Susan Ross, Kitchi-Manitou, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 91.4, $900
1. Tell us about the artwork you have in the VAM 2011 Juried Show.
I was inspired by the aboriginal petroglyphs just north of Peterborough. There are about 900 of these rock carvings done by the Algonkians which date back almost 2,000 years. Kitchi-Manitou was a great spirit among the Algonkians that manifested itself as the sun. I used these petroglyphs as reference for many paintings.The process in doing this painting was a freeing and invigorating experience. I was able to balance the imagery from the “glyphs” with the formal aspects of the painting (line, colour, shape).
2. How and when did you first become interested in creating art?
I’ve been painting since I was in grade seven. I remember the first time painting a still life in art class. I was so excited by the whole thing that I stayed late to finish it and then I was hooked!!
3. What do you think of the art scene in Mississauga? Where do you see it heading in the next ten years?
I was quite impressed by the Art Gallery of Mississauga. I am new to the area so haven’t been exposed to it for a long time but it seems very vibrant and exciting. I like the idea of showing local artists so I hope the gallery does more of that.
4. What advice would you give young people who want to become artists?
I would tell young people who want to become artists that the most important thing in creating art is to stay true to yourself, keep focused on what you love to do and don’t be afraid to experiment. Alot of really great stuff comes from what you think at the time is a mistake. Trust yourself.
5. What do you have lined up after the VAM Juried Show? For people interested in finding more of your artwork, do you have a website, blog, Twitter account or gallery?
I’m in a group show at the Propeller Gallery on Queen St. I have 4 paintings in this show and it’s running until the end of the month. I am working on a website this year and I have paintings posted on Facebook.
See Susan Ross’ Kitchi-Manitou at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in the VAM 33rd Annual Juried Show until February 26th.
Voting for People’s Choice Award ongoing until February 26th. Ballots available at Gallery reception.