Annette Steele

Pablo Picasso once said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." I too ‘grew up,’ but fortunately -as pointed out by my daughter, Sarah- my life's journey has been full of creativity and realized artistic visions, and is now custom-designed for my visual art form, what I like to call "Texturalism.”

As a sewer I created a line of children's clothing and one-of-a-kind skating dresses, and my design compositions of colour and texture were on, and out of, every kind of fabric.

As a gardener, landscape designer, and home renovator/flipper & stager I reshaped grounds and home interiors, and I used colour and every texture available to create my visions of light, form, and space.

In the pursuit of my artistic dream I took numerous community and college courses/classes, including watercolour, pottery, acrylic painting, block-printing, acrylic pours, and faux-finishing.

Now, as a visual artist, I'm creating my visual works of art with texture, colour, and composition.

I call myself a "Texturalist" because I quite often use textures such as stucco, Venetian plaster, etc., as my 'ground' and starting-point on canvas. The way I apply my texture is dictated by my composition: if I'm doing an abstract piece the texture is freely applied; if my composition is structured it's applied purposefully. "Texture" also directs the way I apply my acrylic paint, whether it's with a brush, a palette knife, a spatula, or whatever it takes to create my desired effect. I feel that the texture I establish is enhanced by my use of metallic paints (pearlescence, gold, silver, etc.)

I am drawn to the Fauves use of colour and would describe my style as that of as a modern day post-impressionist in that I prefer to use broad strokes of vibrant, arbitrary colour. I will often place people in my compositions in the hopes of creating a connection between my painting and the viewer.

Just as Canadian artist, Clarence Gagnon (1881-1942), stated his purpose was to “catch the spirit of Canada and the French Canadian life,” my purpose is to catch the spirit of 21st century Niagara in an array of ‘series of works’ which will capture: its culture, people, its diversity, its wineries, its attractions, etc., as well as its mid-20th century rural and industrial roots and the future I see in it’s becoming the GNA (Greater Niagara Area) and its future role as Ontario's southern cultural playground.

This is important to me because I grew up in St. Catharines and returned to the Niagara area -specifically Fonthill, to raise my family- after having lived in Toronto for about ten years; having lived in a huge metropolitan area for an extended period of time I gained a deep appreciation for the small town feel, particularly that of Fonthill.

I used to think my art journey was an interrupted one, but now I realize I have been on an ever-advancing journey of discovery. Now, if I can borrow the words Vincent Van Gogh once wrote to his brother Theo:
"I am seeking, I am striving, and I am in it with all my heart"

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