Vanessa Pesch

Vanessa painting
        in her studio.

I alternate frequently between landscape and portraits, as they're inspired by competing motivations. Painting a landscape, to me, is like creating a work of fiction: it's a place of refuge, to get lost in and escape to. I try to reflect this through the use of a vibrant, exaggerated colour palette. A portrait, meanwhile, is a means of reflecting reality and making it accessible to others. I tend to paint the reaction to an external event rather than the event itself, because the particulars may differ, but the resulting emotions is what most can relate to. Our inner worlds are in a constant state of reaction to what goes on around us, so it's also personally gratifying to explore the deeper layers beneath the social mask, where the complex mélange of the inner voice and memories swirl together, to create a lively inner life, which I try to reflect through my choice of bright hues and bold brush strokes.


Though I've long had an interest in art, particularly drawing and photography, the painting began in earnest in 2009, when I was given a gift certificate to the Ottawa School of Art. I chose an oil painting class, and four courses later, I quickly realized painting was the means of expression I had been searching for. Though largely self-taught (and learning is an ongoing process), these courses have been very instrumental in helping me rapidly learn the basics of oil painting. I find that my earlier interest in photography also greatly influences my work, particularly when it comes to composition, color saturation and creating the illusion of depth. Currently, I find myself drawn to painting my surroundings, whether from travels or my northeast New Brunswick homebase.

          exhibition at an art gallery.