My love of nature, wildlife and the outdoors has inspired me to use my painting and photography to capture the beauty and wonder of the world we live in. I love to experiment with the play of color and light on my subjects. By expressing my creativity through these images, my hope is to inspire others to appreciate, and care for, the world around us.
When did you first become interested in art?
My interest in art started at a young age. I have 2 sisters that are artist as well and we were always sketching, painting or doing photography. My favourite subjects were my young nieces and nephews as well as family pets and outdoor scenes.
What style of art do you use most?
I would have to say Realism would be my art style that I use the most. I use lighting and texture to enhance my subjects, but generally I like it to be visually clear what the subject is.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
I would say my styles and mediums are constantly changing. If I see something that I like, I say to myself how did they do that and I’ll go home and experiment with my own art. I think it’s good to always be willing to grow and evolve as an artist.
What medium do you use?
I paint in watercolors, acrylics and oils. I have been favouring photography lately, my current camera is a Canon EOS and I have a few different lens.
What made you choose that medium?
My choice of medium depends on the subject I’m working on. I was commissioned years ago to do a painting of the Schooner Bluenose and they requested that it be done in oils, so that is what I did it in. I generally do portraits in watercolours and I have done most of my scenery and wildlife images in acrylics.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
My ideas usually come from everyday life. Usually seeing various subjects in a particular light. Let’s say trees or plants with a coating of frost back-light from the morning sunrise. I’ll see it and say oh isn’t that lovely, I then usually take a photo and go from there.
How do you choose your images and colours?
It usually comes from visually seeing something in a particular lighting or tones. Sometime it’s seeing how nice a few specific colours go together. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.
Do you work in a studio?
I don’t really have my own studio. I work either on my Mac for my photography or I paint at a desk in our loft.
Who is your favourite artist?
I have several favourite artists. Let see… it ranges from Tom Thompson from the Group of Seven to Robert Bateman for Canadian Artists. I also like other classic artists such as Van Gogh and Andrew Wyeth.
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
My favourite painting that I have done so far is my “Owl in an Oak Tree”. The tree from this piece is located very close to my childhood home.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
It really depends on the medium I’m working in. Photo editing images can take less than a half hour and some of my paintings can take weeks if not longer.
How well do you take criticism?
Criticism is always good and I welcome it. Usually I’m my worse critic though if something isn’t quite right I’m not afraid to set it aside and review it at a later date with fresh eyes. I think in the end you’re the one who need to be pleased with you art as it’s your name that is going on the piece.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
I take time away from my art when I’m blocked. Taking a daytrip or a weekend away with my husband always helps me. I find travel a good source of inspiration.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
I can find it hard to walk away from my paintings especially. I always seem to find some more detail or shading to add. It’s definitely something that I need to work on.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
I have done some smaller gallery shows in the past. I have done group showings at the Burdette Gallery in Orton, Ontario as well as the 321 Gallery in Tillsonburg, Ontario.
Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?
I don’t have any current plans for any gallery exhibits.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on doing some visual editing and Photoshop enhancements to some of my most recent travel photos.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m am currently working full time as a graphic designer, but as I near retirement I would love to spend a lot more time on my art.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To believe in yourself and your ability.
What advice would you give to new artists?
To paint or shoot what you love and to do it because you love it.
Have you done any courses to help you?
I like using Lynda.com to keep up on Photoshop editing techniques and other software. As far as my painting goes it has been pretty much self taught through experimenting with various mediums etc.
What do you do to market your work?
Word of mouth mostly, I have also started a website with Fine Art America.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Not really but I plan to start when I get a chance to research and set up various accounts such as Pinterest, etc.
Are you available for work (commissions)?
Yes I would welcome commissions. I have been commissioned for children portraits as well as oil paintings in the past.
Have you got hobbies?
I like to travel with my husband and friends. I also love to spend time outdoors, hiking, golfing etc.
Where are you based?
Palgrave, Ontario, Canada. A short drive northwest of Toronto
© 2013, Isabella Francesca Abigail Shores. All rights reserved.