If I asked you for a word or two in a foreign language, I could bet you would know at least one even if you don’t know the language at all. Recently, I learned a new word. HUMO. It means SMOKE in Spanish and it’s the name of our Feature Artist’s latest series.
Meet Artist MIRIAM AROESTE
Miriam is an abstract artist who brings her passion for life and colour from her native home, Mexico City. In her newest collection HUMO, Miriam invites us to reflect on that space between our reality and what we tell ourselves. This mixed media on paper collection has delicate beauty. Each piece is steeped in colour while remaining graceful on the surface.
Miriam’s deepest connection to art is with colour and her use of it.
“I feel so different when I paint a red painting as to when I paint a white one. All the colours speak with their own voices, and when they are bright, I really feel my passion shouting. I transform as I work; I react to the colour, and the colour reacts to me.”
I spoke with Miriam in her Parker Street Studio. Listen in as we discuss colour, culture, circles and love.
This in-demand collection is vast and new works are available regularly. If you are curious, ask us how to commission a painting by the artist. It’s a fun, collaborative experience allowing you the opportunity to get a bit of your vision painted into the work.
Seeing Laurel Swenson’s artwork at the 2018 Vancouver East Side Culture Crawl was all it took: I wanted to visit her studio, see more of her work and get a sense of the person behind her powerful paintings. We made a date.
After climbing a flight of stairs and winding my way through a dark maze of corridors, I find Laurel in her light-filled studio. She shares the space with 3 other artists yet she is alone today.
Meet LAUREL SWENSON: Abstract painter
Laurel invites me to observe a work-in-progress and gives permission to snap some pics as she puts the finishing touches on a large-scale painting. I’m excited to be here. I didn’t expect her to be painting during my visit. Laurel tells me that this is the point that she can “wreck everything.” The camera shutter clatters in the silent studio as she stands, thinking, looking at the canvas. I’m concerned I’m a distraction.
Laurel collects brushes. Mixes paints. Stands back. Looks. Takes a deep breath and walks towards the canvas. She holds the brushes in ways I did not expect. Marks the canvas with strokes I’ve never seen before. She stands back. This back and forth – call and response, as Laurel calls it – continues until she feels that she has painted what she can in this session.
“To struggle is universal. My paintings celebrate the value of struggle in our lives.”
– Laurel Swenson
Laurel is an artist deeply inspired by human development and the theme of struggle, transition and growth run through her work. She makes a connection between struggles with the creative process, painting and the struggles we each face by simply being human.
I sat down to chat with Laurel and asked a few questions. Listen in for her responses.
2. Has painting always been your primary creative outlet?
3. What advice would you give someone who is undecided about an artwork?
4. When you are working … silence or something else?
5. Artists name their paintings. How do you name yours?
About this featured painting
24” x 24” (61 x 61cm)
Acrylic and polymers on canvas
Light grey painted sides
Available for purchase
World-wide shipping available by arrangement
Where to hang it: This painting will look great on a narrow wall, in a niche or as part of a grouping.
What I like: This painting is colourful yet somehow neutral. It is rich with texture. It’s pink without being pretty and it perfectly marries colour with a small amount of black while maintaining a light and fresh look.
How it looks on a wall:
Other works by Laurel Swenson:
Laurel’s works range in size from 10”x10” to 56”x 56”.
Original works starting at $200 CDN.
– Laurel Swenson lives and paints in Vancouver CANADA –
Do you own art? Do you remember the first piece of art you ever purchased? I do. I was visiting San Francisco for the first time and there was an open-air art exhibit in a public park – lots of artists and not a lot of people browsing or buying. I purchased a piece from a young artist named Zaine Christenson. She was likely an art student at the time. The colours in her work really spoke to me: vivid greens with natural accents. I contacted her a year later to ask if she could send 2 more pieces my way. That was 23 years ago.
An art collection is a simple accumulation of art works and anyone can have one.
5 Ways To Get Started:
1. Buy what you like. Don’t worry about where you will put it or whether or not it is “a good piece”. If it calls to you and it is within your budget – buy it.
2. Not all art is expensive. If you like a piece of work and it doesn’t fit your budget ask the artist if they have a smaller piece or a very small piece for sale.
3. Art does not need to be large to be meaningful. I have teeny pieces of art tucked in spaces few people would see. I see them and that makes me happy.
4. There is no shortage of original art. Check out your favourite local websites and community papers for a list of What’s Happening. Art Openings, small galleries, student shows, and studio Open Houses are frequent in most cities. There are amazing deals in thrift stores and don’t forget social media. Spring and Fall studio tours are an amazing way to meet artists in their creative spaces and can make for a fun weekend.
5. After purchasing art, attach the artist bio or card to the back of the work – that way you can always reference details if need be.