Red Rock, ON, Canada
Colleen Rose is an artist and educator, living in Red Rock, a small town on the North shore of Lake Superior. She teaches Visual Arts at Nipigon-Red Rock District High School, where she attended high school before earning her degrees in Fine Arts and Education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. She uses her free time to explore several communities along Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline through hiking trails and provincial parks with her children, capturing and collecting images to use in her paintings.
Colleen has collaborated with the district hospital in Thunder Bay on several projects since 2014. She chose to honour family and friends who have been affected by cancer by donating works of art to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and has since helped to raise thousands of dollars for the Northern Cancer Fund. Her commitment to using images from nature to support her community has expanded the reach of her art in private collections throughout Canada.
I enjoy spending time in nature because I grew up in a very rural community and most of my childhood was spent outside. My family spent a lot of time fishing, hunting and gardening which meant we had a strong connection to the land from a very early age. Now that I have a family of my own, I encourage them to spend time outside with me so they can develop a connection with nature in their own way. I want them to know that the land sustains us in ways that are difficult to describe, but I can express through my paintings.
Spending time outside is one of the best ways I can strengthen and support my mental health, and this connection is deepened as I create landscapes on canvases. I feel that I am living my best life while I am hiking in the bush or along the lakeshore, looking for images for my next painting. In each of my paintings, I use strong lines and contrast to capture the movement of waves or the slow churning of stormy clouds. In a way, the art of painting represents the spiritual experience of connecting with something greater than myself.