Posts by Nickey Yuill

These People Are A-OK: Kate Csak

Meet Habitat‘s fourth artist in residence, Kate Csak, a full time artist/illustrator who specializes in photo-realistic work in a range of subjects and mediums. Born in Calgary, Alberta, she lived and grew up always creating images, drawing her surroundings- people, animals, and still life. She is self taught, always experimenting with different mediums and techniques to achieve different results. Much of her inspiration comes from simple objects and things in nature.

Gorilla

One of the pieces Csak has created for Habitat

“Art is my therapy. The drawing process and practice is a constant discovery, providing a place to explore and process my emotions and thoughts that arise from past, and present experiences. I choose to draw mostly people and animals because I experience life as one and can therefore connect intimately to my work. Their physical beauty symbolises the beauty and depth of emotion the souls on earth are capable of. After 10 years of part time practice, I now made the move to full time art making starting my artist career in 2013.”

I had a moment to chat with Kate about her inspirations and experiences:

What drew you to start creating art?
The enthusiasm started when my Mom first gave me a crayon. Drawing my favourite Disney characters was more important than math homework. My passion for visual exploration has motivated me to nurture my skills through consistent practice. I create art because…It feels good!

Did you grow up around Artists?
My Dad was creative, but my Mom wasn’t  No one ever taught me to draw and it was never encouraged, so when I drew, it just sorta happened. My parents deserve credit for where I am now, but I believe the inherent creative right brain is only part of it. It was my obsession with drawing and drive to practice that led me to improve over time.

Which artists have inspired you or which would you say are your personal favourite?
Surrealist artist Vladimir Kush
Fantasy artists Jim Warren and Josephine Wall
Realism artist Robert bateman

Why did you move to Kelowna?
I felt an intuitive nudge to step out of comfort zone and explore a new place and new people.
Mountains, lake, vegetables, fruit, sun, wine, art… I find Kelowna inspiring! So I moved here :)

What is your favourite drink?
Vanilla stoli and water splash of ginger ale
Grey goose and coconut water
Summerhill Boch

You work with a variety of mediums — which are the hardest to work with and why?
They all have their challenges, but since oil paintings requires very specific techniques, preparation process, and has an extremely slow drying time, there is no way to get a painting done in  few days, making this medium quite challenging. Also,  it’s very smelly, messy, stains and is hard to clean up…but with its flexibility, texture, and prestige value, is well work it!

How does your artwork make you feel?
Doing art rejuvenates and energizes my system as a whole, bringing me total satisfaction. incorporating my emotions into my drawings and paintings allows me to express what’s true. Creating art work from photographs brings a new degree of life to the subject, through richness and depth of colour overlooked by our minds eye. I feel like I’m attending to people and animals when I draw them, understanding them deeply more and more as I continue to draw them so up close and detailed.

What do you want others to feel when they view your artwork?
Since I like expressing emotions, I want others to feel what it is I’m feeling- appreciation, admiration and curiosity for all living walks of life. Combining realism with dynamic uses of colour I want to convey deeper emotions but in a way that resonates with the audience as being imaginative and truthful at the same time.

These People Are A-OK: Alexandra Tremblay

Alexandra Tremblay is a mixed media artist who has been living in Kelowna for the past 2 years.

Alexandra Tremblay

What drew you to start working with felts?
The thought of working with raw fibers and building a fabric that could be used for so many purposes, such as clothing, bags pillows and creations on canvasses inspired me, from the ground up.

alex4

Did you grow up around artists?
I do come from a family of artists, my Mother is a mixed-media artist and was an art teacher for 15 years, Father a photographer, Step-Dad a wood turner/carver, Brother a graphic designer and a nice history of artists… Grandmother and others, it’s in my blood.

Which artists have inspired you or which would you say are your personal favorite?
I love a variety of artists… from Van Goh to Dali, Picasso, Alex Grey… the classics.

alex2

Why did you move to Kelowna?
I got my diploma in fiber arts from the Kootenay School of arts in Nelson and thought that Kelowna would be more into the arts because of its size.

What’s your favorite drink?
A nice cold pint of Honey Sleeman’s sounds pretty good to me.

alex3

You work with a variety of mediums – which are the hardest to work with and why?
Felting has sooo many steps, its quite the process… laying and building the fibers… working with boiling water; lots of physical work. It takes a lot of time and it changes a lot through the process so it can be a little surprise, the outcome.

Also it is very delicate for a long time until it becomes an actual fabric.

How does your artwork make you feel?
It drives me completely wild… like a mad woman… but it also seems to be one of the only things that keeps me balanced. I put all my fears, pains, dreams passions, visions from within my being and it transcends and explodes leaving me full, empty, ecstatic, crazed, strong. It can bring me such a joie de vivre… but it must be shared as it’s too much energy for me to keep around. I must share the beauty and the intensity with others.

alex1

What do you want others to feel when they view your artwork?
I want to inspire others… its fantasy, to find their story within, to travel, to be in awe, to feel lost and confused maybe… to make people feel.