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Arts New West Artist Profile: Victoria Mitchell

Victoria Mitchell was raised in Vancouver BC. As a quiet child who struggled with shyness, she  found a comfortable way to relate with subjects and adults through art. She was consequently  given opportunities to attend workshops and receive private instruction from local teachers and  career artists.  

Victoria’s formal studies began with classical still life in oil paint.

Next she explored materials in  a less structured way, incorporating anatomical movement and free expression in charcoal and  other media. Over time Victoria found her own balance between realism and the abstract.  

Victoria was also strongly influenced and encouraged by secondary school art teacher Robert Crumlin, who with formal discipline helped refine her skills and understanding of materials. He encouraged submissions to exhibitions, which received awards including: 1987 Emily Carr BC Young Artists award, with the piece exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery,  and toured through BC and Seattle.

The1988 Art’s Fair first place two dimensional award and  exhibition at the Robson Square Media Centre. Also awarded in 1988, an Arts Umbrella Multi Media Workshop Scholarship. In 1989, a medical illustration award, with work displayed by the  Medical Research Council of Canada.  

In Victoria’s early twenties creative projects included commission paintings and illustrations. 

From 1993 she studied bodywork, which led to a 22 year career as a Registered Massage Therapist. While Victoria was predominantly focused on work as an RMT, the creation of a home art studio in 2014 broadened and enriched her explorations in abstract/representational  mixed media.

She began showing her paintings again in 2017. This was a tremendously  important step to not conceal, but rather to develop creative expression and share these  experiences with others. 

Victoria is continually inspired by her past work in massage and teaching yoga; the abstract representation of structures that underlie what is readily seen, is particularly intriguing to her. 

Earlier formal teachings stressing the critical importance of technique, material & realism were  good foundations for her artistic endeavours. However, venturing from literal points of  reference has been most important in discovering broader emotional and visceral impacts.

As much as Victoria is inspired by intricacies of the body, she is also very much influenced by  other natural elements, flora and landscapes globally, and environmental concerns.

Since 2017 Victoria has been enjoying sharing her work in galleries and exhibitions in Canada and internationally, along with the great pleasure of broadening communications with those who connect with what she creates.

You can see more of Victoria’s work on her website.

Or see her work in person at the Community Art Gallery in Anvil Centre, as part of the exhibition ‘Fusion Perspectives’.

Image courtesy of Victoria Mitchell.

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