BURGIS BEACH / YORKTON - Among those attending the recent Sunflower Art & Craft Market in Yorkton was Burgis Beach artist Alexandria Blatter.
Blatter has a regular career -- eight plus years as a teacher currently at Canora Junior Elementary School within Good Spirit School Division, but art has always been a passion too.
“Art has always been a part of my life as a passion and as enjoyment,” she told Yorkton This Week. “I struggle thinking about art as work. I feel because work has such negative associations with it I limit viewing my art as something that I need to do to pay bills as it puts pressure on it.”
Blatter, 33, said art has always just been part of how she views the world around her.
“I always maintained an interest for art and viewed the world a little differently,” she said.
“However my perfectionism seemed to limit any growth in the area of art. But life experience has broken that and has improved my ability to create tenfold. My art interest really took off in 2017 and I honestly haven’t looked back since.”
The world view Blatter mentioned might be in-part because she has seen a lot of Canada in her lifetime.
Born in Lethbridge, Alta. Blatter said her family “moved around a lot leading us anywhere from the Rockies to the isolation of Baffin Islands then settling within the flatlands of Saskatchewan.”
But, why art rather than other creative outlets?
“Don’t get me wrong I enjoy all the arts and played a lot of sport growing up but drawing allowed me to tell a visual story without words as a lot of attention isn’t my favourite,” offered Blatter. “I find that drawing allows for an audience without direct contact.
“Also imagery is different for everyone so everyone interprets my work through their own lens and that is beautiful to me.
“Art meets people where they are at just the right time and I find that magical.”
As is often the case Blatter has been largely self-taught as an artist.
“My formal training is limited to a visual arts class I took as an elective at Medicine Hat College, where I was told I should find a different subject to study, so no specific training just a heart for what I do,” she said.
Blatter said she truly looks inside often for inspiration.
“My style and creation is based on the things that set my soul on fire, that being nature, story, connection, culture, creating better tomorrows and good coffee,” she said.
“When I sit down at my drawing table I have one thing set in my mind of what I want to draw and I allow the idea of interconnection to take over.”
In that process Blatter tries to be good to the world too, often seeking to recycle materials, or use natural ones, in her works.
“As I mentioned before nature and better tomorrows are things that fuel my heart,” she reiterated.
“I run a classroom and home that keeps reusing, up-cycling and recycling at its core. Therefore, all items I utilize are natural or are up-cycled. All my prints are framed using frames from a local thrift shop that don’t sell. I will sand and paint them if they are in rough shape but this removes the need to purchase new in return removing waste from our world and hopefully creating a better world for the next generations.”
While Blatter creates in various ways, she does have her favourite.
“My favourite medium has to be stylograph pen and anything natural I can get my hands on,” she said. “I find great joy in giving something old or dead a new life such as cow skulls or old wooden oars.”
As for the future of her art Blatter hopes it becomes a larger element in her life.
“I think that is a question that is on my mind as I embrace the amazing support I have received over the last few years,” she said, when asked about where she sees her art taking her. “My dream is to be able to teach art full time expanding my own understanding of art and my students as well.
“Besides that I hope for more direction from the universe.”
You can find Blatter’s work at local markets, Instagram @foreverawry or at www.Foreverawry.com