B.C. watercolour, mixed media and glass artist

Susan Ward - Vancouver Island Artist -Abstract WatercolourArt excites and energizes and has power to calm or engage emotions. It is a pursuit that provides a life force I can’t imagine living without. After studies in graphic design and fine art, glass stoked my creative fire first and became my primary creative outlet. A glass artist for 25 years with a leaning towards contemporary and mission-style work, in 2010 I discovered a passion for painting. Inspired by many artists I leaned into my love for abstract watercolour largley under guidnace of Toronto artist Ruth Hayes. Recently relocating from Toronto to Vancouver Island, I am filled with abundant new inspiration in the natural world here.

Why we make art is unique to every artist. For me, it is immersive, meditative and a personal exploration. It elevates my joy, it challenges vulmerability always stretching out of my comfort zone – particularly the putting it out in the world part. It is often my most personal therapy. I love everything about the process – from the planning to experimenting with new materials and even the endless lessons “failures” deliver and the elation of “successes” and  happy accidents. For me it re-reinforces an important life lesson over and over – trust in yourself and let go of the outcome. The fulfillment I seek through art is rarely found in the outcome, the greatest joy is found in the elusive nourishment of immersion in the flow.

The intangible benefit of art making is being a formal or informal part of the most remarkable local and global community of open-hearted fellow explorers it connects me with. What began as art therapy, has become an inspiring, energizing, journey.  A healthy habit I create time for more and more. My motivation to show stems from a discipline to sustain this showing up – a twist on “ends justified the means” I suppose. The deadlines and comitments to show, reinforce working the muscle of consistency of the doing and forces keeping consistent space and time for it. I reap the personal health benefit rewards of making art.  Showing also forces the finishing. Every artist I know understands this piece – with so many exciting and fun starts filed, it forces the finishing! Showing also encourages me to face the biggest challenge with the greatest related personal growth value – discovering and owning my voice.

‘The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

– Pablo Picasso