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Tag: Painting

Shop – Passionate Acrylics By Amanda Pesklevy

I am a local artist living in Pickering with roots in the East Coast - New Brunswick.

I have been painting part-time since 2010 and have this year decided to sell my art (with all of the new home offices cropping up this year why not?? 😆).

I am eternally optimistic and encouraging of others. I try to shine bright enough that others can’t hide in the darkness.

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https://amandapesklevy.wixsite.com/passionateleigh

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Shop – The Visually Striking Art of Jose Cifuentes

Born in 1984 in a family of business administrators, I was the black sheep. Artist since I can remember, enrolled in art academies since I was seven years old and did poorly in any subject that did not involve creativity. When I was fifteen I moved to the U.S where I went to High School and received the Class Artist Award my Senior year, only to be a proud recipient of a full-ride scholarship to study Fine Arts at Bergen Community College in New Jersey.

After graduation, I began to paint professionally and exhibit my work numerous times throughout NJ and NYC. Due to a fucked up immigration story, I had to leave the States and move back to Medellin, Colombia, where I used my art to start a clothing brand and bring that business side of the family to fruition. The name of my brand was beFREE clothing and thanks to our award-winning business idea we suffered extortion and were forced to shut down.

After shutting down our shop, I landed a sweet gig in the biggest streetwear brand in the country and we took that company to a new level. Two years later we decided to move to Canada and start a life in a safe place where we don't have to fear for our lives and my art could flourish. Since December 2016 believe it has.

In 2019 I was the proud recipient of the Refugee and Newcomer Mentorship Grant by Toronto Arts Council and had a great opportunity to exhibit my work at Arta Gallery in the Distillery District.

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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

Inherithearth – The Interdimensional & Life Paintings of Cynthia Van Leeuwen

Who are you? 

I am an oil painter born and living in Toronto, although I lived in the USA for over a decade. Reno, Minneapolis, on a mountain in New Mexico between Sante Fe and Sante Fe and Manhattan for most of that time

 

What do you do?

Oil painter, Portrait Artist, Paint A Canvas, Paint Your Pet (these last two are teaching, instructional gigs.)

 

Why did you get started?

In my soul, chomping at the bit before I could walk or talk

 

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

I had a mantra when I was only a child that ran through my mind to encourage me in my despair of the state of the world, the oppression I felt and saw around me, "This time, this time, this time, this time. It accompanied me as I walked to school, as I was hurt, frustrated, enraged, grief-stricken, terrified.

 

What are you working on right now?

I have a show at the hospital in Burlington where my mother recently died. I have a show coming up at Starving Artist Runnymede and St Clair. I took part in the Articulations Sketchbook Challenge, the show is up there right now.

 

Describe your creative process?

I starve to paint more than I hunger for food. I want to paint stories in brush strokes.

 

Who is your art for?

My art is for people who have feelings, for the underdog, for the consciously aware, for children because they are usually strongly all of these things. I go for the tears when I do a portrait. If I can make someone cry my day is made.

 

What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Painting as well as I wish to. It is a rough lifestyle in some ways. Painters drop off the edge of the arts for the most part.

 

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

You got it, no doubt!

 

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

Oh Lord I have a brilliant idea I have been trying to get greenlighted so long. It is a long story is there room for that here?

 

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

I would love to see people painting being as ubiquitous as music/dance clubs

Why is art and creativity important for the community at large

This has been urgent to me for ages. I saw how creative types were more or less shoved into graphic design/advertising because 'there is no money in art'. Advertising can be brilliant but when it steals the cream of the crop new radar ideas and then slap their logo on it is reductive. I have longed to see billboards used for actual 'advertising' and now I see that happening. I love it. Bigger huge art for the community to 'learn' from. Expansion and evolution all around!

 

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

I feel pretty much we all suffer from 'mental health' because our world is sick as chit. We are more than mental, we have four parts, Spirit, Body, Heart and Will. If any of these is out of whack we are out of whack and we for sure are out of whack. I have been blessed with a strong inner world which has held and guided me through this mess. I have been homeless and that is terrifying. I was okay but it is a super rough gig. I would not wish it on anyone. This Universe is wondrous beyond compare and even when I literally had nowhere to stay, wandering the streets, I was okay

 

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

Oh let's have so much more of it. Creating is healing, the process, the story and the outcome.

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

I feel we need to be encouraged to know how glorious we are and that we can ask for help from even our Higher Selves to guide us. I feel the more we believe in our exact subjective experience, the more we learn to accept ourselves exactly as we are in any given moment the more we may relax and feel loved and cared for. The minority of one is as important as the One.

 

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

What is your Facebook (or portfolio/shop) Url?