Updated: Jun 5, 2022
Join me as I get to know Vancouver Island Artist, Barb DeRousie in her beautiful Colwood based studio.
"After a 33-year career in Nursing, I am now embracing my passion for art making—in a whole new way!"
Fun fact: Barb and I were both members of the Coast Collective Art Centre for years yet never met in person. This May, I ventured out to a studio photoshoot session with fellow Coast Collective member Sheryl Parsons who's studio happened to be a few doors away from Barb's and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Vancouver Island Art scene can be a small place some times!
Ok, let's begin...
First of all tell us who you are!
Barb DeRousie Art
What do you make, create, or sell?
I make mixed media abstract art on paper, canvas and wood panels. I especially love wood because I can sand it and scrape into the paint down to the lower layers, often producing a surprising yet effective mark. I also love various forms of collage especially hand painted tissue and papers I make from the geli plate. It’s a call-and-response process, finding my way as I go until I love everything in the piece and it speaks to me. I make small works and larger, as well as “functional art” and “Wearable Art Earrings”.
Where can people find you online?
How and when did you first start your craft?
I started my art journey by taking watercolour classes in 2013, subsequently selling what I painted and doing commissions as well as a solo show at the Coast Collective Art Centre in 2019.
In the Spring of 2020, with the first Covid lock down, I started a 12 week intensive online art course called the Creative Visionary Program with instructor and founder, Nicholas Wilton. The focus was on the principles of art, especially design and value, and I followed along using acrylic for the first time, painting in an abstract style. It turned out, this was the most fun I’d ever had making art, and I haven’t looked back since!
What has been your favourite creation so far?
I love the combination of collage elements with paint, and making shapes that resonate for me. My first larger painting was on a 36 x 36 “ canvas and was accepted by the Sooke Fine Arts Show 2021. I put so much of myself into the work, that people actually comment how they can feel how I was expressing myself at the time—to me this is the ultimate compliment because it is also my ultimate goal—to paint from how I feel rather than from what I think.
What is your favourite part of your creation process?
I love not knowing what the result will be. I just start—with anything, just to have something to respond to, then off it goes. When I can drop into this process—of responding to what is on the surface, based on the basic principles of art, and allow myself to create without judgment, eventually, with more and more discernment, it really speaks to me.
Aside from the tools of your craft, what is the most important thing for you to have when you sit down to create?
I am fortunate enough to have a little studio near the sea, and whenever I’m going there I stop at my favourite place—the beach. It’s my dog’s favourite place too. It feeds my soul and clears my my mind of the clutter—then I can create from this place.
Do you create full time? How much time do you spend on your craft?
I’ve been retired for almost 5 years after a 33 year career in nursing. Over the last two years I’ve spent an average of 4-5 days a week, for 6-8 hours at a time, at my little studio. I guess you could say I’m a working artist (without the regular paycheque—yet). I love it—art gives me purpose and meaning in life, and my life feeds into my art.
Any tips for others starting out in your creative field?
Learn the principles of art making, but even more importantly, really make it a priority to get to know yourself better, what really juices you up, and in turn your art will be more meaningful and you will love it.
Barb also hosts a free weekly online Art Critique/Q & A on Meetup.com to connect with other artists and share ideas and knowledge.
I had so much fun at this photoshoot, getting to know Barb and seeing her creation process. It was an absolute pleasure and joy to share this space with such a talented and intuitive human. Her joy and love of creating shines through in everything she does. Go check out this wonderful artist!
Are you an artist, crafter, or creator wanting to level up your branding for this coming season?
Get in touch and let's collaborate on a fresh new look!
Or book a Market Mini Session for a short photoshoot at a market or event of your choice!