About Art Interview with Wilda Kaiser, solo show opens Oct 24

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Wilda Kaiser is an artist living in Port Bickerton, Nova Scotia. A solo show of her work called “Autumn Reflections” will be featured at the Winding River Gallery in Stewiacke from October 24th to October 30th. Kaiser’s work captures the wind and sea, and the beauty of the changing seasons. Her interpretation of the natural world in oil and pastels can be found in private collections in Canada and the United States. You can meet the artist in person at the gallery on October 24th and 25th.

How did you start making art?

I started drawing when I was a child and continued with my studies, formally as an architectural draftsperson, and informally taking fine arts courses from time to time with instructors whose work I admired. I always felt a close connection with nature, especially the sea and forest, and wanted to interpret the beauty of these wild, changing places on canvas.

How do you work?

I work plein air as often as I can, but work in studio most of the time, especially in winter. I find that there’s a freshness in my paintings when they are completed on site that is more difficult to accomplish in studio. There are advantages to studio painting though, no bugs; no interruptions; and the ability to paint for longer periods.

What’s your background?

I had a background in architectural drafting and design and then worked across Canada in an unrelated field for years. My husband and I just returned to Nova Scotia a few years ago, both retired and now I can finally devote all my time to art rather than just trying to fit it in when I can, on weekends and holidays.

Which artist has inspired you the most?

There are so many artists who have inspired me over the years and I love studying their work. The Impressionists, the Group of Seven, seascape masters such as Frederick Waugh, but the artist whose work inspires me the most has been Gerald Squires from Newfoundland, who sadly died last year. His work moved me. He managed to capture the geography and spirit of Newfoundland and made it a living, breathing thing. His work was deep and sometimes dark. I took two workshops with him over the years in plein air painting and life drawing. He was a generous, kind man and enormously talented. He was a great encourager to other artists. There will be a major retrospective of his work and a documentary film of his life and art, premiering in St John’s next year. I look forward to going to Newfoundland for that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The late Robert Genn, a Canadian painter from British Columbia, said ‘go to your room’. In other words, don’t wait for the muse or the motivation, just get in your studio and get to work. Being an artist is something you have to work hard at, developing your talents and learning your craft by doing. If you wait to be in the mood, you won’t get a thing done.

Professionally what is your goal?

My goal is to work hard and continue to paint every day. I’d like to drop dead at my easel with a glass of red wine in my hand when I’m 90 yrs old. How’s that for a goal!

Where do you sell your work?

I sell my work at Down to Earth Gallery in Antigonish; Winding River Gallery in Stewiacke, from my home studio and my website wildakaiser.com