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Colin Whitebread first discovered the joy of drawing at a young age and has been hooked on it ever since. Here Colin tells us a little more about his work.
- Interviewed by Lesley Wilkins
Q. WHEN DID YOU FIRST START CREATING ART?
I actually remember being taken out of a grade 1 class to do a big mural for the hallways because they thought I could draw well .
Q. TELL US ABOUT THE FIRST, OR ONE OF THE FIRST PIECES, YOU WERE REALLY HAPPY WITH.
I was in Grade 9 and I copied a still life in charcoal, no training or lessons. It actually looked good. Mom and Dad framed it and I still have it today .
Q. WHAT MEDIUM DO YOU WORK IN PRIMARILY, AND WHY?
I started with oils, but had some health issues so switched to acrylics which I love. But I use a lot of collage and textured products occasionally .
Q. DO YOU HAVE FORMAL TRAINING?
I attended Neil McNeil HS in the 60's but they didn't have an art program. I became a teacher and was offered a chance to cover a few art classes just based on my self-taught skills. My principal suggested I get more qualified so I spent the next 10 years taking part time courses at the Ontario College of Art and Design. I was in the painting and drawing department but took classes in printmaking and basic sculpture as well. Loved those years .
Q. WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF MAKING ART DO FOR YOU? OR HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
I studied theology and philosophy and have degrees in those areas. As I've matured I have pursued many methods of spirituality. As you know getting out of your own way is essential to heighten awareness. The more I pursued meditation and contemplation the more art became a wonderful method of mindfulness and deeper spiritual development.
Q. ARE THERE ANY RECURRING THEMES IN YOUR WORK?
Nature is a great source of revelation. So all things natural are the starting point of my artistic explorations. I also have been fortunate to travel and take courses with students for 12 years in Mexico. My deep respect for the poor and indigenous we learned from there gave me many insights into alternate forms of lifestyles. I fell in love with the people, their art, and expressive use of colour which informs my work .
Q. HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED TO START A NEW PIECE?
Visual stimulation is important so I draw a lot to gather information and ideas. I'm also a student of art history and contemporary work. Other artists inspire me, not only their work but their struggles and artistic development. I also go to lots of galleries and almost always start painting when I arrive home. .
Q. WHERE HAS YOUR WORK BEEN SHOWN?
I belong to three studio tours; Stouffville, Durham West, and now Uxbridge. I have had about 5 shows in public galleries the latest being at the Pumphouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake.