Rhonda Hewitson’s Intuitive Abstractions
Rhonda Hewitson is a Canadian Artist with a special kind of love for art which she stumbled upon several years ago. Back in 2006, Rhonda had an idea that she could paint, and since it had been something that she had always wanted to do, she bought a bunch of art supplies and tried to paint. But perhaps she was not the right mood, or the stars did not align that day… “it was a mistake”, she says, because the painting did not quite work out, resulting in the whole idea being put aside for a few weeks.
But a few weeks later she tried again; this time it was an attempt to create an abstract artwork. Rhonda had no idea what she was doing, but somehow this time around “it all clicked”, resulting in a painting that Rhonda still has in her art studio to this date as a reminder that she CAN paint if only she can put her mind to it – a forever cherished piece!
“I love to paint. It is a part of me that I was missing for a long time.” she now admits.
Rhonda has it in her family and thinks that the talent may be hereditary as her aunt is an artist and many other family members are also creative by nature. They are “all artists in their own way”, she says. So, as a rightful member of her artistic family Rhonda has a deep appreciation for art: “There is something about feeling the paint move across the canvas that just speaks to me. I feel in tune with my emotions, my inner thoughts and my whole being when I paint.”
Drawing her inspirations from music and her current mood, Rhonda loves creating in her makeshift studio – a room in her house with a small window through which she can look at trees as she creates her artwork.
“Whatever happened throughout the day, or how I feel at the time, that is what inspires my work… If the trees are swaying, or the leaves are pretty colours or there is soft snow falling, that will inspire me.”
Rhonda’s other inspiration comes from other artists whom she follows on social media and beyond. Artists who tend to use bright bold colour choices appeal to her the most as she herself uses bright colours in her works and always looks for fun colour palettes she could try, as well as new textures she could explore and new techniques that might be fun.
“Art is very relaxing for me. It calms my brain down. When I paint, the whole world just goes away. I don’t think about things, I just listen to music or the sound of painting scratching the canvas from my brush. It’s very soothing and puts me at ease.”
Rhonda’s studio is a very special place to her. It occupies an empty room at the back of her house, and with the house backing onto a forest she gets the best view which she can enjoy in all seasons.
“In warmer weather, I open the window and listen to the trees swaying in the breeze, or the birds chirping. All of that adds to the ambiance.”
She finds solace in her studio which is cozy due to its small size. Rhonda calls it “my space” and fills it with tubes of paint, empty canvases and works in progress. To her, it’s all about “that moment”: as soon as she walks into her studio, nothing else exists; it’s just her, her artistic intuition, and the trees outside.
“It’s all about the intuition I have and how it mixes with paint, brushes and palette knives.”
Nonetheless, there are sometimes moments when Rhonda is facing the challenges that are so common for artistic spirits…
“I expect I face a lot of the same challenges other artists face. Creative blocks, lack of space, lack of ideas and lack of desire to create at times are all things that occur from time to time. I can go for weeks painting and have a good flow going, and then all of a sudden the tap turns off and the ideas just stop. Then it becomes panic…”When will I get another idea? When will the creative juices flow again?”. But after a few messy tries, it usually comes back to me.”
Rhonda calls herself an “intuitive painter”, explaining that she paints by how she feels. Her approach is to begin with a colour scheme where she picks some colours that she thinks will work well together. Then she starts with one colour and works through her painting by applying it to canvas, adding other colours as she creates her design.
“Sometimes I want it to be blunt and chunky, so I go with a palette knife, other times I want blended and dreamy looking, so I go with a brush.”
It may sound like an established technique, but in reality “most of the time it is reflex and reaction to the circumstances”, she explains. “If I go into it with a plan, most of the time, those pieces don’t make the cut.”
Rhonda belongs to the Guelph Arts Council. She also accepts commissions.
Rhonda’s Artist Statement
Art for me is a form of catharsis; A way to escape the everyday. Canvas’ are like personal journals. Whatever mood or emotion is in me at the time is poured out on the canvas. Mostly these are abstract, candid glimpses into my thoughts that I use as inspiration. The end result is a vivid projection made with acrylics, oils and textured mediums.
Colour is my comfort. I take joy in bright, vivid and bold pieces that spark conversation in an attempt to release the anxieties of everyday life. I also prefer the use of a pallet knife, as the images are usually rawer and blunter and more accurately depict the vision I am creating.
My work is guided by my emotions and feelings. I start with a concept, crank up some music and let my mood, surroundings and the initial concept inspire my decisions. Sometimes the concept is solidified, sometimes the direction of the piece changes completely once, twice or many more times before I am finished. In the end, all I am looking for is something that tells a story and moves the viewer in some way.
Follow Rhonda on her social media accounts to support her in her art practice.