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|A former member||
My artist profile is in the 2013 July/August issue of the James Bay Beacon newspaper. Enjoy! Aura :o)
By the way the picture of my acrylic painting of the purple iris with a green background behind me has sold to an art collector who owns artwork by the actress/director Jane Seymour. I am delighted!
Aura Arindam: James Bay Art Walk Artist Profile
By Anne Hansen
Aura Arindam has created a legacy of botanical art, which are finely detailed drawings of flowers, using coloured pencils as her media. Currently, though, she works with acrylics for her botanical and seascape paintings.
Aura speaks fondly of a life-changing experience that came her way in 2010, as a result of her participation in the Gettin' Higher Choir. As a reward for one lucky choir member, a prize was donated consisting of free tuition for a course at Hollyhock retreat, the west coast's lifelong learning centre situated on beautiful Cortes Island. Aura's name was not picked, but as fate would have it, the recipient was not able to use the prize, so it was offered to Aura. She had to act really quickly, to rearrange her schedule and decide what course would interest her. It just so happened that the renowned Canadian artist Robert Bateman was giving an art course, and that there was a space for another person.
Aura speaks of this magical week as setting her in a new artistic direction, toward bigger canvases, new subject matter, and different media (acrylics). She was also bowled over by Bateman's wisdom and the phenomenal garden at Hollyhock, which further fueled her appetite for colour and depicting beauty.
Travel is a vital part of Aura's life. She is versed in both English and French, and has lived in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Although Victoria has been her home for many years, she had not been up-Island until recently. "I fell in love with the Island all over again," she says of a recent visit to Tofino and elsewhere. This past April, she marveled at the beauty of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State. "It knocks you out. The displays are inspiring. The flowers themselves are designers," she says. She is also a fan of the Sequim Lavender Festival, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, of which she showed me her exquisite photographs.
Aura's latest community involvement is with the MadArters, a group of Victoria area residents who share a love of art. They have just mounted their first group show, at the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria gallery on Cedar Hill Road, at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre. Aura's big, new seascape will be her contribution to the exhibit.
Aura's art has been shown and sold in many places including Butchart Gardens, Sooke Harbour House, Moss Street Paint-In, Serious Coffee in James Bay, Munro's Books, The Papery, Russell Books and to private collectors. CHEK News television and a local radio station have interviewed her. And she has been featured in a number of publications including SNAP Victoria, Boulevard, Botanical Artists of Canada Newsletter and the BC Iris Society Newsletter. She has won a number of prizes for her artwork.
Members of orchid clubs, for example, will approach Aura, because "they want a drawing to immortalize their prized orchid," as she explains. Aura works mostly indoors, but with the plant itself as her live model because, as she says, "It gives the artwork more life". She is a skilled photographer and uses those pictures as resource material for the art.
Protecting people's precious, live botanical specimens from her beloved indoor cat is an art in itself. "My cat doesn't like to be upstaged. She has walked on paintings, chews on the end of my brush when I'm painting, and gets wet paint on her tail!"
When not painting, the rest of Aura's life is devoted to seeking more beauty: in the world's famous art cities, singing in the choir, and hiking through lush west coast rainforests. "I can't live without art," she says.
She invites you to share in this passion for the arts in our beautiful James Bay community! See Aura's art on the James Bay Art Walk, September 14 & 15, 2013.
Aura's website: www.auraart.net