It started by chance: a fortuitous splash of ink that evolved and developed into a new way to approach her passion. In the past, artist Sanaz Busink was solely a realist, but not anymore.
On the Foyer Gallery walls, Busink presents her abstract impressions of graceful swirls and fluid colour. It is a soothing style that evokes a serene emotion. The pieces of art are mostly based on her disinclination to represent anything concrete, but in some cases, the acrylic inks seem to take on a mind of their own and decide to “be” something specific, something tangible, something real.
Busink tells the story of her discovery with the dynamic relationships of these flowy colours: “These paints were prisoners in their bottles, bursting forth as I released them onto freedom and paper. Some coloured inks are shy and sit still on the paper while others are loud and boisterous; some are full of energy and some are calm and cool. It is fascinating to watch this mesmerizing performance by the whispering inks,” she says.
Busink recalls that her initiation into this new liberal process of painting was accidental — having taken place on a piece of photography paper.
“I watched the red ink make a peculiar turn and serpentine twist. Fascinating! I dipped my brush in the colour yellow and with purpose this time. I tapped my brush and watched the paint spatter on the paper as yellow and red started performing a beautiful dance before me,” she says.
From that point on, Busink (who had previously been a disciplined and precise pet portrait realist) hasn’t looked back. The new style and medium of acrylic inks allows her artistic freedom of expression and she no longer feels constrained by the established “rules” of watercolour art.
She admits that she will always be connected to the intimacy of creating commissioned pet portraits and continues to paint in a realistic manner even though it is quite time consuming.
Busink, who is always smiling, loves great food, inspirational stories, nature, family and good friends. She is an artist at heart and also proud to be a Squamish realtor.
In the cases, Liza Bennett displays her frequently funky and functional collections of hand-built pottery — a menagerie of sushi sets, cups, plates, boats and bowls adorned with dimples or daisies, or leaves, charming and purposeful ceramics made without using a pottery wheel. Alluding to a “folk-art” style, Bennett’s square forms aren’t quite square and her round forms aren’t quite round, both covered in earthy glazes that pop off of red acidic clay, exploiting the contrast between glazes and fired clay or glazes accentuating the smooth surfaces.
“My favourite form for years has been square bowls, adding raised and depressed decoration on insides and outsides, tweaking sides and corners to change the flow of the piece. I feel I have explored this form as much as I would like to and this show has spurred me to try something I had not yet done, making bowls round,” she says of her creative stimulation for the series.
Bennett’s biggest natural desire is her love of “greenscapes,” comparing horticulture to a similar process — like painting with plants. She incorporates surface decor such as flower and leaf designs into her work, a correlation between passions. She uses this as a way to work with plants even when the season doesn’t allow her to be in the garden.
As a new mother, Bennett is striving to achieve a balance between parenthood and creativity, with her creative time subdivided between the garden or pottery studio.
“If I choose the studio, I no longer have the luxury I once enjoyed of working at nothing in particular, letting the clay decide what it will be,” she says. “Prior to setting foot in the studio, now I spend a lot of time daydreaming about the finished piece, the colour, texture, how I can achieve the mechanics of it, what type of paper form I could make to improve consistency. I pretty much deconstruct the piece in my mind so that when I get the chance to work on it, the trial and error has almost been eliminated.”
After 15 years of hand building in clay, Bennett’s biggest goal for growth in the future is to create enough forms to have a mix-and-match line of dinnerware.
For more information contact www.lizabennett.ca
Busink’s “Whispering Ink” acrylic paint and ink on canvas and paper, and Bennett’s “The Functional Potter” pottery are on display at the Library Foyer Gallery until Nov. 5. Toby Jaxon is curator of the Library Foyer Gallery. She can be reached at email@example.com