By Minal Abhange
Ask Angela Hardy what she wanted to become as a child, without hesitation she replies, “An artist sharing stories of people.”
“The aroma of paint and the linseed oil lingered in my house growing up made a strong influence,” she says. “I also remember as a young girl seeing some of my mother’s paintings and sneaking into her closet to look at the oil paints.”
She is a native of Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, a small mining town; who earned a Visual Arts diploma from CNA in 1995 (then West Viking College) and began her journey as an artist.
“I studied everything while I was in college — drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking — which was the best thing I could ever have done, it helped me to define who I am today in many ways,” she says.
Defining her work
She defines the work she does as contemporary realistic figurative work. Her focus is projecting a well-rendered, realistic image with good composition, which shares a story.
“Every painting I create reflects a narration in pattern and colour, with an implied little story.”
Angela’s painting The Periodic Motion of Venus was selected in December to be exhibited at the 157th edition Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (SNBA) which exhibits pieces from about 600 artists from around the world at Carrousel du Louvre à Paris (an annex of the Louvre), something she still hasn’t fully absorbed yet.
“I am very proud and overwhelmed at the same time,” she says. “You just assume you would probably either be near your deathbed or have passed before, you’re residing in the same building as the Mona Lisa.”
She credits a photographer friend whose work was featured last year for piquing her interest and starting her on the application process.
Art is in her family — in high school, she was constantly doing portraits for parents who paid for her work. Growing up in a small town, with little access to the outside world, she spent much time drawing and painting.
“I grew up like most kids getting out there and enjoying winter,” she says. “Growing up I was always painting and drawing. I spent a lot of time in my mom’s sewing room with fabrics, playing dress-up with my friends.”
“Leaving home and going to school was a little bit scary because everything was so big and a little overwhelming, but slowly I learned to adapt,” she says. “As much as I’ve enjoyed being in the cities I lived in, I think there’s always that small-town northern girl, enjoying the solitude and friendly faces, knowing that your neighbours will always help you out when needed and friends are always close by.”
She has travelled the world, living or spending large amounts of time in Spain, Germany, Chicago and Quebec before moving to Ontario, first living in Port Dover and now settled in St. Thomas with partner Robert Ruby, a photographer.
Doing what you love
She said it’s very hard to make a living working as a painter, but she makes it work.
“One thingI’ve always realized is that, if I’m not doing what I truly love, which is painting, then I’m just not happy,” she said.
Angela knows first-hand experiences from being both a student and a teacher.
“You really need to pursue your passion. Even in our day-to-day lives, art plays a huge role. We would rather plug away and do what we can in order to get where we want in our careers than do anything else.”
To view Angela’s work, visit her website at www.angelahardyfineart.com.