Monday, April 7, 2014

Canadian Art Concepts Corporation: A Colour Theory and Sabine Liva

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A few weeks ago I was invited to see the latest and greatest art event hosted by Julia Yakobi of Canadian Art Concepts Corporation (CACC). I have not delved into art or art events very much on Clothes Line Finds, so this was a great introduction!

Julia Yakobi founded the Canadian Art Concepts Corporation to specialize in representation of Canadian and international artists, art promotion, arts marketing and art exhibitions and events, both locally and internationally. CACC's slogan is "Understand. Support. Unite. Succeed" and it was evident in this latest exhibit titled "A Colour Theory". The exhibit featured some very talented artists including: Jan Wheeler, Sabine Liva, Sarah Phelps, Michael Toole, Blair T. Paul, Mike Smalley and Susan Lapp. So much talent in one room!

Of all the artists present at the show, Sabine Liva's beautiful paintings captured my attention. It seems like we are always running around distracted by social media, cell phones and technology these days. Sometimes it seems impossible to get people to stop, focus and pay attention (myself included!). On this evening, after viewing all of the pieces, I ended up sitting down on a bench, right in front of Sabine Liva's beautiful work. I felt an immediate sense of calm and appreciation for the work and color. Thanks to Hannah Yakobi of Fajo Magazine for arranging an interview with Sabine! I'm really excited to share her work and story with you.

About Sabine Liva

Sabine Liva is a traditional painter whose experiences have spanned different schools, countries and cultures. She graduated with Honors from the Ontario College of Art and Design and completed her thesis studies in Florence, Italy. Sabine received her formal education in Riga, Latvia where she studied academic drawing and painting at the renowned Jan Rozental's School of Art and Academy of Latvia.

Sabine has been successfully participating in numerous prestigious International art shows since 1995. Her work is represented by several North American galleries and her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections across Canada, USA, Far East and Europe (including Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Dubai Ritz and Four Seasons Jackson Hole, USA). Find out more about Sabine on her website Sab Studios.

"In my stylized waterfront landscapes I try to capture poetic beauty of air, water, light. These compositions are realistic and yet surreal, both traditional and modern. I work with images of real objects and set them within the context of the painting - it's about the evident and the intangible. Follow your heart!" SAB


A.T. How and when did you start painting? 

S.L. My first solo show was at age 5. (On my birthday-  though exclusively for my family, cousins and friends). I was always drawing and painting, My Mom tells me whenever there was a paper and a pencil around- I'd be busy and happy for hours. During early years at school my art teacher took notice of my compositions and since then I was sent to numerous Drawing Olympics to represent my school/district. My parents always supported my passion of drawing and painting and took me to a professional artist at age of 11 to prepare me for the three day exam (consisting of Drawing, Painting and Composition ( a visualization of a story) at the Jan Rozental's School of Art , Riga, Latvia. I was selected and commenced my professional training starting grade 6. The highly respected Art Academy of Latvia was my next educational institution. I was selected as one of only 7 new students at the Textile Department in the year of 1995.

A.T. Tell me about your early years and how they influence your art

S.L. The solid academic art foundation that I had the opportunity to receive under the direction of my teachers at Art School and professors at the Academy- all established artists themselves - gave me the confidence in and understanding of my work. Student half-term shows and the annual Student Gala shows introduced me to the dynamics of presenting my work. Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design (then OCA) provided me with the opportunity to experiment and gain insight about the Industrial Design, Experimental Photography, Printmaking. Thesis Studies in Florence, Italy let me experience the Art History in real life. Now I have formed a little " toolbox of skill" that I can use in my work.

A.T. The painting on the right on the image on the attached was my favorite of the night (see below - painting Sabine is standing in front of) - can you tell me about it and how it came to be? Is it an abstraction of a real scene or a painting of imagination?

S.L. "OPEN SKY"  40"x40", oil on canvas is one of my most recent paintings. It is a moment experienced in the open air - more emotive rather than representational- dynamic, positive, contemplative. Landscape is a background of this painting and the inspiration of my work in general. The vignette of objects may represent birds, hope, words. OPEN SKY is an invitation to those who are open to let their mind move.
As most of my paintings - this one too - started with a geometric three line composition, a combination of tones and light at the waterfront experienced and memorized and a feeling of movement and colour palette intended for this particular work.
A fragment of this Zen poem might explain this painting the best:
"White bird flew across the sky and my mind rolled forth ten thousand feet"

A.T. For someone who doesn't know much about painting, can you tell me about your aesthetic and how you create paintings? 

S.L Oh, this question is so vast... My aesthetics: being true to oneself. When I work - I can not question myself because I just need to follow that urge that guides me and forms my choices. I think about my paintings. I analyze my work. It is not only about what I will paint but also about what I will not include in my painting. My paintings are preconceived. When I paint - it is a very intense process, both emotionally and physically. I do not paint when I am either happy or sad. I just get to work, focus and my world of painting becomes accessible to me. If something valuable happens by accident- if it is left in the painting- it is left there on purpose. I usually work on several paintings at once.

A.T. Can you talk about the progression of your painting over time?

S.L. At school - first work was watercolour. Lighter shades first then the darker ones. I thought I was good at it . And then- at grade 9 we switched to oil. That was a disaster. I could not master it for quite a while, since the whole tactic of oil painting is the opposite of what I knew. Besides I had never seen a real oil paint and did not know what to mix it with (acetone and turpentine were my first mediums, then the forever drying linseed oil). Most of my classmates just zoomed ahead as their parents were artists and they knew how oil painting looks and works. I struggled and figured it out. Then I was happily painting in oil until I found out about collages and mixed media work. I wanted to paint portraits on a gold leaf background just like Klimt and include a piece of newspaper in my still life just like Braque. Photography had always captivated me, so I learned to do polaroid and photo transfers on canvas, mixed with painting. Oil has always remained my medium of choice and now I am back to more traditional painting technique - oil on canvas, walnut oil alkyde, brushes and palette knives, a thread for straight lines.

A.T. What inspires you? 

S.L  Nature. Haiku poems. Design. Music. Family. Friends.

A.T. Who has inspired you?

S.L Old Master's work is a constant inspiration. Renaissance Masters- Fra Angelico, Giotto, van Eyck, Botticelli. Colour pallette of Miro, figurative painting of Klimt and Picasso. Translucency and richness of colour of L.C.Tiffany and Dale Chihuly. Aesthetics of ZEN. Delicateness of Stella McCartney. Collaboration of Ray and Charles Eames. Repetitiveness of Philip Glass and Maija Isola, flamboyance of Bjork, laconism of Oiva Toikka.

A.T. What's next?

S.L. September show in Riga, Latvia celebrating Riga- the Cultural Capital of Europe 2014.

The talented Sabine Liva 
Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

The wonderful Julia Yakobi introducing the artists and art! 
Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts


Sabine's beautiful work!
Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts


Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Photo by Aleyah Solomon for Canadian Art Concepts

Beautiful nibblies at the event by Sonia's Kitchen
Photo by Anthea

Photo by Anthea

Photo by Anthea


Photo by Anthea
Photo by Anthea

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