Salt Fall/Winter 2014 - page 24

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creative works
written by carolyn camilleri, photos by Jeffrey Bosdet/Salt Magazine
“I am an emotional painter. What excites me about abstract
painting is that you are not confined. If you are doing realism,
you are confined to that image and I don’t like to be confined,”
she says. “I want to be creative and do my own thing. I want
to interpret something.”
But being unconfined was a journey, something you can
see even just by walking into her home and studio. Not only
are paintings on every wall, they are on the floor and leaning
up against walls and furniture. Adding to the gallery-like
ambience is that the paintings represent a diversity of styles,
from realism to abstract, landscapes to people, animals to
free-flowing celebrations of colour and movement. And they
are all by the same artist.
“I thrive on diversity,” she smiles as she leads the way to her
studio, past more and more paintings.
She started with realism and, in particular, landscapes, but
was always experimenting with colour, composition, texture,
and movement.
“I even did wildlife,” she says. “I entered the Western
Canadian Wildlife Show that was in Saskatoon years ago, and
I got honourable mention for my wolf and second for my blue
heron. It was an experiment and I didn’t really like it — it was
too persnickety.”
Being so diverse does present challenges, especially with
galleries.
“The galleries don’t like you to be diverse.They want to put
you in a box, and I have always just not gone along with that.
That’s just who I am.”
To illustrate her point, she tells a funny story about her
relationship with Calgary’s Webster Gallery, which represents
her work. Her landscapes used to fit in well with the
conservative collection there. But the gallery owner became a
little upset because she was also showing her work at the art
market in Calgary’s Telus Convention Centre.
“Galleries want you to be exclusive with them and not show
work in another gallery but I told him, ‘Most of my work that
I am showing at the convention centre is abstract and you are
not interested in abstracts,’” she relays, laughing. “The long
and short of it is that he is into abstracts now. I converted
him.”
While realistic and impressionistic images remain in some
of her work, she says it is the “unfettered freedom to explore
the world of abstraction” that has given her the greatest joy
and satisfaction.
Her first abstracts were years ago for a show in Saskatoon
for which she created masked faces “...because we don’t always
Freedom of
Expression
“Today, painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of
themselves. Most modern painters work from a different source.
They work from within,” said Jackson Pollock, that most famous
American dripper of paint. And if that is true, then what is inside
Nanaimo-based artist Regina Seib is the pure, unfettered joy of
life, as well as the freedom to paint whatever she wants, however
she wants. For the most part, that has meant abstracts.
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