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From Light to Layers: Vickie Legere Divulges Her Secrets

From Light to Layers: Vickie Legere Divulges Her Secrets

 

From Light to Layers: Vickie Legere Divulges Her Secrets

 

Who are you and what do you do?

Vickie Legere – I am an educator, portrait, fine art & event photographer.

Why do you do what you do?

I teach to share my passion for the art of photography. I create portraits to empower people and celebrate their unique personal ‘beauty’.  Event photography celebrates our lives & my fine art images reveal the ‘marvelous in the mundane’ – reminding the viewer to see the world with better eyes!

How do you work?

I educate in the classroom (physical or virtual) or in the field. I shoot portraits in studio or on location for all other types of photography. I work in the ‘digital darkroom’ to bring out the best in my images.

 

Vickie with Camera

Vickie Legere

Into the Light by Vickie Legere

Into the Light

What’s your background? 

I have been fascinated with photography since childhood.  I joined the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club in 1996 and I have been shooting & learning everything I can since then.  I belong to various art groups & international social media groups to keep the creative juices flowing.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

The drive to create & express the passion within us – using whatever medium satisfies that need.

What role does the artist have in society?

  The artist is a healer, a catalyst for change, a keeper of memories – it is our role to remind the world of the beauty within & without and to re-examine our souls upon occasion.  

Wild Spirit by Vickie Legere

Wild Spirit

Rain Forest by Vicki Legere

Rain Forest

What has been a seminal experience?

I was listening to a presentation by photographer, Platon – he has photographed the rich & famous as well as the unknown – creating powerful portraits that do more than ‘tell a story’! He ended his presentation by challenging the audience to ‘do more than just take pretty pictures’!  That was a pivotal moment that resounded in my soul & changed everything for me.

How has your practice change over time?

For many years I was a ‘generalist’ photographer – creating images of whatever caught my interest, often the small, overlooked details of the world around us.   3 years ago, I discovered a real passion for creating portraits, particularly of the over 50 generation, once it was drawn to my attention how little our ‘beauty’ and wisdom is appreciated in this age of social media.  I have been driven to intensely educate myself on all aspects of portraiture & have created V-Art Portrait as a result.  Educating others developed from presentation skills I learned during my government career of 31 years – it was an exciting transition to use those skills to share my love & knowledge of photography with others.

Courage by Vickie Legere

Courage

Sunset Silhouette by Vickie Legere

Sunset Silhouette

What work do you most enjoying doing?

Even though it takes more time than it should working in the digital darkroom, what I love the most is the end result.  From the initial inspiration and excitement, planning, timing and the actual shooting through taking that raw image to the conclusion of that initial inspiration.  Which is not always the final result – as I learn more I often go back & re-work an image to improve upon it even more!

What themes do you pursue?

I pursue portrait themes that allow a person to play or make believe, to be seen ‘as they wish to be seen’.  I am creatively drawn to fantasy, steam punk and ‘dark beauty’ themes.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

The 10 year anniversary of my late husband passing away.  I was partnered with 2 painters for a large gallery show and I wanted to create something meaningful and not show just a collection of random images.  I was inspired to create a series of self-portraits depicting the journey of grief – interspersed with fine art images that I created during that 10 year period.  I titled it ‘From Grief to Grace’ – alternating the portraits with quotations about grieving, change and transformation and the fine art images.  As it started to come together, I realized that I had created something very important.  Death & grieving are very uncomfortable topics which we as humans tend to avoid – my show allowed people to be in those moments with my journey and relate it to their own life experiences.   My audience talked, cried & expressed their gratitude for the impact of my show.

Sunset Haze by Vickie Legere
Sunset Haze
Grizzly Cub by Vickie Legere

Grizzly Cub

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I worked 31.5 years for the provincial government (the ‘welfare’ office) – as I progressed on my own personal journey of healing & becoming a better human being, I gave myself the title of ‘Vickie’s Information & Problem Solving Service’.  That was for clients, stakeholders, the public and staff – I loved it and thrived by treating everyone like they mattered!

Why art?

Because our creative souls demand an outlet to express our wonder, our joy, our pain & our curiosity.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

 I see everything as artistic possibilities – storing serendipitous moments & scenes in the photo album of my mind.  If I cannot stop to photograph it, I try to imagine how I might re-create it or incorporate it into an image.  It has taught me to really SEE the world around me and my life is far richer than before the days when I was blind to marvelous.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

 Tears – both from my ‘Grief to Grace’ and ‘Cracked Perceptions’ series.  It told me that my work truly had an impact – my audience expressed appreciation for my courage to share my personal vulnerability as well as leading them to express their own hidden grief and pain.  Even though my viewers expressed pain they also loved the work that truly made them feel something.

 

Wolf's Eyes by Vickie Legere

Wolf’s Eyes

Reed Reflection by Vickie Legere

Reed Reflection

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? 

Any life can be lonely – I am an introvert (yes it is true) that expresses herself like an extrovert.  I joined photography groups, local arts groups & stepped up to the plate to volunteer my skills doing the things I love.  One example is my years of volunteering for the Harrison Festival of the Arts – I was doing some of the invisible, behind the scenes work, but was also sharing some of my images of the performing artists.  That lead to creating a photography team for the festival – putting me ‘out there’ interacting with performers, audience & volunteers while I am doing what I love.  I also share a lot of my work on social media – all those ‘likes’ and comments from people all over the world can really give a person a lift in the moment.  I am NOT alone!

 What do you dislike about the art world?

That there is still a lingering attitude the photography is not really art.  I remember being included in two different gallery shows with my ‘music & passion’ series.  In the first show the curator loved the power of my series and it was showcased at the entry of the gallery for its impact.   The series was created specifically to be shown in the second gallery as part of a milestone anniversary scheduled for that year.  That curator reluctantly allowed me to participate only after her first choice had to cancel. I came to realize that this curator saw no value in my work.  My portion of the gallery show was very well received in and my art cards from the show remained in the gallery shop for over a year due to popularity.  It was my first experience with the attitude the photography is really ‘not art’.

What do you dislike about your work? 

Too many hours spent in the digital darkroom.

What do you like about your work?

  I love the joy that my portraits & fine art images bring to the viewer.  I love that some of my series speak to uncomfortable and thought provoking truths.

Should art be funded?

Yes

What role does arts funding have?

It supports all types of artistic creation – visual & audio.  The world would be a darker place without it – we humans would wither & die inside without creative expression.

Resisting Change by Vickie Legere

Resisting Change

Bleeding Heart by Vickie Legere

Bleeding Heart

What makes you angry?

People with ‘ugly’ souls who take out their pain & anger on the world around us.

What research to you do?

  All of it is related to becoming better at my craft and a better human being.

What superpower do you have and why?

I inspire others – with my energy, my passion, and my belief that everyone matters.

Name something you love, and why.

Music and dance – before I felt the need to become a ‘creative artist’ – I expressed my internal passion through dance and I still do today.

Name something you don’t love, and why.

Country music (either it whines or it is ‘wanna be rock & roll’.  Right up there is also jazz music – I find it is a disturbing distortion of melody – both grate on my nerves like fingernails on a blackboard.

What is your dream project?

My current dream project is to work with heart transplant patients and survivors. I’ve been asked to celebrate their stories and capture powerful portraits of people & their scars – we are looking at a variety of mediums to carry the message, to inspire & support this aspect of heart disease.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

Joyce Tenneson, Jerry Ghionis & Sue Bryce

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To create enduring & powerful images becoming a successful portrait photographer.  That goal includes remaining open to new things & being a lifetime learner

What wouldn’t you do without?

Love, my fur babies, my camera & computer.

 

Peony by Vickie Legere

Peony

The Last Leaf by Vickie Legere

The Last Leaf

Who do you think your photography is reminiscent of? Is there another photographer or artist that you would compare it to?

When it comes to portrait photography, I would have to say the work of Richard Avedon really resonates with me.  Back in the 1980’s I subscribed to the Time/Life Photography book series and within discovered the work of many amazing photographers.  As I look back at images of his work, I recognize parallel styles.  Avedon created images of the beautiful, the mundane, the edgy and even the macabre – all themes I find echoed in my own work.

For street photography I was influenced by Henri Cartier Bresson and Lee Friedlander.  Still life influence came from Edward Weston.  Landscape, floral photography was influenced most by members of the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club.

FROM LIGHT TO THE LAYERS with Kathy Nay

FROM LIGHT TO THE LAYERS with Kathy Nay

FOR A LIMITED TIME, Get 10% OFF all of Kathy‘s Artwork. 

USE Coupon Code: kathynay

EXPIRES April 30, 2021

 

ARTIST EXPOSE: Kathy Nay

 

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Kathy Nay and I am a watercolour and acrylic artist.

How do you work?

I am always looking for inspiration for my paintings.  When I am hiking, on a trip, or just looking out to my backyard, I always have my camera handy so I can take reference photos for future paintings.  Watercolour is an unforgiving medium, so I “think” a lot about my paintings before I even put brush to paper.  With my acrylic artwork, I feel a bit freer.  I can always “correct” any mistakes by painting over areas with titanium white.

What’s your background?

My first formal art instruction for watercolours was with Cheryl Fortier.  This is where I developed my limited palette of colours that I use in both watercolours and acrylics.  Over the years I have taken other workshops with various artists.  Sometimes you just have to go to your studio and paint!

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

I believe it is important to develop your own style as an artist; your style can also change over time.  I would like to think that if someone sees my work in a gallery or online they would recognize it as my artwork.

What role does the artist have in society?

Artists have the opportunity to capture the world around them at a certain point in time.  To share their experience, their point of view of what the world looks like to them.  To tell a story that others can identify with.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I enjoy doing detailed work.  I love painting images that have strong light and shadow.  

 

What themes do you pursue?

Right now I am mainly focusing on themes of nature.  With the current situation of COVID, going out into nature has been an escape for many people from the stresses of the pandemic.  I am hoping that my nature paintings will bring people a sense of peace and hope.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

The responses that I appreciate is when a person has a connection to my artwork – how it reminds them of something in their life.  I love hearing the story behind why they have chosen to purchase my artwork.

 

Favourite or most inspirational place ?

Right now my favourite place would be the ocean – watching and listening to the waves.  Seeing all the patterns and colours as the tide comes in to the shore.  

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“It’s only paper”!  “Not every painting is going to be a masterpiece.”  It’s important for artists to give themselves permission to recognize that not every painting is perfect and some paintings can be looked at as practice for the next “masterpiece”.

Follow Kathy on Facebook and Instagram.

ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers

ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers

FOR A LIMITED TIME, Get 15% OFF all of Jessie‘s pieces. 

EXPIRES MARCH 31, 2021

 

ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

When I’m not in my studio, I work fulltime at an outdoor childcare center in Port Coquitlam. I have always enjoyed teaching children and have worked at the Mission Art Gallery leading watercolor classes and day camps. I find it refreshing working with young minds, full of creativity and unafraid to make mistakes. I’m inspired daily by both my work outdoors and the time spent with growing minds.

I also worked at Opus Art Supplies in Coquitlam for several years where I learned so much about different mediums and connected with so many local artists, all in different stages of their art practice.

 

Why art?

Art is the truest form of self expression. Be it painting, dance or music, all forms of art are important and nurture the soul.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

For myself, art making is as much about the process as it is about the product. We tend to get caught up in the finished piece, when for me, being in the moment with my materials is the most enriching experience.
Bird on Wood by Jessie Somers

Chickadee on Pine

Reflection Print by Jessie Somers

Reflection Print

What are your favorite mediums to work with?

Watercolour has always been my first love. While working at Opus I discovered Alcohol Inks and Art Resin, which I use regularly on wood panel. Framing watercolour, especially larger pieces, can be an expensive challenge. By learning to apply art resin, I find it eliminates the need for a frame while offering UV protection and an immediacy that you don’t get when a piece is behind glass.

I also greatly enjoy drawing, using traditional materials like graphite, ink and toned paper.
Pink Lemonade Print by Jessie Somers

Pink Lemonade Print

Elegance Print by Jessie Somers

Elegance Print

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Not lonely, so much as it is challenging. It’s hard not to compare yourself, your work and your progress to others. What’s important is to step back, document everything you create and revisit what you’ve done. Celebrate your successes and ask for feedback. Keep an art journal and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Most importantly have fun!
Minis by Jessie Somers
Bumble, Coastal, Tundra, Bloom
Jellyfish by Jessie Somers

Jellyfish Garden

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I would love to get to a place where I can support myself 100% with my art, and that day may come and it may not. For now I pride myself on making connections with other artists in my community, doing artist demonstrations at Opus and showing my work in galleries all over the lower mainland. I aim for one solo show a year, and have my work available for purchase at Arts Off Main in Vancouver as well as through The Art Hive. Supporting one another is key to growth and enrichment. I have a solo show coming up in November 2021 at The Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre Gallery.

See more of Jessie’s work here

Jessie’s Personal Website:

Salt Spring by Jessie Somers

Salt Spring

Sun Waves by Jessie Somers

Caught in the Waves

Aurora by Jessie Somers

Aurora

Nocturne by Jessie Somers

Nocturne

In Passing by Jessie Somers

In Passing

Watercolour by Jessie Somers

Sunrise Meridian

12 Artist and Climbing

12 Artist and Climbing

12 Artist and Climbing. The past few weeks have been overwhelming, exciting and so much fun. As of today, The Art Hive has 12 artists added and many more inquiries. I have one more to add and another that sent me more products to add.

There so far is a jewelry artist (Pamela Hart), a glass artist (Vicki Urbich), a wire tree artist (Bill Cheff), an acrylic pour artist (Jennifer McKay), digital Artist (Tobias Vyseri), Fine Art Artists (Sandra Marshall, Nan Newman, Gail Steel, Collette Pereira), wood and Resin Artist (Corrine Robson) and Photography (Kelly Cushing).

I am including a favorite of mine from each of the 12 Artists to give you a little taste of what you can find at www.thearthivecollective.com

Come take a look and support your local and all handmade artists.

Artwork of

The Art Hive Collective

Kelly Cushing
Vintage White Ford Truck

Collette Pereira
Who Goes There

Koi Fish Dream by Jennifer McKay

Jennifer McKay
Koi Fish Dreams

Wild Rose Westerly by Nan Newman

Nan Newman
Wild Rose Westerly

Antique Pots by Sandra Marshall

Sandra Marshall
Antique Pots

Frog by Gail Steel

Gail Steel
Frog 2018

Tobias Vyseri
Blue Jay

Vicki Urbich
Fused Glass Poppy

Corrine Robson
Charcuterie Board