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AS IS | Paige Ring

Abstract artist

Based in Toronto, Canada

So grateful to interview distinctive Paige Ring about her art journey, perspectives on the creative industry, things to change and questions to ask.

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

P: I'm a self-taught abstract expressionist painter living in Toronto, ON. My work is inspired by minimalism, aesthetically and functionally.

I studied historic costume design at Dalhousie University, then went on to study and work in fashion design. The cloth was the first medium I truly learned to appreciate. Using just a roll of all-white canvas, I could layer, pleat, fold, drape, and ultimately turn it into a really complex piece of art. It really developed my appreciation for how complex simple things can be, and this is a perspective I've learned to seek in my fine art practice.

Each time I looked at a piece, I wanted to feel something different, something that I didn't even intend while creating. Slowing down to focus and appreciate how complex simple things can be is really important to me, and my work and I hope those who view my work feel the same.

You'll see in my work there's a lot of bold gestural strokes, poured paint, and layering of organic marks and scrapes weaving through. I often use a limited palette with just a few colors. Color tells a story all on its own, the technique of how the color is applied, smooth and soft vs bold and loose, gives that story life.

A: What inspires you the most?

P: Color and minimalism are probably what inspires my work, but I’m inspired by all types of design and artistry, music, ceramics, industrial design, graphic design. I think we should all take a moment to really see the items that surround us and appreciate how design impacts every moment of our lives.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

P: Music. There’s almost always music playing, it puts me in the right mood to create.

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (whether artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

P: Jump in. Take short classes from artists you really admire, try lots of different types of supplies to see which ones you love working with. If you love working with a certain medium, it will make creating so much more enjoyable so really try and find that thing that sparks for you.

Don’t try to emulate another artist, let the work be your own. And don’t be afraid to make “bad art”, you only get to the good stuff from making lots of work, and it probably won’t all be good. It’s all part of the process.

A: Your top 3 favorite adjectives related to art?

P: Brave, minimal, light.

A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?

P: As long as you’re engaged with the work you can’t really go wrong from any angle.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is:...?

P: What do you see?

A: Must-read books to talk about art (or do we even need them)?

P: We probably don’t need them to talk about art, but we certainly need them to learn about art and the artist. I love books like Ninth Street Women that shine a light on what was going on socially and economically during the time these artists were creating. It builds context and helps tell the rich backstory of the work.

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

P: Just one? Well, that’s just not enough wishes ;)

I’d change the inequality that exists within the industry. I’d ensure the super-wealthy couldn’t use culturally significant works to launder money and hide important works away in storage lockers where the public will never see them. I’d make art programs available for all children to explore. I’d ensure working artists were all paid a living wage and supported properly through community funding. Artists do a lot to bring beauty and awareness to the world and are often not able to do their work full time. See, I need more wishes!

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art):

P: “I always say I'm an escape artist, Style is something I've always tried to avoid. I'm more interested in character. Character comes out of the work. Style is applied or imposed on it.”Elaine de Kooning

Thank you!

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