Janice E. McHaffie is our Gallery A ArtLab artist is residence from From January 5 – February 28. Prior to her artist talk on February 7, we sat down with Janice to learn more about her work and what she has been up to during her residency.
RMG: Hi Janice! Please tell us about yourself?
JM: I am an artist from Claremont. I have about 16 years of university level art specific training including 5 years fine arts at Durham College and a year at OCAD. Having started with stone carving at the University of Guelph in the early 1970’s, my work has progressed and metamorphosed into an eclectic range of paintings with hundreds of them in public and private collections around the world. I am also the Youth Liaison for Pineridge Arts Council, Pickering.
RMG: What materials do you work with?
JM: While at The RMG I will be working with acrylic ink, acrylic paint, acrylic gels and mediums, watercolour papers canvas board and stretched canvas. I will also be sculpting from whatever moves me at the time to work with.
RMG: Why were you interested in Gallery A’s Art Lab residency? What have you made while working as an artist in residence/ what will you be working on during your residency?
JM: I was interested in the residency in Gallery A because I wanted to interact with the public while creating and wanted to invite them to actively participate with the theme and two art projects. So far, I have only created three small canvas works and some ink on yupo. By February 25 (closing ceremony 7-9pm) I will have filled all the walls in Gallery A with paintings. I will also have created 2 collages and a sculpture. I am hoping to have close to 100 small paintings done by that date.
RMG: Can you please tell us a bit about your exhibition on view in Gallery A or what you intend to create for the viewer?
JM: The paintings on view in Gallery A and everything I create while I am there is following my theme of Dying and Death. I will be opening the floor to talk about these topics, hopefully helping people to converse in an easier format through the visual aid of the artwork.
RMG: What inspires you? Is there a particular artist’s work that has influenced your practice?
JM: What inspires me is everything and everyone who passes through my life, from what others perceive as the profound to the mundane. Children affect me most with their boundless energy and creative inquisitiveness. I love how they just spit out what they are thinking. Coincidentally that is exactly how I am. Artists who have inspired me include Auguste Rodin since I started with stone sculpture, and my initial paintings were inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. Now I just paint what comes out of me. My work is always about texture and the layers of life, I have been called the “texture queen” for years, and I guess they have a point : ). Every day is an adventure to me and at the RMG. I get to share the adventure with all of you!