Lee Kreklewetz, November’s guest artist, lives in Edmonton, Alberta, a city often referred to as the "Gateway to the North".
The vivid splashes of colour, her whimsical treatment of cityscapes and people quickly grabbed my attention when I saw her art on Instagram. I am so pleased that Lee, a fellow Canadian, has accepted to share her story with us this month.
Contact me if you wish to be featured next year as a guest artist at Louise’s ARTiculations.
Lee’s early years in art
First, thanks Louise for giving me the privilege to take part in your guest artist series.
For much of my life, I considered myself a wannabe artist. As far back as I can remember, I have always had a pencil or crayon in my hand. All through grade school and high school, I studied art.
Life happens and art takes a back seat…
After high school, I had planned to continue these studies in university, but it was not to be. I fell in love and married at 20 (don’t let your kids get married at 20…that’s just way too young!), and I am still married to the same man.
My life was not what I had planned initially. I got used to "living in the real world", I found myself a job, became responsible, and like most people, I started a career and a family. Life for me was very busy.
By the time I was 35 years old, I had my first and only child. Such as life is, time flew and by the age of 55, I was retired from work, and my daughter was out of the house. With my husband still working, and more available free time, I was able to do what I had always dreamed of doing earlier in my life: be creative.
All through those years, I had been "crafty", making wreaths, sewing, collaging, but I had not picked up a pencil to draw.
A return to art after many years
So how did I get back into art?
First, I decided I should start a blog, and I named it Defining Me. I wrote about my life, and for added interest, I drew pictures along with my chatter.
After a few years of blogging, I needed to step up my game; I bought more art supplies, and I decided to go after my dreams of making art full time.
As a result, I quit the blog, and opened accounts on Facebook, and Instagram. I drew and painted every day and I have continued this practice over the years. Whether it is a journal page, a sketch, a canvas, I just do it. My husband calls it my art sickness. To make a mark on canvas is pure joy and my creative ideas flow.
When you look at my art, you will see I have a certain style, and people tell me they can recognize it immediately. It has not come easily to me.
Influenced by Modigliani
I love to draw women, with long necks, Modigliani style. Cityscapes, flowers, birds, I do it all with vivid colours and wild marks. But I also love the ease of collage, of making a story come alive with paper and pencil. My love of colour is evident in all my work. Whether I paint a canvas, or create a sketchbook page, I can't help but add lots of colour. All art comes alive with colour.
I have an Etsy Shop, which I laugh about since I have only sold one item, and it was to a friend. Had I known she wanted that particular art work of mine, I would have given it to her.
From my original art, I had art prints made, as well as all-occasion cards thinking there might be a market out there for those items. I have sold many pieces of my original canvases to friends of friends, through word of mouth. But making art has never been about the money, thank God for that, or I would be starving!
Art as a daily practice
Since I draw every day, I do see improvement in my creative work. If I could give just one tip to someone, it would be to draw daily to keep those art muscles alive and kicking.
Imagination plays an important role in my art, as nothing ever looks like it should: a bird, a city, it all comes from my imagination.
Not all my art is Instagram, or Facebook worthy: some of it gets painted over, while other pieces are chucked into the garbage, where my husband takes it out and says with a straight face, what’s wrong with this one?
So if you have read this far, thank you. As you hopefully can tell, I love art, and I love creating and looking at other artists’ work.
My theory about art is as follows: Picasso must have made a few stinkers in his art life! And so, we must give ourselves permission to enjoy the process even if we are not always happy with the outcome.
Leave me a message!
You can view more of my art or contact me on these social media sites listed below.
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I hope to hear from you soon!