November 14, 2012

Island artist thrives on Creative chaos


With each of her vibrant mixed-media canvases, artist Donna Baspaly launches herself into the unknown. Working with no sense of the final destination, Baspaly says she deliberately creates chaos, and then brings back a sense of order. “Some very exciting surprises can be the result. I find this liberating.”

Unlike many other painters, Baspaly does not work from preparatory sketches. “This is a very challenging way to paint, because no one has broken trail before me,” says Baspaly, who was born in Manitoba and lives in Qualicum Beach.

“Mixed media allows me to use everything I want, to achieve the look I am seeking.” Using layers of acrylic paint – sometimes thickly applied, sometimes brushed on in a thin wash – in addition to collage and stamping, she weaves patterns and textures that lead the eye below the surface and create a sense of depth. Areas of intense colour and intricate pattern contrast with swathes of open space in softer shades.

“I am always searching for new ways to increase my art vocabulary…”
Donna Baspaly

During the 34 years she has been painting, Baspaly says she has honed her design sense, building on her own experience as well as that of teachers and mentors, as well as images in books. “I am always searching for new ways to increase my art vocabulary so I have more tools to express my intentions. Most important is to keep experimenting and having fun while I push my own boundaries in being original,” she says.

From the Artist’s Childhood, a mixed-media work on canvas, suggests a fairy tale scene complete with stylized farm buildings, children and animals, as well as references to nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Although Baspaly often depicts realistic subjects such as fruit and flowers, and fantastic imaginary scenes, she also works with more abstract themes that play with pattern, line and form. Prices range from $3,500 and up. A selection of Baspaly’s recent work may be viewed at the Kurbatoff Gallery, 2435 Granville St. in Vancouver.

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