Recognizing that to be an artist one must always be learning and exploring outside ones comfort zone, Rode applied for and received funding from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance to support the creation of a new body of work. The exhibition depicts the artist’s process of transforming an idea from a photograph to a color study and finally to a finished painting.
Optimism, energy and vitality of life draws and inspires me to create. My art is a positive contrast to the negativity prevalent in the world today. My paintings focus on playful and idealistic scenes of people having fun. I tell simple stories often overlooked such as the feeling of sand in your toes and the hot sun on your back as you dip your hands into cool lake water, truly precious moments.
I believe life is precious and worth living. Taking advantage of the moment by noticing nature and beauty can lift our spirits. The images I choose to paint are ones that make me feel grateful to be alive surrounded by friends, family and creation.
With this exhibition “Uplifting” I am endeavouring to capture movement, light and mood. Similar to journalling, each painting documents the places I have been, the people I have spent time with and the happy moments I choose to remember. Through my years of painting I have come to realise my art is a record of the good times in my life.
The process of staging a painting is quite a challenge. Rarely do perfect opportunities present themselves. In most cases compositions are derived from an assorted combination of influences. To be more efficient I create a colour study which really means a prototype or mock-up of a potential painting. Tossing together ideas allows me to brainstorm, experiment and take risks. A colour study is not limited to one per painting, several may be needed or even abandoned altogether. Some are produced digitally from photographs on the computer by cropping and editing and some are sketched in pencil or painted on canvas.
The CKCA grant that I received in 2015 allowed me the opportunity to explore the West Kootenay district and the lifestyle it offers. I was able to travel farther, stay longer and dig deeper. By committing to this specific project it forced me to sharpen my focus and refine my technique. Committing to a deadline was surprisingly helpful to increase productivity.
It is my hope that you are uplifted and inspired by my art. Take the time to smell the roses I sincerely believe it’s worth it.