Winter Arts Scene is on stands now, bringing us a fresh new season of arts and culture and featured work from the talented Meghan Spence!
The season of snow is upon us, and with the turn of a new year, so comes a new Winter Arts Scene – your guide to everything arts and culture in Whistler and the Sea to Sky.
Gracing the front cover of the magazine’s new issue is Meghan Spence’s “First Tracks,” a snapshot of a day of back-country skiing. The piece is part of a series focusing on reclaiming the feeling of belonging in nature. The painting not only captures the winter season, but is a fine example of the awe-inspiring landscapes that make the Sea to Sky such a hot bed of artistic expression.
We caught up with Meghan recently to get to know the artist behind the brush, and find out a bit about her work, inspiration, style and more.
Can you tell us a bit about Meghan Spence, the artist?
I started as a self-taught artist in the Okanagan, where I grew up, and later did a certificate at Emily Carr University. I show my work around BC and participate in different local markets and events. I’ve painted a lot of different subject matter but have been painting BC landscapes for the past several years. I’ve always loved the Canadian landscape painters, and I am totally inspired by beautiful British Columbia.
Who or what has been the biggest influence to you in terms of your work? What drives you to keep creating?
I’ve always needed to make things with my hands. I imagine a painting and then can’t stop thinking about it until I let it out. I feel very lucky to have grown up in British Columbia, experiencing the incredible landscapes from the coast to the interior. I am very motivated by issues around climate change and conservation and see an opportunity to create awareness through art.
What is your favourite thing about creating your art?
I love the feeling of producing something that will go out into the world and take on a life of its own. Everyone interprets art differently, based on their own experiences and I love that I can have a connection to a total stranger through my paintings.
What materials or techniques do you prefer to use when painting?
I mostly paint with acrylics. They dry really fast so you can’t spend too much time contemplating a brush stroke, you just have to load your brush and commit. I often work wet-in-wet so that my paintings have flow and movement and the paint shows its character.
What is your favourite thing to paint?
I’m always really interested landscape, but definitely don’t paint them exclusively. I’m really interested in colour relationships and the materiality of paint. I love the way the wet paint moves around the canvas. Snowy trees are probably my favourite thing to paint, if I had to pick.
Can you tell us an interesting fact that people may not know about you?
I’m totally right handed but I sometimes paint with my left. If I feel like my painting is getting to tight and focused I’ll switch over to painting with my left so I have less control.
Do you have any tips for artists who are just starting out?
Make lots of work. Don’t get hung up on perfecting a single piece, just make work all the time and it will make you a better, more productive artist. Try to get your work out there. Opportunities exits all over for artist at all levels – sometimes in unusual places. Just keep at it and if you’re making art that you believe in other people will see it.
Out of all of your work, what made you choose “First Tracks” as your Arts Scene submission?
Could you provide a little background/detail on the painting itself?
The painting is based on a day of backcountry skiing, but in a broader context explores how people currently interact with the landscape. I can’t think of anywhere that the landscape is more integral to the culture of a community than Whistler. I think it just shows a real love for getting out there.
If you could recommend some other artists’ Instagram feeds for people to check out, who would they be and why?
I love following artist’s process on Instagram. Some of my favourites are:
- @jveenstraartist – Julia Veenstra for her intentful use of paint and the way she can interpret a landscape with
tonnes of colour.
- @coricreed – Cori Creed for the way she captures the feeling of the westcoast. Her work is really
abstract but at the same time you feel like you know exactly where that is.
- @hawkesfineart – Erica Hawkes’ work has amazing, flowing skies and landscapes.
Pick up your free copy of the 2019 Winter Arts Scene, featuring Meghan’s artwork, at the Maury Young Arts Centre or other cultural venues and businesses throughout Whistler and the Sea to Sky.
Want to have your art featured on the cover of the next edition of Arts Scene? Submit your work before April 1, 2019.
Looking for more info on Meghan and her art?