We’re excited to introduce you to Windsor Ontario abstract artist Shirley Williams. Her abstract paintings are absolutely gorgeous and very expressive. If you’re looking to add a painting to your home or office, Shirley loves working directly with collectors to find the perfect piece that, in her words, “speaks to them and enhances the ambiance”.
We hope you enjoy getting to know Shirley as much as we did.
Ontario Abstract Artist Shirley Williams
How would you describe your artistic style?
Expressive Abstract Paintings
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
I’m especially sensitive to the energy we all feel when we’re in nature. It’s that feeling of deep connection that inspires and motivates me to capture it with paint.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
My main goal with my paintings, is to create impact from a distance that draws a viewer in, and then fascinates them up-close. I want the viewer to feel the energy emanating from the canvas and to allow their imaginations to be stimulated.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
Being free to explore colour and design without the constrictions of realism.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
I’ve always preferred working in an abstract, non-objective style, mostly because I like to experiment. There are endless possibilities, even though a good abstract painting generally follows rules of colour and design.
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
multi-layered, textured, colour
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
Many people are surprised to learn that I can literally mix paint to match any colour I see just by looking at it closely. I’ve been studying subtractive colour (tangible pigments vs digital light), for over 30 years. I’m actually considered a colour expert in many circles, with articles published and cited in textbooks and websites about colour.
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
I always had an inner knowing that someday, I would become an artist full-time, even though I came from a more practical background. As a result, I focused on business and marketing, and studied art at night. My former career as a documentary film producer, in Toronto, was put aside in 1991, when I decided to take the plunge and become a full-time artist. My journey since then has been full of career highs and disappointing lows. There definitely have been many moments of self-doubt. But those moments made me more resilient each time, ready and eager for the next career opportunity.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
Tenacity. Without a doubt, it’s the ability to show up every day and do the work, no matter what. A successful art career is built over time. – painting by painting, contact by contact, sale by sale.
What advice would you give up and coming abstract artists?
My personal motto has always been, “Never stop learning.” The world is moving very fast. It’s important to constantly keep improving your painting, business and marketing skills.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
Oh so many !!! Where do I even begin? My three favourites books, at different times, were: “Think Like an Artist” “by Will Gompertz “I’d Rather Be In The Studio” by Alyson Stanfield “Show Your Work” by Austin Keon “deKooning” by Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan Best Artist Biography Ever!
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
My first solo exhibition at a museum, was at the Art Gallery of Windsor 10 years ago. Because I live and work in Windsor, the Opening was packed with over 300 guests, friends, clients and press. After opening remarks and introductions by the Director and Curator, I was given the opportunity to talk about my work and express my gratitude to everyone involved. It was truly a thrilling evening, made even more special by my husband’s beautiful flowers and written message of love and pride.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
Still painting. Still learning. Still open to what might come next on my path.
What do you love most about abstract art?
An abstract painting is like walking into someone’s imagination. The variations are limitless.
Do you have any favourite quotes?
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”. – Napoleon Hill