy Ross was there as well.  Pretty cool. They gave me the keys to the place and I stayed each day as long as I could.  Did some Plein Air painting as well.  My first watercolour was of a blue jay feather. The second was of a large red vase overflowing with wildflowers.  See, complexity even at 17!

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

A few actually.  Once when I was working on Drama Queen a full sheet painting of white lilies, I had gotten distracted and painted in a house fly. Shortly after I had a visitor to the studio before I was able to get the petal under it painted.  The person was standing there talking to me and tried to shoo the fly a couple of times.  Still makes me laugh. 

Name something you love, and why.

Spring. Fresh Air. The Beach. Nature. Birds. Furry creatures. Colour.  Dappled sunlight. Just because I guess

You can see more of Helen’s work by visiting her website and blog at www.helenshideler.com 

 

Getting to know Helga Lobb

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How has your art practice changed over time?

I now work on 4 to 6 paintings at a time, creating a series, exploring all the possibilities of a given scene or idea.

What work do you most enjoy doing ?

I love painting that definitely comes first with gardening and travelling a close second.

What is your favourite artwork?

Impossible to choose! There are so many great works of art. Each century has its own masters, but Rembrandt’s portraits still bring tears to my eyes, Paul Gauguin’s sense of color makes me envious.

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What memorable responses did you have to your work?

I had a letter from a lady who bought a painting a few years ago telling me how much pleasure my painting still gives her. That makes me very happy; it lets me hope that my work will have enduring value.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Let paint be paint! You are creating a painting, so let your impression and your feeling show in what you say on the canvass.

What would you not do without?

Good paint, good brushes and a good glass of wine!

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To see more of Helga’s work, click here to visit her website visit her website

Getting to know Donna Berry

Favorite art work?

I have enjoyed creating so many pieces over the years but one of my favorites is a  recent work of a female Mallard duck. Taking the time to watch and photograph her as she waddled around the parking lot at Lily Lake. Then resting close to my car hoping to be fed. When I began creating the painting I was already connected to the cute little duck and this made producing it much more enjoyable.

 

Real life situation that inspired me?

This would have to be the implosion of the General Hospital in 1995. After this event I produced a series of surreal paintings because like many people is this area I was connected to the old building for I was born there as well as my children. It was a massive structure with atmosphere of healing. I attempted to duplicate this feeling in my surreal paintings.

What is my dream project?

I live my dream each time I pick up a brush and and apply paint to canvas.

What do I like most doing?

Going out on a sunny day when the shadows are long and search for inspirational sites along the beautiful Bay of Fundy.

How has my art practice changed over the year?

I feel today I am less distracted by life’s commitments and more focused on creating paintings. I work daily to achieve this. My favorite time of day to work is late afternoon and early evening leaving the morning for more physical activities such as going to the gym or working around my home.

To view more of Donna’s work, visit her Face Book page

Getting to know Anne Christensen

20170312_144734-1-1Describe a real life situation that inspired you.

It all happened at a professional development day at work. We had a choice of several short classes and I chose a watercolor. I was looking forward to it but found myself experiencing high anxiety looking at that white paper, to the point of feeling sick. I wanted to leave, but the instructor was a colleague and friend so I decided to stay for her sake.  As the morning wore on, I started to feel a creative release as fear was being exchanged for excitement, This was my turning point.

What work do you most enjoy doing?
Finding creative ways of teaching students with special needs.
What is your favorite art work?
 
It is usually my last one.
What themes do you pursue?
 
Since I work with found objects, it is often the things I find that decides what the outcome will be. Sometimes an idea comes to me after I close my eyes at night. Whimsical scenes is my favorite, putting normal things in odd places, or the other way around.
What are things you notice that inspires you?
 
Lines, but lines along with dots are just the best. Outlines of a row of houses, old doorways and windows, leaning hydro poles and all those random wires hanging and clumped together in the South End of Saint John, tree trunks, bark, the pattern left in the sand from water runoff on a beach or from a sea snail, waves, the pattern and colours on the back of a bug. frost on deck boards, snow on the window after a storm. Faces and other images in rocks, clouds and snow hanging on the windows after a storm.

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You may learn more about Anne by visiting Anne’s Face Book page