We recently sat down with artist Filomena Kandola, who leads our Tuesday morning Open Studio sessions and Exploring Snowy Winter Landscapes in Soft Pastel workshop, to learn more about her and how she encourages creativity at Visual Arts Brampton.
When did you join VAB?
I have been with VAB for 3 years as of this past September.
Why did you join VAB?
I wanted to break out of my studio and do more than make art personally. I hoped to gain more from my love for art by teaching and sharing my passion with others.
What is your favourite part of VAB?
The open studio. It is a place where we not only come together to make and share art, but we talk about life and everything happening around us. It is truly a joyful social experience.
What is the best thing about your role at VAB?
Watching a student learn how to create accomplished original art and then witnessing the joy they get from it. Priceless.
Why should someone join VAB?
To meet like minded people. To have fun. To learn how to make accomplished original art. To experience the joy in making fine art.
What did you do before VAB?
As it relates to art, I was primarily making art in my studio at home.
What are your specialties?
Oils, soft pastels and pencil. Any subject, although I am quite experienced in landscape, portraiture and the human future.
What do you do when you’re not at VAB?
Most if not all of my days are spent raising my four kids. I also practice law part-time.
How did you get into art?
I've been making art for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to art most certainly in early grade school.
Were you always an artist?
Yes, I think so. At heart.
What is your preferred medium?
This is tough as I love oil paint and soft pastels equally. I love different things about these two mediums. If I had to choose it would be soft pastels.
What do you love about art?
How healing it can be. It demands that you are present and in the moment. It has the power to reveal the truth.
What type of art do you enjoy the most?
Right now, contemporary and abstract landscape painting is very exciting artwork. Something I hope to get into.
What is your favourite colour and why?
Oooo, very hard to choose. I love cool lavenders and lilacs and all shades of olive greens. Not sure why. I'm just attracted to these colours. Yellows are pretty gorgeous too.
What are you inspired by?
All forms of art. Dancing and music are at the top of my list. I also find plein air painting very exciting.
Do you have a favourite artist?
Some of my favourites right now:
Of all the art work you’ve created, which is your favourite, and why?
This always changes as I grow as an artist. Right now, I like what I'm doing with pastels and oil paint in rendering landscape. My approach to landscape is loose and fresh.
In your opinion what makes a piece of art amazing?
That it can take the viewer someplace nice each time they look at it.
What is your favourite thing to look at?
My kids, of course, when they laugh especially. Apart from that, I love to watch plein air painters do their thing.
What is your favourite art work of all time?
I've always been drawn to Vincent Van Gogh's artwork. He pushed the boundaries. His art was fearless. Something to be admired. I also admire all of Edgar Degas' artwork especially "The Star". I love how he rendered dancers in motion. I have to also mention Claude Monet's "Woman with as Parasol" and his entire haystacks series.