Tag Archives: Leanne Cadden Art Influence

“Painting in the Key of Nature”

 I’ve always sensed that my place of peace was in nature. As a little girl growing up in the Okanagan; birds, animals, flowers, gardens, trees, rocks, crystals, lakes, rivers, mountains, snow and mud-puddles have always inspired my creativity. In the spring of 2013, I was teaching private art lessons with a talented young Gr.4 student. Her sense of colour, compositions and design were unhindered, whimsical and fun. In June, we moved the lessons out of the studio and into nature. Partnering with Aaron Deans from the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, we created “Jr Nature Sketch Club.” Every two weeks from June to September, we ventured out into a different eco-system with sketchbooks in hand learning about native flora and fauna in our region. In a few short months our group grew from 5 kids to 20, all brought together by the common bond of art and nature.

Nature and children were two major influences in my work. Taking three months from July to September, I imparted out to a small cabin on a river with my easel and paints. I lived without internet or cell service and proceeded to let the brush flow. There is an element of ‘whimsy’ that has appeared in my work that was never there before. The influence of children and nature surely played their part in this acrylic on canvas series of lotus flowers and lily pads. This is when I realized that they were teaching me and nature was our common conduit.

 

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 22″.   

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 48″ 

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 24′” x 36″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″ 

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″ 

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″  

Leanne Cadden Artist Vernon

Acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Influence

My very first post is lovingly dedicated to my Great Grandma, Di Varley. Grandma Di was a local Vernon artist who specialized mainly in porcelain painting on plates and dolls; she taught me to draw as soon as I could hold a pencil.  Grandma was blessed with many inspiring artist friends and as a little girl, my first watercolour influences sprouted in the studio of Patricia Lawton, pastel portrait tips from Norma Aiken and acrylic landscape inspiration from her friend Mary Keith.

The art influence continued in Victoria BC from Grandma Di’s cousin, Bernie Evans. Bernie and I had many weekend outings to the local galleries, parks and afternoon tea times with his friends Doug and Lorie Genn. In 2000, Doug and Lorie invited me to an inspirational weekend retreat at Painters Lodge, Campbell River for “Painters at Painters” where their son Robert Genn was one of the guest artists. It was an all-star cast that weekend with 26 Artists in Residence including Fenwick Lansdowne, Toni Onley and Ted Harrison. It was the weekend that changed my direction in life and I knew on the trip home that I wanted to be an artist. Upon my return from Painters Lodge, I switched my 2nd year major at UVic from Biochemistry/Microbiology to Entrepreneurship in hopes of learning how to make a living as an artist.

I am grateful for every minute that I had with Grandma Di and Bernie. It is because of them that I had the support and courage to follow my heart and meet the influential artists that would shape my future.

Great Grandma Di Varley, Pastel Artist

Great Grandma Di showing her painting.

Bernie and Leanne

Cousin Bernie and Leanne on a weekend outing in Beacon Hill Park, 1999.

Great Grandma Di Varley, Porcelain Artist

Great Grandma Di showing some of her porcelain work at local painting exhibition.