Lloydminster, AB, Canada
Brandi Hofer is a well collected Canadian Artist, exhibiting internationally and across Canada. She has been ambitiously perusing her career upon attaining her BFA degree in 2008.
Hofer's main focus is figurative and portraiture painting, she explores themes of empowerment, the female psyche, and emotional self. Her work has been featured on national television and found in international publications. She has experience in creating custom artworks for designers and has recently translated her artwork into large-scale murals.
Since becoming a mother in 2014, Hofer has been involving her children in her painting process, creating a 44-piece series with her then 2-year-old son. Brandi continues to be extremely prolific at her in-home studio in Lloydminster Alberta, creating custom commissioned pieces as well as several bodies of self-motivated artworks.
Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Being a parent is one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors in one's life; however, I have no doubt it is the most meaningful. As an artist, I am influenced and inspired by my everyday environment. In this new series of artworks, I aim to highlight and capture the beauty of being a parent (from what I've experienced) as the richest time in my life. This series aims to speak about my triumphs and struggles as a mother. It deals with the ideals of motherhood, its morals, and its priorities. It is an exciting series that revels in a mother’s time with her child.
I would like to begin by establishing that I rarely like to bring up or to discuss the subject matter of losing my mother in 2014, being that it is emotionally painful. I lost my mother, my beacon of wisdom and love, my sense of home. After a brief fight with lung cancer, my mom passed, I was six months pregnant at the time with my first child. I found her death to be beyond life-shattering. Devastatingly I lost my “home”, the constant in my life. Though her values and way of life are entrenched in our every day, I still long for the sound of her voice and cling to the dream of her meeting her grandchildren. Her meeting them for even a minute, to see how amazing, beautiful, and smart they are, those thoughts are the most heart wrenching for me. There is no doubt in my mind that my son Gus and my husband Carly saved my sanity in those trying months following her death. Gus was my focus, and Carly was my strength. I learned in that trying time that a mother’s love for a child is insurmountable, and I now know how much my mother loved me.
That experience and shock of death awoke something in me. I had a new thirst for life. Nothing scared me anymore. Nothing could be more painful than losing my mother. You will not get the things you want in this life by not taking a chance in the first place.
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Since the passing of my mother, my life has kicked into high gear. Time is our most precious commodity and should be spent on the things that matter most: Family, love and one’s passions. Moments are fickle and fleeting; I have endeavored to make the most of mine. I refuse to lock myself away in my studio alone and not include my children in my passion for the arts. I want to show them the beauty of mark-making, dancing, and expressing yourself with a brushstroke or a splash of paint. I want to teach them that it’s ok to make a mess, “YES Gus you can step in the paint, squish it between your hands, and no Finn, you can’t eat it”! My 2-year-old son Gus and I had the most amazing time together painting this body of work; I hope the unique artwork can even scratch the surface of the significance of our time together.
The intention of artwork is to project strength, integrity, love and the struggle of what it takes to be a parent. Our paintings are a celebration of motherhood, parenthood and the sheer innocence of being playful. The mindset and mood of the artwork are to project the incorruptible freedom of a child’s open cognizance, and zest for living life at the moment.
"How can I say this without writing an essay ... words just cannot fully describe how my life has changed after children. I feel like it was all that I was ever meant to be, all of my favorite things about life rolled into one! My work ethic and time management skills are like a well-oiled machine. There is no time wasted, I am a micromanaging, fly by the seat of your pants, multitasking, juggling machine, some of the balls drop from time to time! However, I would not change a thing, and it is super-fun most of the time!
AND AND when I started involving my children in my process (Gus my first son when he was 2-3) it blossomed into this amazing life-altering change in my work, it was freeing and vibrant, and brilliant. There is just no other way to describe it, it was magical, Gus and I created a 44-piece portrait series and installation that travelled across Canada to 3 venues, he had a hand in the creation of every piece (the GUS - an art series created by Mother & Son)!! The openings had over a hundred people and families including children attending, we tied sucker to balloons and had ridden along with toys, coloring, puzzles and trucks, it was complete mayhem, not your typical art opening!
Being a mother is a really a freeing experience in life and as for me as an artist, I love the uninhibited mark-making and integrating it into the work. It has offered me the luxury of learning to let things go. For example, during the creation of the GUS series I was working on large-scale oil and Gus came into the studio one evening and just coloured over the mouth, nose and one of the eyes, as you know oils take a while to paint ... anyway I was just like okay ... well we will make this work! It turned out it just did, all of it, my paintings had more depth, life, and this beautiful evidence of process. I can’t wait for the journey ahead with my 3 children!