“Expressionism catches the attention at once; each painting is more of an emotional work than a photographic representation.”
I get asked a lot about how I got my start as an artist. They say truth is stranger than fiction . . . here is my truth.
Mud at first sight . . .
I never went to art school. I loved to paint when I was a kid, but when I decided to go to university I thought I’d become a psychologist. My parents considered that a real job, but that thought lasted for a very short period of time. You see, I never made it to university I went to Africa.
I was 19 and applied for a summer job as a temp worker. My resume included that I did photography as a hobby and I was interviewed on that basis, because the job had already been filled. Imagine that. He filled me in on the position and I admitted I had no idea what he was talking about but then and there he decided to train me. That summer I traveled throughout Alberta learning the craft of Aerial Surveying and Photomapping. I flew about in a Cessna 172 and even learned to fly it. I was hooked. That fall the company was awarded a contract in Cameroon, I never started classes.
Over the years and many countries, I was privileged to be part of peoples’ lives that I never would have met otherwise. They taught me a great deal about their cultures and countries. I absorbed everything I could see and touch. It all fascinated me. I would learn their languages, arts, foods, viewpoints. It was a magical time for me and I consider myself truly blessed to have been given those insights. I learned to play drums, to cook snake, to experience wonder all over again when I tried to teach someone how to use a washing machine and laid on the floor with them to watch where the water was going (to an awe struck crowd). “It disappeared” they said “like magic”. I had forgotten that feeling til then. We made mud paintings and sculptures and watched them melt in the rain, only to make something new with it all over again. I learned to live a very simple life with people who smiled and lit up rooms.
I returned to Canada when my child was around 10 so that she could be educated in a school that our universities would recognize and my husband elected not to. My life changed completely. I became reacquainted with my homeland and bringing all that I’d learned with me. I never wanted to forget how to see the wonder in everything around me and ever so slowly through different approaches I transformed my life into that of an artist. I began with clothing where I burned images on leather then I created drawings that I sold and finally went to my first love, painting in 2005.
I started selling my paintings to friends, and word began to spread. Within 5 years of first picking up a palette knife and brush I officially became Glenda Savard, Full-time Artist.
I think life puts things into your path: like mud, an airplane and a fork in the road. It’s up to us to heed the signs.
I believe that by also showcasing other forms of art, I am doing my small bit to enrich the lives of a world starving for beauty.
I believe in paying it forward by giving back.
I believe I will always push the boundaries and challenge myself to learn, take risks, and grow as an artist.
But mostly, I’m very thankful that I have the talent to paint.
Evanescence Gallery , High River, AB (present)
Glenda Savard Gallery, Calgary, AB (present)
Galleria D’Arte Mentana – Florence, Italy 2016
Ward Nasse – New York, NY 2015-2016
Jadite Gallery – New York, NY 2016
SNBA – Carrousel du Louvre (Paris, France) 2014, 2015, 2016
Spring Is In The Air (Cochrane, AB) 2013
Ali Cat Gallery (Bragg Creek, AB) 2012, 2013
Arts On Atlantic Gallery (Calgary, AB) 2012, 2013
Willow Studios (Calgary, AB) 2009, 2010, 2011
Willow Studios (Saskatoon, SK) 2009, 2010, 2011
Calyx (Calgary, AB) 2009 – 2016
Willow Studios (Saskatoon, SK) 2009
Stonewaters (Canmore, AB) 2009
Rocky View Hospital/Calgary Health Trust (Calgary, AB)
CQ Winter LLP (Calgary, AB)
EnCana (Houston, TX)
Banco Atlantida (Tegucigalpa, Honduras, CA)