Laverne Chisan is a guest artist courtesy of Covent Garden.
Out of the Green
I was born in Alberta and moved to British Columbia in my twenties. I have done many things in my life, essentially whatever I have had to do to make ends meet and raise a family. The luxury of being able to pursue leisure activities, as for most people, has always taken a back seat to the necessities of living. For the past 15 years or so I have been self-employed running a retail appliance business in Seattle Washington, working seven days a week and not really thinking about what to do with time I didn’t have anyway. Over the past couple of years I have been wondering what I would do if I did have time and couldn’t think of anything so have just kept on working at the same pace. Retirement really didn’t seem very attractive until my sister-in-law showed up for her annual visit and forced me to take a brush and a bunch of oil paint and put it on a canvas. You can now go back to the opening line of my artist’s statement and begin again because this is where I begin.
I am not sure whether I have discovered “art” or if art has discovered me. In a way it just came up behind me and knocked me flat, then picked me up and carried me away from the things I have been doing all my life. I had no idea it was going to have this effect on me. All I do know is that it now owns me, I can no more halt its progress in me than I can voluntarily stop breathing. I wake up with images that I must immediately go and express on canvas. I have suddenly found what I am going to do for the rest of my life.
I have always found pleasure in arranging the articles of my physical environment in a way that pleases the eye. Colours serve various purposes, some are assembled to soothe and relax, others intended to energize and excite, but peace comes from balance and compatibility. I have never really given much thought to how these things come about, I have always just operated by instinct; I know what is appealing and what is not and go from there. Now, I am learning some of the technical reasons behind colour balance and how the eye sees the various tones and shades and sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with what there is to learn. However, I have a teacher who is able to help me see that the learning is all secondary to the creative process and that the most important thing to remember in this new path I have taken is that my emotional expression should lead my footsteps while the technical information catches up and not the other way around. This is great for me because I am starting from what I feel is a zero experience base, and have no where to go but up.