Electric Elaine DeCunha MA
“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Elaine, the original paint slinger, was a highly skilled finger painter and mastered Etch-a-Sketch by the end of high school. Clearly art was her talent and passion and she began to pursue this avenue at the Ontario College of Art. However, tormented by visions of canvases blowing around the gas stations, starving, only to leave her children as millionaires when she died, made her think, “Whoa…Nelly,” and she decided to pursue a more stable path and signed up for Criminology at the University of Guelph with a minor in Fine Art. During this tremendous period of growth she began working at Guelph Correctional Centre teaching art to inmates. Although Etch-A-Sketches were not allowed due to security reasons, finger-painting and every other form of art was. (Finger-printing was a whole other art).
It was here that Elaine discovered the true value of art and its impact on the human soul. She also discovered tremendous creativity locked behind the walls and in the person. She had a captive audience and they had time on their hands- a winning combination. Over the next 6 years Elaine expanded her artistic explorations to sculpture in clay, metal, soapstone, wood and concrete, all the while being continuously amazed by the talent and innovation of the inmates. Even the simplest things were creatively recycled, like an old toothbrush so delicately carved to resemble a fine knife. Now, not only were they winning bench pressing records, but also Prison Arts awards which were nationwide.
In need of space for incoming students, UofG administrators gave Elaine a Master’s degree, which actually worked to gain employment.
While enjoying her career, Elaine continued to be involved in the art world, taking many courses at Haliburton School of Fine Art and other art schools, and eventually joined the Board of Directors at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. She has lived abroad, travelled extensively and currently resides in a quaint village called Millbrook, Ontario.
Elaine truly believes that if she can teach inmates how to paint and not get killed, she can teach you!
Hot Pink Holly Young BFA
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”Scott Adams
Holly has a passion for art and design and attended Brock University where she obtained her Bachelor degree in Fine Art. She then furthered her studies at Sheridan College, where she graduated with her interior decorating certificate.
Colour, composition and brushwork all play key roles in her painting process. She works with many mediums including, acrylic, water colour, mixed media.
She now works as a fine artist and decorator, and accepts commissions.
In her spare time she enjoys getting her hands messy with her two little girls, they love being creative just like their mom. She also enjoys travelling, photography
and dance. She is constantly evolving as an artist, and is excited to share her creative energy with others.
“I never get tired of the blue sky.” Vincent van Gogh
Julia has been drawing and creating art for as long as she can remember. After drawing primarily with crayons and scented markers in kindergarten, Julia graduated to coloured pencils and graphite in elementary school. She soon began experimenting with other media in high school such as acrylic paint, water colour, charcoal, and pastels, and received accolades and awards for her artistic achievements throughout.
Julia graduated from McMaster’s Arts & Science program with an Honours degree and went on to pursue her Post Graduate Certificate in Addictions & Mental Health at Durham College. Julia has continued to keep the arts in her life throughout school and up to the present, participating in McMaster’s Musical Theatre program for four seasons and taking Improv Classes at The Second City in Toronto. All the while, Julia has continued to sketch, draw, and create art as an expression of her current mood – she firmly believes in art’s therapeutic and calming qualities. Julia is thrilled to be joining the Spirits & Splatters team in the hopes of sharing her passion and love of art and beauty with others.
Her spirit of choice? A spicy Caesar with adequate garnish.
Aqua Bliss Amanda
Amanda is from a small town called Maynooth where the early stages of her interest in art started. Being involved in her community, she showed her interest through artwork she created for the local library.
After high school she attended Sheridan College for Art Fundamentals; upon graduation she attended Georgian college where she completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts.
She is an emerging artist who has been a part of group shows including Graduation Exhibition Thompson Rivers, Ethereal Threads, DIY Collective, I’m the One in the Yellow Jacket and The Art Gallery of Bancroft Juried Exhibition. She is currently living in Mississauga Ontario and is inspired by her surroundings and the effects of our environment.
MAGENTA JAN H.B.A. B.Ed.
THE WORLD IS YOUR CANVAS, PAINT IT COLOURFULLY.
Janice was using colour and design at a young age. While using the couch as a canvas with her mother’s lipstick was not the best decision, she then sought out other forms of self-expression. After studying art and photography at the University of Western, she thought she wanted to teach young minds how to use colour and not use the couch as a canvas, and went forth and obtained her teaching degree from the University of Toronto.
After having two sons she went back to school, yet again, to explore using Art a therapeutic tool which spoke to her artful soul. Using art to heal has been an important tool for self-discovery. Janice loves helping others to heal their inner sanctum of unexpressed emotions and help them create a new joy filled creative life.
After many art shows, gallery life, commission, endless hours teaching and evolving her own art, she is ready for more adventures.
Life has moved her to share her passion for creative and colourful living.
Willow Green Wendy
Wendy grew up in Pickering, actually called Bay Ridges, married with 2 mature children. She knew she was destined to paint when she ate crayons at an early age (trust me “Red” is the best so leave it till last). Worked in the office environment some of it in collections – so she does know how to approach people, but always loved helping people and being around them and has an outgoing personality. Originally she got into Folkart and taught this for awhile but other things came up. Never lost the love of painting so am very happy to be with Spirits and Splatters so that I can teach, paint and have fun with others.
Hello. My name is Natalia Howard. My biggest loves in life is fine art, especially painting. I enjoy painting landscapes and portraits, abstract and representational. I have studied privately with artist Nadia Seagull a number of years. I have also attended art history courses: Art of Asia and Roman Art and Architecture at York University. I like to sketch with pencils and charcoal the people and places where I travel. I love painting with oils, especially landscapes, in the style of impressionism. My favourite artist is Claude Monet. I have sold my paintings in the past and now I’m concentrating on teaching fine art.
Positively Peachy Peggy
Peggy is a Sheridan College graduate of the creative arts course. Her work has sold in the Tate gallery, Gallery O and the Belleville Artist Guild. Her work has also been on tour in northern Ontario with the WIN gallery.
Her artistic talents are used on a more commercial level doing signs and display windows plus advertising for many small businesses.
Her children came along and she home schooled becoming the art teacher for a small group of neighbours kids. Enjoying every minute of the teaching experience.
Peggy opened a small business doing massage and energy work (a different kind of art). To help balance bills
In 2003 she opened a small gallery where she taught more adult students a variety of art techniques and displayed their work.
Peggy’s talent continued to develop and her work won awards. She became the artist in the park in 2007 at the Sandbanks provincial park. When ever Peggy travels she has an art kit in hand.
She branched out exploring sculpting with clay, relief carving in wood, watercolor landscapes, portraits in pencil and many abstract in acrylics. (And combinations of all of the above!)
Peggy has moved to the friendly town of Brighton Ontario she is part if the Codrington art club and the Brighton art association. Her work can be seen in many different offices, stores and of course her home.
Dawn discovered her love for drawing early and as a child spent many hours with her sketchbook. This soon followed with explorations in painting and other forms of art making.
As a young adult she studied drawing, illustration and traditional drafting. This followed with work as an illustrator and traditional drafter. Dawn then upgraded her skills in graphic design and has worked as a freelance graphic designer for the past 15 years. During this time she has continued her art studies, both formally and informally, in many art forms including painting, print making, sculpture, stained glass and fabric art.
After many years working in the solitude that comes with being a freelance graphic designer Dawn is excited to join the Spirits and Splatters family and to be out helping others explore their creative side.
Sapphire Sara BEd, OCT
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein
Sara has been artistic and creative her whole life, from crafting in her mom’s basement to experimenting with many forms of media throughout the school years. She began taking lessons as a young child, learning various techniques in watercolour, acrylic, oils, inks, and pastels. While she loves to paint, her artistic endeavours have expanded to include jewelry making, card making, and cookie decorating as well!
Sara has always wanted to share her passion for creativity and learning with others, which led her to attended Trent University School of Education and became a certified teacher. She is always looking for new ways to encourage others to discover their creative potential.