Alberta’s Claire Uhlick recently completed a two week residency at the Haven on Gabriola.

Alberta’s Claire Uhlick recently completed a two week residency at the Haven on Gabriola.

Artist uses free time to reflect

After completing a residency program, painter Claire Uhlick will showcase her work in Alberta.

For painter Claire Uhlick, art has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve just always really been interested in the arts and making things,” Uhlick told the News Bulletin. “I just love to make and paint and draw ever since I was really little.”

Over the last two weeks Uhlick has been living an artistic dream at the Haven as Gabriola Arts Council’s artist in residence for 2014. The Edmonton native was originally selected for the program last year, but couldn’t attend due to the passing of her mother, who was also an artist.

“It’s [been] an opportunity for me to get out of my normal day to day routine … and have space to work on my own paintings,” she said. “I am a visual artist.”

Uhlick studied fine arts at McEwan University and completed a degree in fine arts at the University of Alberta in 2009. She has had two permanent public art commissions in Alberta.

“I do work with lots of different materials and I have had an opportunity to work with ceramics and mixed media materials,” she said. “Painting has been my predominate body of work. I started doing mostly acrylic and I have experimented mostly with oil and I have kind of fallen in love with it. So I have been using mostly oil paints since then.”

Uhlick wrapped up her residency at the Haven on Monday and said her experience on Gabriola Island has been extremely positive.

“In the last couple weeks I’ve really been able to experiment and come with some new ideas and once you have that body of work as a base you can apply for shows and expand into the public,” she said. “I just having that time to reflect makes a huge difference and also just having a chunk of time where you can just work day after and day.”

Following her return to Edmonton, Uhlick plans to showcase some of her creations from her time at the Haven at an upcoming art show.

“I’ve had an opportunity to work with a youth shelter in Edmonton called the Youth Empowerment and Support Services, known as YES, where I teach art to kids and teenagers,” Uhlick explained. “Some of the stuff that I’ve done at the Haven will probably be going in.”

arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod