Using light, shape, color and the Canadian outdoors as inspiration, painter Mandy Budan composes abstracts by finding patterns within her subjects. Explore more of her art by visiting her website.
Every year I get emails from students who have questions about my art for a project or school paper that they’re working on. Among the more standard questions which include what artists I admire, and the length of time it takes to complete a painting, is the question of what advice I can give to aspiring artists. I always give the same answer: perseverance and process. It really does take time to get good at something, so you’ve got to put in the hours; and because of that, you had better love the process you follow because you’ll be doing it a lot!
I have only been painting seriously since 2000, so I know I have lot more hours to put in, but I love the road I’m on so much that time is just flying by! I have tried traditional realism, tonalism, non-objective abstract and figurative, before finally coming to rest at a sort of abstracted divisionism.
I love the controlled placement of paint, working with light and colour, and teasing out the patterns that just seem to be waiting for me.
I am fascinated by the play of possibilities in taking apart the landscape and putting it back together as abstract form. My work has a more realist feel from a distance and is distinctly abstract up close.
I constantly strive for that perfect union of shape and colour that will result in a painting that both conveys the feel of a specific place and stands strong as a non-objective abstract.
I love the Canadian landscape and I can’t imagine painting anything else. I am very fortunate to have incredible green spaces, walking trails, waterfront and forests all around me. I love to go on road trips looking for inspiration—there is so much here, I’ll never capture it all.
Sometimes it’s the shapes of trees and rocks as the sun hits them through the mist of a fall lake. Sometimes it’s the light and shadow on a flower that pulls unexpected colours and patterns out of the petals.
The reason I paint is to show that everything is made up of the same stuff. It’s just arranged differently for different things. Then I come along and arrange them in a slightly different way. I break things into shapes and arrange those shapes into patterns.
I paint a tree, but it’s not a tree—it’s paint on panel. But it is a tree and it’s also abstract shapes. And the tree, the real tree outside is made up of things arranged into patterns too—big things like leaves and branches and tiny things like molecules and atoms and empty space.