February 17, 2015 Interview with Tammy Lee Watson

1. What are you working on?
Currently, I’m working on pieces for the Aboriginal Artists Showcase at the 2015 Canada Games Lheidli T’enneh Pavilion in Prince George. I will be showing some landscape pieces in acrylic and some native concept pieces that I’ve designed specifically for the Canada Games.

2. What matters to you most as an artist?
Being able to reflect my feelings in my paintings and share a piece of who I am is important to me as an artist. I love that a painting can make someone feel happy smile emoticon Art is a great way to send messages to the world which is why I love to paint Mother Nature. We need reminders all the time that we need to protect the beauty of our world that we live in.

3. Any tips for balancing your artistic practice with the rest of your life?
When you have a passion that makes you feel great, you MUST find a way to do this every day even if you have to give up things that you think are priorities. I gave up a good salary to be able to paint and I couldn’t be happier. Some things in life are more important than others, you just have to figure out what that means for you. I am a busy, single mom so any spare moment I have, I’m usually painting. I’m up at 4:30 am painting and sometimes up until midnight.

4. Who are your artistic influences?
My high school art teacher, Cal Cameron, has been my biggest influence. I took Art in high school because I needed another Grade 12 course to graduate. Little did I know how much of an impact painting would have on my soul. I lose myself in my paintings and it has opened my eyes to deeply grasp the beauty in everything around us. I’ve looked at the world so differently since then. I love Bob Ross and have followed many of his instructors like Ed Martinyk. I wish I could have met Bob Ross before he passed away. He had a grata sense of love and peace when painting and I like to be in that same frame of mind while I paint so I think about him often when I paint. I love Roy Vickers, Andy Everson, and Kimberly Thompson. I really enjoyed Ted Harrison’s work, he was one of the first Canadian artists that I studied in high school and have only just began to try his techniques. We lost an amazing Canadian icon when he passed away.

5. How does the Peace Liard community influence your artistic practice?
Most of my landscape pieces are of our beautiful Peace Region. Our home territory is so bombarded with industry, we must do our part to encourage companies to ensure they are doing their best with environmentally safe practices to keep our region beautiful and serene. I grew up here and have witnessed the landscape changes and it makes me sad. 

6. Can you share a picture of your work and your working space?

Tammy Lee Watson