When you think of the landscape that surrounds you do you see prairies or mountains? Oceans or lakes? Green grass or trees?
And what does this have to do with art?
Meet Gina Sarro: Abstract Landscape Painter
Gina Sarro is inspired by Canada’s incredible beauty. Gina is a prairie-girl living an art-filled life on the west coast of Canada. And the Canadian landscape has informed many of her paintings.
Gina’s style is layered and complex and it is always changing.
“Before I go into my studio I usually have a feeling of what kind of process I want to undertake: do I want to play with oil paints, and a palette knife, giving lots of texture or do I want to use high flow acrylics and drag it around the canvas or do I want to use a wide brush and blend away. Depending on the medium and tools, the end result changes up quite a bit. This is why I have different collections of work, that are all equally important.”
“I keep one inspiration painting from each series and then revisit it. I often ask myself how did I do that? And then I may start a new collection inspired by that previous work.”
“Sometimes it’s simply the colour palette from an older piece that inspires a new one!” – Gina Sarro
For the Abstract Enthusiasts
UPCOMING EVENT: Gina Sarro solo show at The Space Gallery in Vancouver, October 2019.
Vancouver is home to numerous artists creating far and wide across our city, yet it is Granville Island that is best known globally as Vancouver’s arts and culture hub. Our feature artist had the good fortune of securing one of the coveted studios on the island.
Meet AMY STEWART: Abstract painter
From her studio a full-height glass garage-style door gives Amy a private view of the north shore mountains and the thriving market activity as tourists and locals bustle past.
This glass front studio is set back from the road affording Amy both privacy and connection to the world outside. And it’s this connection to the outside that shapes much of the work Amy paints. Her mix of soft, cool colours and natural shapes balance uniquely with her exacting use of one single geometric line. This combination of soft forms and solid lines is the hallmark of Amy Stewart’s work.
In Amy’s newest series Sometimes Blue, these forms stand punctuated by a receding dark blue/black background.
More from the SomeTimes Blue series
“When we don’t address our sadness in public, and when we receive such constant messages to be happy, we end up neglecting more difficult feelings for fear of bringing down or producing discomfort in ourselves or others.”
Sometime Blue acknowledges Amy’s belief that feeling deeply requires a range of emotions including sadness. Each piece in her series was given a happy name, reflecting the truth that we are sometimes blue yet, in most cases, also happy.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Amy about her paintings. Listen in to hear about her current source of inspiration.
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 –