Art by Konu Community Spotlight
We recently had the opportunity to meet with emerging artist Sandra Heddle from Hamilton, Canada to talk about her artistic passions.
What is your inspiration for your latest series of work?
My latest work is inspired by a recent trip to the Hamilton Art Gallery. I took the day to visit on my own so that I could quietly observe the exhibition.
During my exploration of the exhibition I discovered the work of Michael Snow, whose diverse collection really moved me. I saw so many variations in the show that my mind became filled with new ideas and techniques to try. I was inspired by the texture, the colours, and the movements of the brushstrokes. The realness of the art is incomparable when observing in person. I have gotten plenty of inspiration from looking at art online; however the feeling is not the same as seeing it in person.
Do you see yourself as an innovator?
Not really no. I am a person who avoids labels because a person can be more than one thing. I have fought a lot of battles in life to overcome many fears to get to where I am today.
It sounds more like you have made innovations to improve your life, so that you could pursue the things you are passionate about. Would you agree that you took a path unlike the one that was prescribed for you?
I have a spark in me and because of that I like to think outside of the box. My handle on Instagram (@wetpaintwarrior) came from getting over the fear of showcasing my art to the world.
In my beginning, I was always fearful of messing up until I developed this carefree attitude toward canvas and paint. I look at painting as a challenge that I can win. I am no longer afraid that my art will not be good because I will simply continue to make it until it is good.
That is very insightful. What best describes the way you approach your art, generally?
When it comes to my abstract art I am brave, confident, disciplined, and spiritual. I definitely do not follow anyone else’s lead. I always try to encourage others to be themselves. I have worked hard to learn self-love, and to keep boundaries that no one can tear down.
In the past I struggled with thinking my art wasn’t good. I think that was an internal struggle with myself that I was reflecting outward. I look back at those same pieces and embrace the struggle I had to overcome to gain confidence.
I used to be so scared of making mistakes or choosing the wrong colours; adding too much texture, or not enough. You name it, I second guessed it. Now, I just love being fierce and confronting my canvas with my inner lioness. I laugh at how silly my insecurity was. I tell myself now: “I create abstract art! It’s always subjective!”
What is your favourite location to create in?
I love to paint outside. Being in nature and hearing birds chirp while feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin is so delightful when painting.
When I can’t be outside, I work in my living room-studio. I can set up expansively because I would rather paint than watch TV, so the space is used better in that way. For me, it’s about headspace more than the location because with the right music and lighting any space will work.
My ideal location in the future would be to have my own art studio with a window looking out to a beach. To be near an ocean and have a place to paint nearby would be a dream come true.
Did you find yourself painting more during the COVID-19 lock-down?
More than I ever have in my life! Being in lock down made me more creative than ever. I woke up and painted, went to bed, then woke again in the middle of the night to paint some more.
Gratitude played a huge part in my desire to paint. I suddenly felt very fortunate. We all went through a bunch of emotions, and even in my work I can see a notable difference in the paintings I did at that time. They seemed rife with anxiety and fear, mixed with anger over the circumstances.
I made a decision that the virus was not going to destroy my mental health. I took the situation for what it was. Once I began to accept it, gratitude came, and so did the desire to create consistently.
It definitely sounds like you reached a very positive headspace, and your experience sounds so fitting for an emerging artist. Perhaps you will serve as an inspiration for others who are on the same journey. Do you have any advice for women who may think of you as a role model?
Being an inspiration to other women would be a great honour. I would only hope that they take whatever their passions are, whatever inspires them, and use it as a tool toward their own growth. It’s about building confidence, being true to yourself and deserving happiness. As artists we create on canvas, and in our life we paint our world.
Thank you for that heartfelt message. Which Instagram artists do you follow the closest?
@Lindsayrapp is my all-time favourite. She creates the most magical and empowering art pieces. The colours she uses really speak to me, and remind me of an enchanted fairy-tale. I really enjoy her entire collection of work that is posted on her page.
Also @Matthew_ollier creates these amazing pieces made of granite stone. They are not statues, but the true likeness of famous faces. I don’t think there is anyone else on Instagram doing what he is doing right now. Other favourites of mine include: @alexgreycosm, @hayden.alexander.art and @bouboudesign. Each one has talent that I am in awe of. Just mind blowing.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to learn about your work. Do you have any last words to leave us with about your artistic passions?
I want observers of my art to focus on putting their minds to a calmer state. I want them to take a pause and think. I want them to be inspired by my work, like I am inspired by other artists.
Thank you Sandra for your time and deep insight into your work. Please follow Sandra’s Instagram page @wetpaintwarrior for updates to her work as an emerging artist.