What is your background in art?
I'm actually mostly self taught; I took art in high school and one class for fun when I was attending the U of C (my actual background is in Print Media Journalism and Communications).
Very recently, I started experimenting with wood and sculpture, but I've never taken classes in those either, so what I make is usually a combination of my experimenting, mixed with random ideas I find online or around me.
Growing up, I had a lot of medical problems (autoimmune attacks that destroyed my pancreas and thyroid gland), and my home life was very difficult and isolating; art has always been a way for me to express myself – even when I couldn't find the words, to find peace in turmoil, and to identify myself with when I began questioning the world I found myself brought up in.
How would you describe your art pieces?
I have a busy mind and want to learn as much as possible. Who knows if it will change, but I'm still searching and it reflects in what I like creating.
Sometimes I make things that are more personal, sometimes less; sometimes my art is complex, and sometimes I try to keep it simple. So far, I haven't settled on a single art form, but I do go through phases. I suppose right now I'm making more rustic pieces with wood, and for my paintings I'm drawn to art deco and abstract, and I always love anything nature oriented.
What does your work aim to say?
It depends on the piece; if it's a larger painting, I will either try to express something very personal (an issue/experience, a problem), or I might just create a feeling/narrative/scene. For other pieces, like with the woodwork, I'm trying to make things that can be used to create a "home." I moved around a lot, and my idea of home isn't so much a set location, but rather the way you decorate the space you live in.
Where do you find inspiration for your art and who are your biggest influences?
Everything, everyone and everywhere!
Since I was little, I would always collect strange things to make my own creations from. I love many traditional artists and other not so traditional. I love looking through galleries, the library and the internet (I have to admit that I have a slight Pinterest obsession). At the moment, my biggest influences are my close family members and the process of trying to set up our own home.
Who is your favourite artist?
To be honest, I don't have a favourite. I like Salvador Dali, the Impressionists and the Pre-Raphealites. There are many modern art pieces I like, but I have to admit that I don't know many of the artists’ names. Winslow Pels is an amazing illustrator, and I used to be obsessed with his art (so much detail and breathtakingly beautiful!)
What is the first piece of artwork that you ever sold?
Two paintings, to a family member (pictured right).
What is your favourite aspect about taking part in farmers’ markets?
Being able to go out and see other people, see what they are making or growing; the one thing that links everyone together at the farmers' market, I think, is that we all like to be a part of creating on a very primary and fundamental level. It's very rewarding, and you can see the pride that each person has in what they make. Beyond that, being able to talk directly to the people who are coming to see or buy from the farmers’ market is also wonderful, and being a part of a community; it's much more personal, positive, and there really isn't anything that can replace that.
What benefit is there to demonstrating your art in front of market-goers?
I always found that watching other people create was intriguing and calming, and I found it was/is the same when others watch me paint. Some people are curious to see how my art is made, sometimes just to watch the process and sometimes to also experiment with their own art. Also, I like seeing other people's reactions; I'm not always making my art for myself, so knowing what other people like or don't like helps me know what to make (and helps me improve too).
Visit Natasha Perry on her website or at Robert McClure Farmers' Market every Friday from 3 -7 PM.