“UPCYCLED ART IS TRANSFORMING REFUSE FROM THE PAST INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL FOR THE FUTURE” Dorothea LeBlanc
A heart to help this world by reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing things inspires me to create lusciously textured paintings (which actually fulfill my in-born desire to make sculpture). When working this way I experience a completely different creative process than when painting realistically. Perhaps the reason is that there is no finished image for reference - the perfect end has not yet been realized and it’s up to me to discover it! I have also found that this form of art making (through no intention of mine) also has the unique ability to reveal my emotions - but I only notice it after the piece is done.
Making abstract art is a genuinely creative process for “me” because: I LOVE recycling useful things instead of throwing them out, I LOVE texture and design, I LOVE finding colour combinations that work well together, and I LOVE spontaneity! All these things draw me back to the endlessly interesting miscellaneous drawers of life.
MY RETURN TO ART AFTER 26 YEARS
Although I'd graduated from the University of Guelph with a Fine Art Major in 1980, as the years passed, I'd actually forgotten that I possessed the ability to paint. As a matter of fact, with the way my brain was thinking, I didn't have any idea that I would ever make art again – until an improvement in my health began in 2007.
And so traveling to China in 2008 with my husband became a kick-start-art-creating event for me. I was beginning the long process of regaining my health (from a 30 year struggle with MS symptoms) and our China trip was an arduous journey - with airport delays, lost luggage, climbing endless steps and much more. Nonetheless, the 3 weeks I spent mostly in Zhumadian, Henan Province, were magical - it was a different world and I fell in love with the people. I took thousands of photos with my digital camera, and voila, had subject matter to paint for decades. (see my china paintings on this website and chinainjune.blogspot.ca)
Painting from my own photographs was my comfort zone, but almost at the same time I began creating textured abstracts using leftover materials. Not until many years later did I begin showing my up-cycled paintings (which are highly textured using recycled objects), and they're becoming very well loved.
If you're an artist inside, it will eventually come out of you - no matter what struggles you go through in life, no matter who discourages you, no matter where you happen to be, no matter how long it takes.
1980 Heinz Jordan Scholarship from the University of Guelph
2009 Pauling Manning Award for “Chinese Tricycle” at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives downtown Halifax, NS
2009 Honourable Mention for a mixed media piece “Three Boats”.
2010 The Mayor’s Award (at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives (downtown Halifax, NS) for “Tricycle with Bamboo” (a full-sized print of that painting now resides in the Mayor’s office).
2013 Group show at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum (2 abstracts)
2014 Group show at the DART Gallery, Dartmouth (1 abstract)
2016 Parkland at the Lakes month-long group display (10 art pieces - 6 abstracts and 4 oil pastels)
2016 People’s Choice Award for “Lewis Head Beach” with the Dartmouth Visual Art Society
2009-12 Showed and served with the Contemporary Art Society, Halifax, NS
2012-now Showing and serving with Dartmouth Visual Art Society (2-4 shows per year)
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID:
"I just came from a full visit to your blogpost of March 21, "Why make mixed-media art, you ask?" That blogpost has BEAU-TI-FUL visuals, and very well turned text! Loved reading it; if you composed it yourself, you're a natural at writing. I also checked out some of your earlier blogposts - your portraits are perfect and showing a very pleasant personal style, just as your different style for your flowers - just wow on everything. Did I mention your upcycled art?! Definitely requires another mention - It's awesome. All the pieces on that blogpost. You obviously have strong esthetic knowledge and ability. You've got a very solid body of artwork." Rachelle Valéri
"You are a creative soul!!!"
"Your development as an artist is amazing. I love seeing the process and the challenges along the way."
"Went through your studio visit and I like not only the art but especially the names of your creations!!! Creativity with words!! Made me smile!!"
"I love this painting, Northumberland Strait Evening. I can just about smell the salt air when I look at it!"
"You have some very beautiful artwork here. Thanks for sharing."