Guest artist AprilDesigns from Nova Scotia, Canada, has had a lifetime of learning and working as an artist. This month, she is one of two featured artists at Louise's ARTiculations. If you wish to be featured as a guest artist in a future post, please contact me.
Do visit previously featured guest artists published in 2018 here.
An artist in the early years
When I was a child, because I was a redhead like my artist aunt, I just assumed that I would be an artist like her as well! That childish assumption was the basis of a lifetime of creativity.
She lived in New York and my family was in Quebec, and when she came to visit she always had the most marvellous artsy kits for me. This is the earliest recollection I have of being fascinated with art, and the different mediums available to create art. Unfortunately, she died when I was a teenager, and I didn’t get enough of her time and knowledge. Something of her must have stayed with me all my life as I continued to experiment and even today, I am happiest when I am creating.
My second memory involving art occurred when I won a collection of prints by Van Gogh as a prize in Kindergarten. As I have never won another award, I guess I peaked early in my career!
Education combined with new challenges in art
I studied Fine Arts initially and then crafts, and graduated with both a BFA and a BA in Art Education. Art and teaching have been my life.
My first career as a weaver involved designing fashionable suits, coats and dresses out of luxurious fabrics - silks, fine cotton, alpaca, and cashmere. I sold my designs across Canada.
Eventually, I went back to school to get a Masters degree in Education as a Reading Specialist. I loved the challenge of helping children for whom reading did not come naturally. Art was a teaching tool that helped me bond with my students and motivate them. My own artwork took a back seat for many years.
Next, I had a career as a jewellery maker working with beading, metal clay, and designing necklaces, earrings and bracelets. I thoroughly loved teaching myself about all the different stones, and their properties.
New art processes to conquer
After a decade making jewellery, my interest waned (I am fickle!) and suddenly drawing was calling me!
During the past year and a half, I have been learning new processes such as how to blend with pastels, with graphite, and with coloured pencils. I’m also really enjoying mixing digital art (slides below) with my conventional drawings.
My next big challenge is painting. It is the one media that I’m not sure I can conquer, but that’s just the kind of challenge that makes me excited each and every day!
Whatever media I’ve picked up over time has been all about colour. I’m fascinated with the ways the selected media or property changes, the ways the colours blend or are newly created. It’s been a wonderful lifetime education.
Travelling and photography and continuous learning all allow me to live my life surrounded by colour and beauty and this makes me happy.
Art is therapy
Are you familiar with the saying” life without art is just eh”? I feel like that was written just for me! I’m introverted and I need lots of time to myself. When I’m creating, I’m lost in a world that nurtures and relaxes me. I can’t imagine my life without that gift of art as therapy.
Visit me at @newdirectionsbyaprildesigns for my drawings and digital art (prices on request).
Or my jewellery @aprildesigns (DM or email for availability and prices)