“I keep being fascinated by the amazing Canadian landscape as well as the gardens and flowers that are so abundant here in my home town of Victoria.”
Where are you from?
I am originally from Argentina but have lived in Canada for the last 26 years —I consider myself more Canadian than Argentinian by now!
I want to continue exploring these two subject matters. My intention at present is to keep growing in size. It would be amazing to do one of my landscapes or garden paintings at such a scale that you feel you could walk into them.
One other project that will happen at some point is a road trip across Canada. My husband and I wish to take our time, get to know our country and I’ll paint as we go along.
There’s a lot of landscape to get on canvas and I am excited to tackle that. I love discovering new places and cultures. I get to experience everything when I paint: smells, sounds, shapes, colors, darks and lights. I have come to understand that when I paint a place, it stays imprinted more permanently in my memory —much more than if I just went for a walk or took a photo.
Those paintings become a memory, and when I look at them now, sometimes years later, they immediately take me back to that cool morning at the beach, or the heat in the middle of the afternoon in Tuscany.
How did you get started?
I started painting about 20 years ago during one of the busiest times of my life: I was a new mom with two young kids, six months and two years old when I went to Argentina to visit my family.
My mom was taking art classes at the time with a teacher that came to my mom’s house to teach painting to a group of friends. I was invited to join the class, ended up with a half-decent painting, and I was hooked right away.
I returned to Canada desperate to find classes. I found a watercolor workshop at the time, which became the start of it all. I just haven’t stopped.
This proved to me that I needed to take opportunities as they came, and I can’t wait for circumstances to be “just right” as that may never happen.
My painting was simply a hobby for a long time, and it’s only been in the last six or seven years that I have devoted more focused time to develop my skills. I have not attended formal art school but in a way I have made my own.
I created my own curriculum by taking many workshops and classes from accomplished artists I admire.
Who influences your work?
There’s been many influences of course, from famous painters like Van Gogh and Thompson, to talented friends I paint with on a regular basis.
The daily painting movement has played a big role in helping me grow tremendously as well. I realized I could do a small painting a day in a short period of time without having to commit the whole day to painting if it wasn’t feasible at the time.
It was the accumulation of those daily studies that helped me build my confidence up. I am still far for where I want to be though!
How do you stay motivated and inspired?
“I treat painting as my job. I go into the studio every day whether I feel like it or not. I strongly agree with Picasso when he says “Inspiration exists, it just has to find you working”.
Having said this, it’s not just that. I read books and blogs, listen to podcasts, join groups of like-minded people and do everything in my power to keep growing, learning, and putting “good” in my head.
We are so fortunate in our present times to have such an availability of anything we may possibly want or need. We can google anything, see demos by famous artists, see displays and exhibits from world-class museums and galleries.
Just perusing social media is so inspirational! There is an incredible amount of extraordinary artists in our world which is very humbling.
What do you think of the direction of art today?
I love the fact that art is available to anyone online and the clients can connect directly with artists. I believe we may continue to see this trend grow.
Social media links:
Facebook: Marcela Strasdas – Artist
Instagram: Marcela Strasdas