Seasons of Catherine Schissel
All photos courtesy of Catherine Schissel
Schissel’s early adulthood was spent raising her four children while farming in southern Alberta. During this time, she would paint elevator scenes, old buildings and barns in small prairie towns, exhibiting her creations in Calgary and southern Alberta galleries.
Schissel says that she has been fortunate to be surrounded by people who support her passion. “In their younger days, my children were my best critics. When I was working on a piece, I would line them up on chairs and ask them what they saw. I still have them critique my work today.”
Schissel currently lives in the Ottawa Valley near the Trans Canada Trail and breaks out her sketchbook as soon as she wakes up in the morning. Much of her recent inspiration has been gathered from experiencing the changing seasons, sounds and habitats along the trail.
With sketchbook, camera, easel and paints in hand, Schissel has travelled across Canada and the United States several times. By extensively documenting these trips through thousands of photos, Schissel is never without source imagery for her paintings. She says that something new will often jump out at her while revisiting her trips through the photos, begging her to be painted.
During a painting trip to Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy, Schissel was fascinated by how quickly the tides changed a scene in a matter of minutes. Another excursion found Schissel hiking in Utah among the canyons, a storm brewing on the horizon.
Schissel is also been moved by the changing of seasons. She loves the vibrancy of fall and the first signs of new life in the spring.
“My art is an expression of what I love…I am constantly motivated to translate my life experiences onto canvas.”
Recently, Schissel has been inspired by the Gatineau Hills, the Laurentians, the Algonquin region, the Maritimes and landscapes from recent roadtrips that have taken Schissel across the continent. Her next ambition is to get to Fogo Island in Newfoundland to paint the Atlantic Ocean. Schissel is also looking forward to a trip along the Alaska Highway to the Yukon in the near future.
You can find out more about her work at ceschisselart.ca.