We’re excited to introduce you to Campbell River, BC abstract artist Colleen Rieu. Check out the interview below to get to know Colleen and see more of her artwork.
Campbell River, BC Artist Colleen Rieu
How would you describe your artistic style?
Dramatic and energetic, abstracts.
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
I think it is mainly about painting my feels…sometimes a mood comes over me that I can’t quite put a name to and sitting in my studio helps to bring it to the surface and onto the canvas…I like to call myself a “Moodist” that sort of sums up my style.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
I paint for myself first, so I suppose it is my own personal form of therapy…opening up and expressing my thoughts when sometimes there are no words.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
Just having the freedom to play with no rules.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
I paint realism as well, scenery, people, pets but it doesn’t give me the same release as abstract art, I do like to switch it up in between slumps where my creativity is asleep and I will use one of my thousands of photos as a reference and I find this takes some of the pressure off…Certain photos call to me to be painted and those are a lot of fun too, they are often of friends or family and I will gift those…
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
Expressive, moody, chaotic.
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
I have stage fright and freeze when someone watches me paint….something I’d like to get over!
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
I have always enjoyed being artistic in all my doings. As a child the usual, coloring, Then onto paper dolls and designing their clothing…I remember drawing my own comics and being fascinated by Archie comics as a young girl, ( my father was a cartoonist by trade).. I made and altered my own clothing as a teen and found gardening and decorating our homes to fill my days in marriage and child rearing years. I was a hairdresser for many years and later on I began designing homes, 6 of which we built and a few I designed for friends and family. Painting didn’t really take hold until 2018, a year after we retired to Vancouver Island.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
Guts and creativity.
What advice would you give up and coming abstract artists?
Paint for yourself first and be authentic.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
I love to listen to Louise Fletchers podcasts, but music is my choice when I’m creating.
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
I love the ocean, we can’t see it from our home and living near is not in our budget so I thought how can I be where I feel the most alive, without actually living there… I got this crazy idea ( I get lots of these) hubby always rolls his eyes when I say i have an idea, anyways I bought a 12 foot long cargo trailer that we set up the inside with hanging racks and shelves, I pull it to the ocean near the tourist areas and hang all my artwork and greeting cards, I have a small table, umbrella and 2 lawn chairs for outside, one for company or anyone who just wants to sit with me and chat, I also use it at art fairs and markets…so to answer the question, my most fulfilling experience was Canada Day Celebrations where I had two collectors that literally had tears as they viewed and purchased my paintings…If I can touch someones soul I have accomplished the ultimate.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
I am always trying to grow and achieve that signature style, and hoping that my GirlStreetGallery cargo trailer will gather many more miles and collectors…