Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fingers Dancing on Canvas - Let's meet artist Gigi Hoeller!


Gigi's paints are done almost entirely with her fingers. "My fingers are my most useful tools, painting with them makes me feel close to the painting, more connected, like I have more control of the outcome. Neutral colours were never a part of my visual dictionary, until I started painting the Totem Series; the colours I choose for this series are rich and the paintings are very powerful because of it. "

1. When have you realized that being an Artist is going to be your path?

I always knew I was meant to be an artist.  From the time I was five years old, and when people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my response always was, I want to be an artist.

2. What inspires you or stimulate your thought?

Everything.  I feel like I see things differently.

My biggest inspiration is having an emotional connection to something.  Usually nature, or wildlife, a beautiful scene or landscape, sitting on my kayak floating in the water, walking through the woods...

3. What is your average day like?

My day starts off with a dog walk, I have two St Bernards and a rescue dog from the Caribbean.  We walk in the woods to a beautiful view point.  Then I come home, have a smoothie, (I am vegan)  do any housework that needs to be done, answer e-mails etc.  Then I start to paint, which gets interrupted quite often, by dogs, or husband or visiting gallery folk.  We converted our garage into a gallery, so people drop by on a regular basis during the summer months.  I also like to garden, and take time to watch my flowers and veggies grow.

4. Why do you think it’s integral to work as an artist?

Definitely connection.  If I can't connect to something, I can't get an emotional response.  I need an emotional response in order to paint it with integrity.

5. What kinds of story do you like the most? Why?

I enjoy psychology, understanding the way people operate, breaking free of our social programming. I like personal growth, evolution of the mind, body and soul.

6. How has your practice changed over time?

As an artist, I have completely and utterly evolved.  I used to paint flowers, now my subject matter is much broader.  It depends on what I connect with...

7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?

I am a bit of a loner.  I've never had a mentor.  I do like the masters, such as Monet (in fact I went and saw his garden in Giverny), Leonardo DaVinci...

Specially in today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearing have, what kind of advice you will give to those who are also looking for the direction and path?

There is the creative side of art and then there is the business side of art...  You have to promote yourself and get comfortable putting yourself out there and getting a hard enough shell to hear criticism.

8. In your opinion, what role are Artists playing nowadays?

I believe as artists, we have  a responsibility to speak out about the injustices in the world.  Not only through our work, but with our voices as well.  I am a strong environmentalist and conservationist.  I did an entire series of elephants in order to bring awareness to the poaching that is happening.

9. What is your 5 year goal?

World domination.  Just kidding.  To continue to progress and evolve as an artist, and to be understood as an artist that speaks out.


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