Annika Clennan never thought she would be an artist. After earning a BSc, she pursued a career in science and technology for many years. One day she realized something was missing, and that was her underutilized creative self. She cautiously began to pursue creativity through scrapbooking and art journaling, laying the foundation of what was to come – painting! It took her 10 years to find the courage to pick up a paintbrush. She credits her first instructor, Donna MacDonald, with seeing her through those initial scary years of learning to paint. Since then, she’s taken a myriad of classes and workshops with different instructors, learning something from each one and developing her own style in the process. She paints in a loose, gestural manner, utilizing her love of colour and big brush strokes. She wishes to engage the viewer in such a way, that you resonate with the feeling of a piece and not necessarily the subject matter. This is because she paints “moments” that mean something to her. If you ask, there is almost always a story associated with each piece. Her love of wildlife and nature are often the subjects of her paintings; a common thread stemming from childhood, through her university studies, work experiences and beyond.

Though she has experimented with oils and watercolours, Annika’s preferred medium is acrylics. She feels they lend themselves well to a more graphic style and she loves how there is no waiting around for paint to dry! The biggest thing she has learned since picking up a paintbrush is a new way of seeing. She now views the world around her in shapes, colours and values resulting in a more vivid expression of what once was.

Complimenting Annika’s passion for painting is her part-time work at Bluerock Gallery. There she has come to embrace art in all its mediums, engaging with customers and artists alike in their love of the creative process. She is constantly exposed to new ideas, which has led her to try linoprinting (something she’d like to do more of) and delve into ceramics! She truly is fortunate and blessed to be living such an artful life, experiencing creativity and community on a near daily basis.

Annika lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, two kids and two cats.