Finding out who you are includes what you enjoy doing. Perhaps you have a specific gift and it becomes so big so it will be part of the way you identify yourself. Art is one of those things and the great thing about it is that it not only gives the person creating it pleasure, it can mean a lot to those of us who can look and enjoy the beauty. This interview is about a woman who does things it is almost impossible not to be drawn to.
Name: Leslie Stadnichuk
Occupation: Accountant, I am the chief financial officer at a boiler manufacturing plant. I hold and masters in leadership.
Family: Married, two kids - both married, two step kids, and one we latched on to
Lives in: Guernsey, Saskatchewan, Canada
Would it be a correct description to say that art has been a part of you all your life?
It would. I have been creating since I could lay my hands on things to create with. Play-Doh, Light Bright and Spirograph gave way to needlepoint, cross stitch and petit point, then knitting, crocheting and sewing. I tried my hand at drawing again in the early 90's and soon transitioned into painting, first in pastels and acrylics and most recently in oils.
When I started painting I recognized that I had had a call to create my whole life.
Your works are lovely, like candy for the eye. What reactions do you have from people who see what you do for the first time?
I have seen people suddenly stop or slow down and look deeply at a piece which is a very gratifying experience for me as the artist. Even though I am quite understated in my personality, I love to paint large pieces which can demand a fair bit of attention. If people are attracted to the work, they can be arrested by the boldness of the colors and the strong contrasts. Often they are flower lovers, which is my most common subject, or like myself they are very visual and deeply affected by color. Often the reason is hard to express with words.
Having said that, lots of people walk right past my display and don't take any notice. It keeps me humble!
Many artist concentrate on pictures, but you also do pillows and clothes. How did you get that idea?
I was approached by a company that prints artwork on clothing, totes, pillows and other items after they found my work on the internet. The idea appealed to me because it was another way to display my work in a unique way and at another price point.
I was very happy with the quality of the pieces in my first order and so ordered a few more styles.
The clothing items have been quite popular and the chance to diversify my product line has appealed to me. My business background has been beneficial to me in many ways in my art practice.
Can you see any difference between arts from different countries?
Yes and no. Lots of countries have art that is particular to it because of its scenery and its culture.
The art from India if very different from the art from Canada but lots of art from India looks much like art from Canada. I think it depends on the artist and how they were trained as well as the influences they learned under.
Perhaps a question not possible to answer, but what would you do if you did not paint? Could anything else replace your art?
I would probably write. One of the things I love about painting is that once the major decisions have been made and the actual painting begins I can let my mind wander I do it. I am most aware of my own thoughts when I am painting. I find it very relaxing and I have found that writing can be very like that, only more so because you are thinking and writing your thoughts, which somehow seems to amplify them.
Several years ago a Birkman Personality Profile that I filled in revealed my top three strengths as art, music and literature. The coaching section suggested that I spend time in these areas every day.
At the time I was a single parent working full-time and couldn't see how I could fit anything more in. But the results so resonated with me that I looked for ways to incorporate the art, music and literature into my life in whatever way was practical.
I doubt that anything could replace my art though, and so I hope and pray that I am always able to keep at it. I feel honored and blessed to be able to at least try to portray the created world. Painting affords me the time and space to hear my own thoughts and know my own heart.
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