If art is ever to be defined as more than an expression of visual context, Verna Vogel has truly embodied what it means to be an artist who works outside of preconceived notions in the creation process.
Her current work hanging at Bluerock Gallery has an air of abstract to it. It is thought-provoking, beautiful in its own right, and leaves much interpretation up to the viewer. But knowing the HOW in her creation process delivers an entirely different level of depth.
“[There is an] importance of what happens when we see and define what we see, but evidently there is a lot more going on than that all the time, constantly, that we are not even aware of.” remarks Vogel.
From nearly right out of the gates, Vogel had her sights set on being a full time artist. It was never a question and it is what she worked diligently towards.
“I had no money, it was always paycheque to paycheque. It was working then paint,” remembered Vogel.
“Then if you sell a painting, you quit your job because your painting has got you X amount of time to then paint full time. When the money runs out you get another job.”
Her consistent perseverance enabled a successful career selling art in Western Canada, originally finding much of her audience drawn to cityscape paintings that were inspired by her Vancouver condo view at the time.
Moving into a Calgary landscape, Vogel found herself drawn to create another style of art, one which drew upon her desire to express with the advantage of changing her sensory perceptions.
“ I don't think about a concept and then set out to make art work around it. I think through my hands.”
A large amount of her current work has begun its life with her eyes closed - an extension of herself, and a result of studies in the circular and colour matching variety.
“You never heard a teacher say to a student ‘just feel the way you feel,’ because it's' kind of like well I've been ‘feeling’ my way through my whole life.”
Some of her pieces are a play on the old childhood game of telephone. She designs one piece with her eyes closed. Then, she designs the next not looking at the canvas, but instead looking at the previous painting.
Her goal is to see just how much translates forward, and see how much in fact shifts. A commentary on communication, and inspired very much by our current situation in the world.
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