Tag: Abstract

Shop – Chris Crewe Uses a Sledgehammer To Create Abstract Art

Chris Crewe compares life to a trapeze act. Always knowing that the next rung will be there, he hasn't fallen yet. The Canadian artist has been studying the use of sledgehammer as a paintbrush, replicating marks, and incorporating them into his abstract works. Crewe also makes paint markers out of plastic bottles by melting the plastic to turn the lid into a spout, often using them to draw in free-flowing gestures. His unique works are meant to 'brighten your day'.

Join CreativeUTO on Patreon and get monthly art + merchandise


View his website


Visit more art on Saathiaart and Singulart



Shop – Kristen Stephen Fine Artist

Kristen Stephen Fine Artist

Born in Amherst, New York, and moved to Canada when she was six years old. She spent her teenage years in Niagara-on-the-Lake where she developed her interest in the arts working in her mother’s gallery.

During her time at the gallery she met many Canadian artists and developed an appreciation for a diverse spectrum of techniques and artistic perspectives. ​ After pursuing an Arts and Culture degree at Brock University Kristen moved to Toronto where she attended Ontario College of Art and Design University, majoring in painting. ​

Kristen's artistic focus is abstract painting.

She believes in responding intuitively to the materials she works with to create work that represents what she finds beautiful. Kristen creates art intended to be a reprieve from the darkness and negativity in society, transporting viewers to a place of ease through colour planes of glitter and softness. ​ She lives in Cabbagetown with her two energetic children, and two playful dogs.

View Kristen Stephen's Website


Also, visit her on Instagram



Shop – Intuitive Fluid Abstract Painting Journal of Tokoroii (Zoe Bu)

“I know nothing but I feel everything.”

tokoroii (Zoe Bu) is a new comer to Canada, and a recent come-out queer person who identifies as gender-fluid and pan-romantic demisexual. Xe was born and raised in southwest China, and already fell in love with the ambience of art + design that Toronto has to offer. During the stay as a previous graphic design student xe has been navigating life difficulties caused by cultural shock and long-term mental health challenges alone for the past few years. Not every artist has to be suffering like a cliché in order to make art, however, tokoroii’s art pieces are the most affirmative fruits of positivity that xe can possibly make out of those crippling “negativities”.

Therefore making art firstly started to become xyr therapeutic relief and then has been taking its significant role as a poetically yet realistically outlet for channeling suppressed emotions. Then through the interactions and conversations with the audience (friends & colleagues), tokoroii gets re-inspired by all the feedback because “people see things that I don’t originally see while creating, and everyone’s unique interpretation makes them (the paintings) more vitalized.” “I feel the calling,” said xe, “and my life has been deeply converted by it (art).” After a while of way finding since late 2018, tokoroii has recently achieved a few things with xyr current painting series The Right Kind of Mess, such as getting into V@M 2019, having the opportunity as an indie studio artist at Sketch Working Arts, and also being accepted by OCAD U for Drawing & Painting. These outcomes within 6 months have offered tokoroii a chance to find out that art means being spontaneous/intuitive and prudent/thoughtful at the same time to xemself; authenticity and timeliness tend to be heavily cooperated in xyr work.

With the affluent intentions and ambitions, tokoroii hope that xe can have a career as a lifetime artist from where xe has started here in Toronto. As this very moment, comparing to years back when xe refused to open up to the world and saw things with hostility, tokoroii would describe himself as a totally better version of xyr old personality which is led by the transformation of doing art and the wholeness of being xyr true self. Xe is enormously grateful for every piece of social service and mental care xe has ever accessed because nothing would happen for xe without the right support.

In the future, xe wishes to hopefully destigmatize mental illness, spread pride and discuss the connection between spirituality and universe, through xyr art practice in multidisciplinary forms, and attempts to ignite something extraordinary out of this gift of translating and rephrasing human feelings as abstract visualizations in somewhat artistic ways.


What do you do?

Acrylic and mixed media on Canvas, not limited, also trying new things


Use 5 keywords to describe your art/medium

Intuitive "fluid+abstract" painting journal


Why did you get started?

Firstly as my therapy for mental illnesses and along the way I feel the calling.


Tell us the 1st time you knew what you are doing is the way?

People told me "you should do this for a living."


What are you working on right now?

The Right Kind of Mess is my very first series of “fluid+abstract” paintings which evidences the real stories, hurts/solaces, and realizations though my life as a self-exploration journal, from the timeframe since late 2017 till early 2019, and there are 9 pieces in total, themed with complex emotions evoked by what actually happened at specific times in life, and then painted afterwards. What I intended to communicate from this series is that how subtle and strong the abstract feelings of human beings can be interpreted in the languages of abstract art. A lot times art doesn’t need too many words to be understood, but for meeting for the first time, I want you to know that I exist and who I am. Representational artwork is beyond great yet the art form of abstract and fluid speak the clearest to me personally; so I have tried to combine these two ideas together and hopefully these paintings can bring you a fresh visual presence while implying any possible resonance.


Describe your creative process?

I pour my emotions/feeling onto the canvas with a plan.


Who is your art for? Why is it important?

For myself as a start, and then for my queer community, hopefully for anyone one day. I would see my art a book of diary and also a piece of mirror that takes notes of real things happened in my life and they are evidences that I exist and live, and the audience could see things that are probably underplayed or overlooked form day to day life are shown again.


What is the hardest part about being an artist?

The fear of NOT being discovered and recognized, the hardship between surviving and getting art supplies of course.


If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be and why? 

Don't be afraid, reclaim your own voice, and make it heard.


If you had to pitch a collaborative project to the community, what would it be?

A collaborative project that intends to destigmatize mental health or spread pride.


What is one thing you'd like to fix in the art community?

That some artists have to choose surviving over thriving.


Why is art and creativity important for the community at large

Art and creativity are the essence of human imagination and they need to be encouraged, nurtured and kept.



Have you had to deal with isolation, mental healths and or homelessness? What did you learn from your experience?

Yes I have lived with isolation and mental illness over 7 years in total and my life before was heavily impacted by it. It altered my way of seeing this world and made the worst version of myself, but after years of getting help and practice, I come to know about how emotions work in my head, how to deal with stress/circumstances with mindfulness, and how to gain back the control and be the master of my own life.


What are your views on isolation, homelessness, mental health in the arts community? 

That some artists have to choose surviving over thriving.


What are some steps artists can take to cope with isolation, homelessness, mental health? *

Social services, group therapy, counselling.


Shop - Intuitive Fluid Abstract Painting Journal of Tokoroii (Zoe Bu)

What is your Instagram (or portfolio/shop) Url? *


#CUTO Community Memberships

#TAAP5 – Maurice Tan Art 3rd Judge Added to Unicorn Awards

Born in 1982, Maurice Tan is a self-taught abstract artist living in Toronto. He works with acrylic paint and mediums. His focus is on abstract paintings, as well as semi-abstract figurative and portrait paintings. For his abstract work, colors, layering, and texture are the main focal points. The themes of his abstract paintings include city life and nature. The way colors and texture blend harmoniously in nature is something that really inspires him. His city paintings show interesting colors and texture around Toronto, including the rustic look of old buildings in the downtown area. He finds inspiration while observing city life at dusk, when colors, light, and movement are at their peak. A surreal and dream like presentation can be found in Maurice's figurative and portrait work. Figures and faces are generally distorted. The distortions range from mild to extreme. He conveys different human emotions through distorted facial expressions. The focus is on the eyes in the majority of Maurice's portrait paintings. To the viewer, it presents the emotion and personality of each character. Maurice's work can be found in several galleries around Toronto as well as in private collections in Canada, U.S. India, and the U.K.

What do you do? 
Semi-abstract portraits and figurative work, as well as modern abstract paintings

What are you working on right now? 
A new series of portrait paintings

Why did you get started?
I started doing my art because it's the best way for me to express my emotions and thoughts from my mind. I've always been fascinated with the way we are able to transfer things from our minds onto the canvas.

Describe your creative process?
My creative process begins with basic colors, patterns, and/or textures as background. The main subject, is then painted in a way that comes naturally for me. I avoid accuracy and focus on the subject as a whole. Imperfections or accidental smudges for example, are fine with me, as imperfections will be found through out the painting. When viewed as a whole, everything comes together despite lack of accuracy. That smudge on the painting? It happened as I was creating it, so I tend to leave it. I don't like to spend too much time on any one area in the painting as I prefer to keep a steady flow from beginning to end, and I like my work to have somewhat of a dirty look. I stop when I feel the painting is complete. I usually know this because eventually I reach a point where I can't think of anything else to add to the painting.

Who is your art for? 
My art is for anyone who is looking for an alternative to what is considered beautiful art in a traditional sense. It is important because it's raw, without any filters placed on top. It's my feelings that I've translated onto canvas without doing anything extra to lighten the mood.

If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be and why? 
I would tell my younger self to begin working on my art asap. My only regret is starting my art late, at the age of 32. It makes me wonder where my style and techniques would be today, if I had started when I was a teenager.

What are your views on homelessness, mental health in the arts community?

I think it's very important to have more attention focused on homelessness and mental health in the arts community. It has been shown that art is very therapeutic for everyone, including those suffering from mental illness. There are many talented artists who happen to be homeless. Despite being homeless, they continue to create. Therefore, I believe that more shelters together with education would be very beneficial in helping the homeless.

What is your Instagram (or Portfolio) Url? 


More info on The Annex Art Party

Vendors - Click for more info about the Annex Art Party

RSVP-  For The Annex Art Party on Facebook

Shop – Figurative, Portraiture & Abstract Pieces by Désiré Betty

About Desire Betty

Désiré Betty is a Mississauga, Ontario based artist that began her innovative journey at an early age. Her passion for the arts, led her to pursue a career in Architecture; broadening her quest for constant creativity from the canvas to the built environment. Although content in her profession, there is nothing more fulfilling than creating art. In 2009, she vowed to complement her architecturally based career with her artistic pursuits in the art world. Désiré has since exhibited in several solo and group shows, had her art published in several art magazines and sold pieces to art enthusiasts around the world. Her compositions are focused mainly on figurative and portraiture art with complimentary abstract pieces. She explores the use of various mediums, such as acrylic ink, watercolor and mixed media. Her work transcends borders, as there is an elegant juxtaposition between rigidity and fluidity. With her Architectural background, she has a knack for extremely fine detail, varying line weights and precision, all while maintaining a dreamlike state of fluidity in the brush strokes; melding shapes and colours.

Briefly describe the Toronto art scene in your words

The Toronto art scene is vibrant as this city houses many of the greats - it is a scene that I continually strive to find new opportunities in and expand my horizons.

What are you working on right now? 

I have recently finished 2 Tarot Card paintings for ETAOracle / Emerging Toronto Artists. We will be starting the kickstarter campaign in August 2018. I have also just gotten word that I have had my third poem published in ArtAscent Magazine v.32. Additionally, I have a 36"x48" painting entitled "Maple Roots Tree" on display at the Summerfest Group Show at the Artusiasm Gallery on St. Clair. I am developing new abstract pieces to go along with some of my current paintings - to show at Queen Mother Cafe in Feb-March of 2019. I will also be showing my works at the Slanted Door Cafe in September 2018. I LOVE ART and pursuing my passion to its fullest - I love being a creative!

Why did you get started?

I have always been creative - it is my passion and brings me so much joy!

Who is your art for? Why is it important?

My art is for anyone that appreciates it - but the reason I keep going - is because I love creating! It is for me! If others enjoy it, that's a bonus!

What is your Instagram (or Portfolio) Url? *



Register - for The Annex Art Party

more info about The Annex Art Party and The Unicorn Awards


Publish your work Artist of the week