Watercolours, acrylics, pastels and alcohol inks
Born into an artistic family, her first serious teachers were Philip Guston at NY University and Arnold Blanche at the Art Students League. Living in Greenwich Village she sketched portraits around the 5th Avenue Arch and worked in advertising. Irked by commercialism, she trained to teach and emigrated to Canada. Always painting, she joined the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver and sold her art through their gallery. Painting in watercolours, her love of saturated colour drew her to pastels for their immediacy and directness. Shifting from life drawing and landscapes she was more at home with impressionism and abstract. Mark making, complex layering and bold colour felt right. Stuck home during the pandemic, restlessness prompted her to seek something new. Brilliant alcohol inks filled her with awe. “It felt like watching a flow of colour explode with life.” Riopel has found joy in somber times.
My art flows from feelings and thoughts. I choose pastels for immediacy and directness. Saturated colours, mark making and complex layering, bold or moody, working on sanded paper, pastel dust drips with the excitement. Acrylics and watercolours work for deeper emotions, building shapes and lines, subtle or dramatic, images evolve. Alcohol inks demand attention. Surprising and willful, they need taming or at least serious interaction. They tantalize the imagination and delights in their glorious hues. While choosing my materials, ideas form, compositions and colour combinations arise. Time evaporates. When my studio time ends I often realize how different the final piece is from my initial concept. During the process a conversation ensues … “I like what’s happening here” … “Change that!” … “Yes?” … “Needs red there!” … “Get rid of that.” … “Stop, don’t touch it!!!! … “Hmmm, it may be finished. I’ll assess it again tomorrow.”