Born in 1994, Ariel Shea in a self-taught artist living in Montreal, Quebec. Originally from southern Ontario, Ariel moved to Montreal in 2014 to pursue a career in the arts. It is there that Ariel learned how to paint with oil, primarily on canvas, silk, and linen. Ariel also utilizes a variety of other materials such as graphite, charcoal, watercolor and ink in her drawing practice. She paints abstract expressionist landscapes, incorporating figurative undertones. Ariel has shown throughout the city of Montreal in galleries such as Erga, Yellowfish, and Centerfold. She had her first international show in Naples, Italy, in the winter of 2019 and has sold artworks across North America. Ariel participated in a three-month long residency with Art Souterrain in the summer of 2021, and just finished her first year at Concordia University where she is majoring in Studio Arts. She has an upcoming show at Museo Il Torrione, Forio-Ischia, Italy from September 3rd until the 14th, and another at Galleria Magazzini Muse, Ancona Italy from September 17th until the 24th 2022.

Artist Statement

As an intuitive painter, my work is centered around my internal dialogue and is self-referential. I have molded my approach to art-making through years of self-teaching and exploration.  My expressionistic paintings explore the capability of communicating through elements of abstraction, in particular, color.  I saturate my canvases with thick oil paints, exploring verdant color palettes often reminiscent of abstracted landscapes. I utilize brushes and rags to move and blend colors around the canvas leading to abstracted figures and unintended forms. This process involves the movement of the body, expressing physical movement as painterly gestures on the canvas. Through all this, I use color to explore emotion and set the mood of the painting. Perhaps the only aspect of my work which involves premeditation is my color palette, as I am often inspired by palettes seen in everyday life which I then take to the studio with me.  Thoughts, emotions, and nostalgic notions are the basis for my paintings. Transient scenes from travel and fragrances from another time are incorporated into my work, creating a sensorial experience. I convey such things through motifs, such as fruits, flowers and moons. This brings a figurative layer to my otherwise abstracted compositions.    Through the investigation of materials, color and visual language, I engage with my work through curiosity, and the understanding that I am forever learning how to paint.  

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