Canadian artist Rachel Olynuk shares about her inspiration and style, and talks about selling from a remote area of the world.
ABI: What inspires you, and what do people find compelling about your art?
RO: As an artist living in a remote area in northern Canada, inspiration comes from many sources. The sights and sounds of nature from the forest around me to my flower gardens filled with bright and vibrant colors and delightful fragrances. These inspirations bring a connection to the sensation I want people to feel when they look into my paintings, such as joy and warmth.
I recall as a child while attending church, being fascinated by the stained glass windows. The light shone through and the colors seem to dance with each other. The texture and reflection of colors mesmerized me. Looking back, I can see the bread crumbs that have inspired me to create art with a mosaic/stained glass style. A self-taught artist, I bring this style to life on canvas using acrylic colors.
Sharing my art with others who see and feel a connection to my work, brings me joy beyond words. I often hear people remark that when they look into my art there is a depth that keeps their eyes fixated, they become lost in the moment and find new aspects of the piece the longer they look into it. Clients comment on the likeness of stained glass and how the colors pull them into the painting. The colors are vivid and I enjoy the happiness and playfulness that is discovered as they describe the painting and where it is hung on the walls in their homes.
ABI: How has your artwork evolved over time?
RO: When I consider how my style has evolved over time, I notice that with each new creation my work becomes more detailed and more abstracted, however the theme remains the same. I have become bolder and braver and let myself fall into a hum as I am painting, it has become a sort of meditation. Minutes become hours as I work and I find that I am always pleasantly surprised at the secret tunnels and passages that I created without really being consciously aware. It’s as if subconsciously all of the parts of me, past, present and future showed up and participated in created a story on my canvas.
ABI: You live in an isolated area of Canada. How are you selling your work?
RO: Living in such a remote location has definitely presented some challenges in reaching people. I rely strictly on online venues in showing and selling my work. I built and created my own website with a blog which I post “Painting of my day” and I sell on secondary platforms as well. All of my paintings are on framed canvas and shipping to locations such at the United Kingdom can sometimes also be a challenge for my larger 40” x 40” plus pieces. But with use of private couriers, local post and becoming a master at packaging. I am pleased to say to date all have arrived at their destinations quickly and undamaged.
I use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I am a member of over 60 art related groups on Facebook and try to regularly contribute with new work. Some days it feels that I spend 80% of my day with the business side of “getting my work out there” and that’s when I slip into my studio to refresh myself with a little painting. I continue to search for new ideas to showcase my work and when something doesn’t work out, my favorite saying is, “Back to the drawing board I go.” I believe that there is room for all different types of art in this world, and to listen to your heart… because it does know the way.