Enjoy the portfolio of artist L.J. Throstle, whose delightful artwork is created with spray paint, and mixed media. Visit her website to learn more about her.
I am a British artist living and working in Vancouver. I came to Canada in 2008, where I first lived in Calgary and was inspired greatly by the relationship between people and animals in Alberta. In particular, I photographed ranch horses and began drawing and eventually painting them. I moved to Vancouver in 2010 and have been enjoying the landscape and its inhabitants ever since.
I am inspired by objects and in particular the creatures around me and the way light and shadows play across their faces and forms. I enjoy squinting to blur out the details and see where invisible lines can be left to allow the viewer’s eyes to complete the image for themselves. In contrast with this I spend a lot of time dwelling in the details of shadows to find new layers for stencils in my spray paint art.
I am not classically trained. I am a kinaesthetic learner, who thrives in experimentation and the “doing” of art. Every painting is a lesson. I have previously tried to restrict myself to spray paint, but am now having success in mixed media work. My process is erratic and disordered. I find joy in the process and seeing the end result, knowing the mash up of steps that it took me to get there.
My goals at present are to try and bring some order into my work. I have opted to focus on painting in series, at present looking at hands and also birds. I am finding that I am able to produce more high quality work, and that ideas come to me more easily this way.
It is my hope that this year I will be accepted as an “Active Member” into the Federation of Canadian Artists by submitting a series of work that looks like it belongs together rather than an eclectic mix.
I have been fortunate to date that interest in my work has spread largely by word of mouth, and pet portraits have proved popular in Vancouver. A couple of the dog portraits I did were as memorials, and as a dog owner myself, this felt like a real honour. I picked the background colours to reflect what their owners had told me about their pet’s personality.
Animals feature prominently, I aim to have a collection of Canadian animals completed by the end of 2014. Right now I am working on a bear and great grey owl in flight. The latter has so far proved more challenging in the stencil drawing stage due to the detail being spread across so much well camouflaged grey.
Longer term, I aim simply to learn more and keep sharing my art. The most valuable lesson I have learned so far, has been that new ideas and better paintings come from stepping outside of my comfort zone. I will always favour spray paint, but I’m learning that it goes great with loads of other mediums, I want to discover them all.