Skai Fowler, Interview
The two questions I get asked the most
How long does it take me to do a painting?
It takes a life time. I’m not able to create one painting without having done the previous one. Each piece builds on the next.
Where do I get my inspiration and ideas from?
I’m inspired by my surroundings, my personal experiences, my approach to life and how I live my life. I am amazed by colour and I love its’ energy, its’ many meanings and associations. Exploring and transmitting the expressive energy of colour is my life’s pursuit. It’s a constant learning curve. Colour means so many things emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, visually. When I talk about colour I don’t just mean the colour of paint I mean the world of colour of light and shadow. The main purpose for the colours I use changes how we feel, it connects us to memories and possible futures it connects us to our charkas, our energetic life within and around us. There is a transformational power there and I realize I am a vehicle for bringing about transformation through artistic expression. I am blessed with the ability to create joyful paintings, through joy comes change.
I work in themes. For example; a few years ago, I was having a difficult time appreciating the city I live in. So, I started to listen to the sounds of the city. I would walk from home to the studio, about 7kms, and listen to cars, airplanes, birds, people talking and walking, the sounds I made while walking. I then opened myself up to the different energies that different places in the city have. It is this that inspired the Urban Energies series. The works are an expression of myself moving through the city and the appreciations I have gained for the city.
Another series, Love Poems to the Soul developed as a natural evolution after the death of my mother and it’s about our current relationship now that she is in spirit. I found myself painting in a very different way than I had ever done before, I felt some essence of my mother co-creating the work with me. My relationship with her grew stronger through these paintings. I certainly felt my mother’s presence but I had no idea our relationship would take this form, in these very amazing paintings.
I never know if a series is finished or not, I won’t know if it’s finished until I die – and who knows maybe not even then. You never know what’s possible.
Those are two examples of things that have inspired me: colour and life/death.
The series I’m working on now, Stumble Into Life, is about the act of creating a painting. I started with the idea of a colour field then I insert personal signifying marks, some expressive detail into the painting. The gestural marks I make inter-relate with the colour field. I’ve always been interested in abstract painting, it can stretch the technical and the expressive, it’s an amazing challenge in which I create ideas and set the parameters for how I want to create. I get a deeper understanding of knowing what I want, I clarify my vision of what I’m going to do by making sketches and thumbnails of colour, design and composition. I start from there and then translate that onto a bigger piece of canvas. Once this foundation is layered I improvise, it’s a dance between what is happening on the canvas and what I have in mind. And yes, sometimes it goes off in a completely different direction then expected, and that is something to celebrate.
Through 30 years of artistic practise I have an accumulation of experiential knowledge. I study and research information about all sorts of different aspects of painting but I don’t think about those things while I’m painting, it’s much more visual, it’s something in me expressing itself.
I love being alive in this world and I shine by creating images that express that love.
Skai Fowler © Vancouver 2020