January 31, 2015 Interview with Angela Fehr

What are you working on?
My technique with watercolour has it helpful to be working on several paintings at once, as my intuitive & fluid approach would otherwise have me spending an hour or less in a painting session. While one piece is drying, I’m splashing out paint for the next one. I also learn by painting out my issues with a subject or composition, so I may be working on several paintings of the same scene or topic as I explore how best to compose & describe my subject. Over the last few weeks painting has been on hold a bit as I helped my husband finish my new studio and get moved in.

2. What matters to you most as an artist?
I’m learning to redefine success as the ability to use painting as a voice for my inner life rather than technical skill. As I’ve explore how to use my brush and paints to express what I want to say, I have found that my satisfaction with my paintings has become deeper and more meaningful. And also a lot more fun! That inner joy is something I don’t want to lose sight of, even as I pursue achievement in my profession.

3. Any tips for balancing your artistic practice with the rest of your life?
I have been very fortunate over the last twelve years to be able to be home with my family as I raise my three children. My children have grown up seeing art as an intrinsic part of my life, and thus part of theirs as well. It is often difficult not to feel “tied down” when dealing with the tedious parts of child-rearing, and there are some dreams I have had to set aside, at least for now. At the core of my decision making is the knowledge that my relationships with the people in my life will last longer and be more meaningful than any art I can create, and if that part of my life is in harmony, I will be more deeply at peace then if I selfishly pursued my own agenda. And I have always found time to create, even if just for a few minutes a day.

4. Who are your artistic influences?
I am most inspired by contemporary artists, because the topic of balancing life and art and marketing one’s work in the internet age has so much interest for me. Jean Haines is a watercolour painter from the UK whose book encouraged me to be more fearless in my paintings. Canadian Linda Kemp’s work has been an inspiration. I love the “always a student” attitude of M.E. (Mike) Bailey of the USA and envy the traveling freedom of BC artist Dominik Modlinski. And I’m delighted to be a member of the Peace Watercolour Society and a part of a “family” of passionate watercolour artists.

5. How does the Peace Liard community influence your artistic practice?
I am so thankful to live in a community that is supportive of me and my work. I have had many exhibition opportunities as a resident of our beautiful region, and as 90% of my paintings depict local scenes and flowers, I am very influenced by our region visually as well! I want others to know what a beautiful region we live in and that northern regions of Canada are not simply about long, cold winters.

6. Can you share a picture of your work and your working space?
Just this month I moved into my brand new studio. My husband built for me a 22″ x 24″ room above our garage, and we designed and decorated the room together, going for a vintage-inspired, cozy space with a ton of fun details. I’m excited to be able to work in a quiet space that is visually stimulating and won’t need to be tidied up every time we have visitors!

studio 800w