I first met Natalie VonRaven several years ago when we both participated in the downtown Artisan’s Market. Since that time, I have learned how committed she is to her town! Having moved to High River as a young married couple 13 years ago Natalie and her husband have put down some deep roots here.
Thanks, Natalie for allowing me to reboot my blog by welcoming me into your creative space! And what a wonderful space it is, surrounded by an eclectic collection of bits and pieces of this and that. Small gems, things she has created and treasures she has found from here and there. I do enjoy visiting other artist’s creative spaces. They are as varied and unique as the artist’s themselves. If there was a game of match the artist with their creative space I think most people would be able to match Natalie and her studio – okay, maybe the purple wall is a giveaway!
It’s easy to judge that if someone has a purple swath of hair that they are a little “out there” so I asked Natalie why the purple hair expecting some kind of quirky reason but the reality was so much more – “because I like purple“, was her answer. Of course, after visiting her studio, that was no surprise. It’s kind of endearing to me because it happens to be my daughter’s fav colour as well.
Natalie is a very talented artist. As a teenager she marched to her own drummer which was not always appreciated by her teachers. She had the good fortune to meet a teacher who recognized her love of art and allowed her to work on her own projects and grade them accordingly. Other than her school years Natalie is self-taught. She learns from other artist's - as she describes it – seeing a piece of art she likes and reverse engineering it to figure out how the artist achieved the result. Lots of trial and error, I expect, but learning every step of the way.
I asked Natalie about the eyes in her images – they are often a focal point in her works. As she explains it, she is attracted to people’s eyes (window to the soul and all that) so it was a natural progression to key on the eyes. As well she focusses on other facial features like the distinctive cheek bones and lips of her portraits. I love when she brings her own special brand of whimsy to her animal portraits. Almost caricaturizing their features while adding personality that touches the viewer. Or as she puts it “persoNatalie”!
When Natalie joined the HRAS she brought both energy and enthusiasm. If there was a job needed doing she readily joined in, taking on the position of Chair of the Show Committee as well as joining numerous other committees that arise out of a need. She is a champion example of rolling up the sleeves and pitching in. Most recently she has joined the art society executive in the role of vice-president.
I have worked with Natalie on a number of committees and am always impressed at how quickly she gets the job done. Is that the sign of a highly organized person? Yes, it seems it is. Her work area reinforces this observation.
I’m always very aware of the art people hang in their homes and it is especially nice to see a varied collection of artist’s original works finding a home with another artist. I feel it’s a real compliment when someone who can create wonderful works of art also appreciate the work of others. What they choose to surround themselves with is also very telling about a person and Natalie loves to have a wonderful collection of her "little" treasurers close by.
Little ThingsFrom a teeny tiny teapot to even tinier books that have actual pages Natalie may identify with Gulliver! Red and BlackYes - she can play the concertina! Perhaps a little gypsy in her DNA.
Quick Lesson I asked about how she achieved such a smooth transition of colour in her pieces and received an impromptu tutorial on how she creates the effect. I love how artist's are always willing to share with others.
Natalie’s art can be found at her website www.natalievonraven.blogspot.com as well as on Etsy or Deviant Art. You can also check out her Facebook page. Natalie regularly shows her works at the art society sales and markets in the area throughout the summer. She also has a couple of banners along 12th Ave.