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I always felt I’ve seen the world a little differently then most, through an artist’s eyes from an early age. I remember wanting to draw everything I saw, from things around the house to everything outside. I would draw on any paper I could get my hands on. From my father’s books (empty pages meant something had to be drawn on it) to pieces of cardboard. My father never did appreciate my drawings inside his books, I couldn’t understand why at the time. Realism was the type of art I really appreciated and wanted to emulate. I started with Pencil, then Pen & Ink, Pencil Crayons and now Acrylic paint.
I am an Aboriginal Artist, I was given an Aboriginal Spiritual name by an Elder. My Aboriginal Spiritual name is White Owl, meaning an individual whose wisdom is beyond their years.
The first time anyone noticed I could draw was on my reserve, Pine Creek First Nation. I wasn’t there long, as we moved after my father passed away. Soon it was a lot of moving around, over the next few years. My drawing ability helped me to be noticed and to make friends. I did my first logo in grade 3 and started selling my drawings soon after that. One of my biggest influences was my Grade 7 Art Teacher. He opened my eyes to different mediums in Art and gave me more confidence in my Art. I respected his opinion and his fair criticism of my work. He always wanted me to challenge myself and do my best. My other big influence was my Production Art Instructor at South Winnipeg Technical Centre.
He unearthed more talents I didn’t know I had. He pushed me to do my best and when it wasn’t up to par, he let me know. Although at times I didn’t fully appreciate it, I look back at it now. And appreciate the challenges that my Instructor put in front of me, it made me a better artist.
I graduated from the 3 year Commercial Art Program at Technical Vocational High School. Received a Certificate from the Production Art Program at Winnipeg Technical Centre. (South Winnipeg Technical Centre back then) And Graduated with a 2 year Advertising Art Diploma from Red River College. (Red River Community College back then)
The Artists I look up to and admire are:
Robert Bateman: His paintings are always a lesson in nature, from the main subject, to the surroundings in the rest of the painting. He draws you into the subject’s world, like an invited guest. He’s one of the greatest Canadian painters, in my opinion.
Drew Struzan: He’s one of the greatest Movie Poster artists of all time. (In many experts opinions) The Movie Poster artists nowadays use digital computer programs to evoke the same emotions Drew does in his paintings. His ability to capture the likeness of his subjects is amazing. Drew set the standard for Movie Posters today that others are measured by.
Norman Rockwell: Rockwell was able to capture a period of time in his paintings. A more innocent time in some, more serious in others. His paintings captured emotions that we all feel when you look at his paintings, his attention to detail is fantastic. I had the pleasure of seeing his original works up close, it was moving, inspiring and breathtaking.
My love of Art I had as a child, is slowly coming back. I hope it continues to come and that I have the opportunity to show my work. Sharing my thoughts through my Art and maybe inspire my son, grandson or someone to pick up a paint brush.
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