Your work has a very natural and ethereal quality. Do you believe growing up on the Sunshine Coast influenced your love for nature and has inspired you to make it a focal point of your artistic vision?
Growing up on the sunshine coast heavily influenced my work, though initially, I feel like I didn’t want it to the way that it did. I thought that painting nature and being from the coast was somewhat cliché, but I have a deep connection with nature because of it and I now embrace that and like to see it transpire through my painting. I think nature has an intrinsically ethereal feel to it, but I like to add a bit sometimes to enhance that mystery.
You recently painted a large scale mural for Vancouver Mural Festival. How did this project transpire and what inspired you to create the piece you did?
I painted this mural as a team effort with four other women. I had participated in some events with the curator previously so I think he just thought to ask me to do it as I have also had a bit of experience doing murals. We divided our wall into sections and chose a mermaid theme. I wanted to use tentacles to make it slightly less conventional, but the work just sort of took on a life of its own once working. I don’t love to over plan things like that.
Lady Mermaids #laniimre #bronwynschuster #amandasmart #tiarambaran
Photo by @xandraparente
Your main medium of choice is oil paint? Why is this your preference? Do you see yourself as adventurous and open to experimentation with various artistic methods?
I am not very experimental when it comes to changing mediums, although I will use occasional pen/paper or conté for drawing purposes. The reason being is that with my imagery I am less concerned with experimenting on pushing the boundaries of materials or my own materials rather than using the material to achieve a purpose. Oil paint is extremely versatile and rich with a lot of control, so for the type of work, I am interested in making it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to stray outside of that. It isn’t limiting as in you never really master it, I think it would be impossible to be bored of learning to paint with oils. I have experimented with other types of mediums but I am happy (for the foreseeable future at least) to stick with one.
Can you please tell me about your creative process when beginning a new work? What inspires you to create? Does your work stem from a deep emotional place?
My process for creating new, original and non commissioned work usually goes something like: I think of a vague idea, I often have some kind of loose imagery in my head that I want to develop but can’t clearly see yet and over a day or two refine it a bit more. I then go online and image search tons of stock or related images to get more of a rendered idea or to inspire me to draw up my idea in a more realistic way. My art does stem from a very emotional place, it’s very romantic and impractical in reference to academia at least … I feel like it’s a lot more subjective and more my voice than trying to participate in a dialogue about painting necessarily. I also feel like if I don’t paint for a while, that energy builds up in destructive ways in my body. I also have started to believe more and more that since my painting is a reflection of my inner self, that I need to focus on personal balance to achieve work that reflects that peace.
You have participated in many live painting events in the Vancouver area. What are your feelings about live events?
Live painting events are fun as in that they are social, instead of being in your studio, and that the pressure allows you to see what kind of work you can get done in a really fixed time frame. I think they are great for meeting people and interacting with other artists, but I wouldn’t say that I am passionate about speed painting. There are some people who are really great at it!
What’s next for you on your creative journey? Do you have any upcoming projects you are looking forward to?
I just hope to continue to make a new body of work that then I can focus on showing / getting into galleries. I feel like I am in a space in my life where my ideas are constantly changing, so I need to keep producing work to gain some kind of clarity or vision into what I want to say distinctly. Or maybe not! Maybe it will just be constantly changing forever.