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Angela Bandurka's Incredible Journey as an Acrylic Artist!

Jun 17, 2021

By Jed Dorsey

For this interview, I interviewed Acrylic Artist Angela Bandurka! Angela was born in British Columbia, Canada and comes from a multi-generational family of artists. She's married to another incredible artist, Ron Stocke. Today, she joined us from Sedona, Arizona! 

Angela is so vibrant and full of life, it was wonderful to get to talk with her. Here are some key takeaways from Angela's interview:

  • Creativity is good for ALL of us. In her words "Creating something from nothing gives us a sense of satisfaction that I think nothing else can." Couldn't agree more! Her husband Ron Stocke went through a trauma years ago - losing his first wife. She says his art improved exponentially during that time because it served as an outlet for his grief. Art is fundamentally important to the human experience. "Art can be a way out of the darkness." (29:55)
  • Fundamentals matter! Angela had been drawing for years before she started to take painting seriously. When her focus shifted to painting, she started taking workshops from some of the best painters in Canada. 
  • Workshops have their advantages over art school. Workshops allow you to choose specific artists that you admire to learn from. In art school, you might get stuck learning things you're not interested in. On the flipside Angela says:
  • "I always say to people, if you're struggling in something, or you feel hesitant to do it - that's actually when you should be trying that thing. If you feel anxious about drawing then take drawing classes!"
  • Angela has an autoimmune disease that requires her to take an immunosuppressant so she's had to be extra careful with the COVID situation over the last year and a half! 
  • In the 1990s, Angela was using oil paints, but she decided to switch to Acrylic paints for two reasons. 1) She started reacting to the toxins in oil paints and 2) She became pregnant with her son and was concerned about the effects the toxins could have on him.
  • Angela loves the quick drying properties of Acrylics! It allows her to add multiple layers to her painting very quickly. She firmly believes in the power of Acrylics paints. "I like to work with the paint on it's own and work through its kinks for its own sake instead of treating it like oil or watercolors."
  • I added to this: ". . . If you're trying to transfer everything you know from another medium over to Acrylics and find it's not working the same - well, yeah, it's not! If you think of it as a weakness, it's a weakness. If you think of it as a strength, it's a strength. I can paint 10 layers in the same time you can paint 2." It's been a joy to find someone who's similarly passionate about Acrylics.
  • Angela loves being her own boss. She used to work in corporate America and hated the long hours and tight schedule. "Being your own boss has its benefits but I don't want to just say it's all gravy and there's nothing terrible about it. It takes a lot of discipline to make your living as an artist." 
  • Angela's mother was concerned that she'd stop finding joy in art if she became a professional artist. To put it in her own words "But I haven't had that (happen to me) yet and it's been 13 years."
  • FAILURE IS IMPORTANT. EMBRACE FAILURE! Angela says: "My personal philosophy has always been - the only way to succeed as an artist is to fail. To succeed brilliantly you have to fail masterfully." The process is scary. Creativity takes courage!
  • Angela paints a self portrait every five years! You can watch the time-lapse of her self portrait at 44 minutes into the interview. 
  • Angela's standard color palette is Titanium white, cadmium yellow light, quinacridone rose (similar to quin red, but quin rose is brighter and amazing for portraits), ultramarine blue, and burnt umber (this gives her lots of control over the temperature of her blacks and greys). She also uses viridian green, yellow ochre, cad red light, hooker's green, and sap green, depending on the scene. 
  • Angela spends as much time setting up her still lifes as she does drawing them. Drawing it takes half the time it takes her to paint it. She'll often take a picture of her still life scene on her phone, then look at it from a distance to do her drawing. Then, she'll examine pieces of the composition and adjust as necessary.
  • To get noticed early on, Angela joined a co-op gallery. A co-op gallery is a gallery where you pay a small monthly fee to display your work there. She started getting involved with local artists and galleries and slowly worked her way outwards. Now she's working on going national and international!
  • Angela had just started as a professional artist in September, 2008 when her husband walked out. She had to decide whether or not she should stick with art or move on to something else to support herself and her son. Thankfully, she chose to stick with art!

It was amazing to hear Angela's story. It hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows for her. She's worked incredibly hard and radiates positivity and joy. We can't wait to bring her back again in the future!

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