Getting to know Helen Shideler

Helen Shideler

What is your favourite time of day to work – are you an early bird or a night hawk?

It has been said that an hour in the morning is worth two in the afternoon.  I hear the crack of dawn and want to get up and at it

What would your dream project be?  If there were no restrictions with time or money, what would you create?

A series of large canvases with some in oils and some in acrylics.  Time is my biggest challenge trying to fit in all of my ideas – there is so much to do. I am never at a loss for inspiration.  Sometime I stress myself out trying to do too many things at once!

What is the one tool of your trade you would not be able to do without?

Well I have an art supplies addiction.  I love them all – so many possibilities, so much potential.  And then someone comes up with something new.  Oh my! Probably leaning towards  watercolors though.

 

Tell us about that one special piece of work that you would never part with and why? 

A poured transparent watercolor painting of a seagull in flight  “Coming in for a Landing”.  I wanted to keep the foggy sky without the typical “legs” that pouring paint can create.  This was tricky and I was breathing funny throughout the painting.  But it worked.   Although this painting may look simple it was very difficult to execute on.  I am unsure most can appreciate the effort it took to create – so it is mine!

©Coming in for a Landing by Helen Shideler

How do you recharge your creative juices?

Sunshine. Go outside, take a walk, sit at a beach, look at the sky, watch it rain, watch it snow, bird watching, look at colours, garden.  Sit outside and breathe.

What would you do with a million dollars?

Honesty, first order a Hughes easel and then retire and travel with my husband.  There would be some sharing with our family and some charitable donations as well.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are creating?

It changes a lot but generally uplifting, fun and no too loud

If you had a superpower  what would it be and why?

Probably fly.  When I was a child I used to have a recurring dream that I would be running and then take off and fly.  In these dreams I was really soaring and swooping.  They were glorious dreams.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Yes, on apple crisp please

Tea or coffee?

Hot tea please

Introducing Anne Christensen

 

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What is your favourite time of day to work – are you an early bird or a night hawk?

I can be either, it just depends when inspiration hits. One day I worked 13 hours straight and had to stop because my neck was hurting. That’s when I realized I had not stopped all day. My only breaks came when I had to reheat my tea that kept on getting cold after a sip or two.

What would your dream project be?  If there were no restrictions with time or money, what would you create?

Hmm… maybe a wall mural where children and adults alike would have fun discovering all the little details.

What is the one tool of your trade you would not be able to do without?

Imagination.

Tell us about that one special piece of work that you would never part with and why? 

At first it was very hard to let go of any of my pictures, it felt like I would be giving away my babies, but now it’s OK.

How do you recharge your creative juices?

Solitude. Silence. Walking on a beach, sitting in a coffee shop, reading, looking out my window at cloud formations, of squalls moving up river, the color of the sky, sun and clouds affecting the color of the water. It is all quite magical!

What would you do with a million dollars?

If I had a million dollars (sounds like a song) I would create a meaningful after- school program for children with special needs where they would have the opportunity to learn a wide range of practical life skills. Gardening and caring for animals, having fun and spending time outdoors would be a very important part of their experience. All of this in a stress free, safe, loving and fun environment!

What are you reading right now?

Good or God by John Bevere.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are creating?

I tend to listen to podcasts rather than music.

If you had a superpower  what would it be and why?

To understand what the needs are, and have the tools needed, or come up with new ones, that will help the students I work with reach their full potential. But if I had a super- duper power, that would be to heal all sickness and disabilities.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely chocolate!

Tea or coffee?

Tea! But I do enjoy the odd coffee as well.

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Introducing – Donna Berry

Picture for Kings County Tour May 2016 004.JPG

My favorite time of day is morning.

This is the time I have high energy although I seem to paint  in the afternoon and early evening when I am  more relaxed.

I don’t really have a dream project as such.
I am now working on a facial portrait from my imagination with lots of color and am enjoying this very much as it gives me a break from my usual realistic paintings.
My favorite tool of trade
Is water mixable oils and Grumbacher brushes because they stay in tact after many uses.
The picture below is one I would not want to part with. It a portrait I painted in 1992 from an old photo of myself. The innocent scene reflects gentleness, compassion and positive emotions.
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I recharge my creative juices  By going to areas like St Martins and photographing in the morning light.
Well a million dollars is not an overwhelming amount today but I might buy a smaller house with a southern exposure and plenty of windows and a picturesque view.
At present I am not reading but I have started writing a novel. I find this experience very relaxing even if it never gets  beyond a few chapters.
When I am creating I will often listen to Classic Country.
If I had super powers I would develop a concoction for curing cancer.
Vanilla

Getting to Know – Sheila Howell

Sheila Howell

What is your favourite time of day to work – are you an early bird or a night hawk?

I work usually from 9:30 until 5:00 or until I get tired. I will often draw in the evenings, usually from my imagination.

What would your dream project be? If there were no restrictions with time or money, what would you create?

I LOVE working large. I would love to paint a 6 foot by 12 foot painting. It would be abstract or an incredibly large flower.

What is the one tool of your trade you would not be able to do without?

Cheap brushes. Sometimes I like to really smoosh the paint with the brush and rub it into the canvas. I would never do that with a “good brush”.

Tell us about that one special piece of work that you would never part with and why? 

It’s called Thirteen Fridays, an abstract I did a few years back. It’s only 9 x 12 inches and I love it.

How do you recharge your creative juices?

I walk. When I get frustrated or down on myself. I take off walking and I walk until I feel more in balance. Sometimes this can take an hour or more.

What would you do with a million dollars?
I’d go to Spain for a vacation and probably give most of it away.

What are you reading right now?

Nothing too interesting but I just finished “The Town That Drowned” by Riel Nason. I got it from the library but will be buying at least one copy. It’s just one of those books I need to own and keep.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are creating?
If I am in a funk, Leonard Cohen otherwise rock, jazz or classical. I often just enjoy the quiet.

Coffee or tea?
Usually coffee and sometimes tea or hot chocolate. I like to make a pot of tea.

Favourite snack?
When I am working, I like to have fresh fruit on hand as I often forget to eat lunch.

Introducing – Jill Higgins

When did you start painting?

I started painting when I was little, I used to steal my Mother’s tole painting paints. I would go around the house and paint on any wooden surface I could get my hands on, and not get in trouble. I have always enjoyed art and continued taking art classes in highschool. When I start studying architecture in Halifax at Dalhousie, I took a night “Intro to Oil Painting” class at NASCAD with Heather Sayeau. She was such a fantastic teacher, her methods and progression really spoke to me. It made me move from working with acrylic and watercolour paints to oils.

Jill Higgins

Why do you paint?

When I took the class with Heather Sayeau it was during a really busy semester in architecture, it was a great way to relax and be a little more free with my artistic expression. I continued through the years using it as a type of release.

Architecture and Painting what is the biggest difference you find between them?

Most of the time when working on architecture projects there are always restraints; budgetary, client, municipal, etc. Painting for me is such a great way to remove all the restraints and just focus on what I am feeling in that moment.

Irving Nature Park No.1-24x36

What are your favourite subjects to paint?

I really enjoy landscapes, I’m especially drawn to our maritime vernacular and aesthetics. I find landscapes so beautiful and inspirational, I love the colour the light and my feelings while I’m in those spaces and try to capture those in my paintings.

Where do you Like to paint?

I really like to paint in situ, but with have two you kids and a very busy schedule I rarely get to paint outside. I do enjoy my studio space. We moved over a year ago and I finally have a space to call my own. It’s so much easier now, before I would have to take out all my tools and paints and set up. Now it’s always set up which means if I have 5 minutes, 10 minutes or a couple of hours I can put paint down on my canvas and relax.

After the Storm-18x24

What was Art Battle Like?

It was a great experience, it really made me push the boundaries of my painting. Having to complete a painting within 20 minutes in front of a large crowd was very difficult and scary. I am very happy I was able to participate in these events. After I won the New Brunswick finals I competed in the Nationals in Ottawa, and wow what a fantastic experience. All the painters were extremely talented, I was able to meet some very amazing people. I came in the top 6 at that event which allowed me to participate in the International Art Battle Competition at the PanAm Games in Toronto. It was such a great experience that I didn’t even know was possible when I started the Art Battle competitions. I meet some amazing artists from all over the world and hope to stay in contact with them.