We’re excited to introduce you to Toronto abstract artist Elle Bruce in this interview. Check it out below and see more of her artwork. Enjoy!
Toronto, ON Artist Elle Bruce
How would you describe your artistic style?
Minimal abstract impressionist
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
My abstract landscape photography and paintings are inspired by the beauty I find when exploring the natural landscapes of Canada.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
I am grateful for my daily discovery of beauty in my surroundings. It fuels my optimism and gives me a sense of serenity. Creating art inspired by these experiences is pure joy for me. By sharing it with others, I hope to spread that joy and perhaps encourage them to find the beauty in their own surroundings. I want my art to serve both an instant visual escape and blueprint for finding lasting respite from the stress of daily life.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
I love the way making non-representational art allows me to work spontaneously without a plan. Being an abstract artist seems to invite you to experiment, to discover the beautiful, and allow each work to unfold in an intuitive way. I love the freedom of expression that comes with creating abstracts.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
I started out as a photographer of everything – portraits, events, sports and travel but I was eventually drawn to the beauty of landscapes. With landscape photography I quickly discovered that the images my camera produced fell flat compared to my experience of it. I became increasingly interested in how to convey the way I felt while experiencing these beautiful landscapes. This led to a shift towards a more impressionist style of photography created by employing techniques to produce intentional blur and using the camera to paint with light. During the pandemic, my art practice expanded to include exploring how to best share my experience of nature’s beauty using paint in addition to photography.
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
Just three words… that’s difficult. How about richly layered, elegantly minimal, landscape-inspired abstracts.
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
I credit my parents for kindling my love of natural landscapes. My childhood home was perched at the edge of a forest not far from the shores of Lake Ontario. I spent countless happy hours building forts in the woods and learning to sail in the summer. While I love all natural landscapes and feel greatly blessed to live in Canada surrounded by an immense treasure of landscape beauty, I am most drawn to water. Lakes, oceans, rivers all hold a special place in my heart and continue to inspire my artwork, showing up in my palette choices.
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t crave being creatively expressive. I remember often feeling frustrated in pre-school at the limited amount of paper and time I was permitted at the finger painting station. For many reasons, clear only in hindsight it took me over 30 years to recognize myself as an artist.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
It is difficult to choose just one characteristic, but I suppose because of my own slow journey to becoming an artist I might say that resilience would be most valuable.
Resilience: the capacity of a person to maintain her core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
I love books and podcasts, so it is difficult to narrow this down to only a few. Here are the ones that are currently inspiring me.
- The Soul of the Camera – David DuChemin
- Painting Abstract Landscapes – Gareth Edwards & Kate Reeve-Edwards
- Art Juice – Louise Fletcher and Alice Sheridan
- A Beautiful Anarchy – David DuChemin
- On Being – Krista Tippett
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
The most gratifying experience for me as an artist has been the handful of opportunities I have been given to inspire others. Seeing someone develop their own creative expression, find joy pursuing their creative passion and success in the artistic world feeds my soul. The world needs art – in all it’s creative forms – it is the very soul of humanity.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
My vision for the future centers around continual growth and improvement as an artist. I am excited about expanding the amount of time I am able to carve out for my creative practice, increasing the amount of work I am able to create and the new directions my work will move in. My hope is that my current explorations of combining my photography and painting will lead to new and exciting collections of work that further reveals the restorative beauty I find in nature.
But specifically in five years, I hope to be in a new much larger studio space, with a full time creative practice that results in new bodies of work that marry by love of photography and painting in new meaningful and exciting ways. Gallery representation across Canada and regular solo exhibits is also part of that dream.
What do you love most about abstract art?
Do you have any favourite quotes?
I have several… here are a few current favourites:
“The purpose of art is the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.” – GLENN GOULD
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” – RACHEL CARSON
“I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us.” – ANSEL ADAMS
“The heart of all creativity is the awakening and flowering of individuality. The mystery and magic of being an individual is to live life in response to the deep call within – the call to become who we were dreamed to be.” – JOHN O’DONOHUE
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