Donna Kriekle - On What Got Her Started in Art

What started me in the arts? Actually, I loved to colour colouring books, I hate to admit it, then I just made books. A little girl who liked to make things, simple as that. And then I went to baby-sit for a cousin, and she had a paint by number set, and I just lusted after it. But I couldn’t paint on her paint by number set, so they bought me one for Christmas. I had some leftover paint, and I got a canvas board and some more paint, and away I went. And that was all the way through high school – I was a closet painter. And it came time to graduate, and I was very much into music, but I was too shy to perform, so I just cut it. I just said “ok, music is for fun and painting, I’ll go to art school”. So I got my BA, just a little BA, majoring in Fine Arts, painting and Art History, from the University of Regina. I also went up to Emma Lake, because I got married three days after high-school, to an artist. And he was on the periphery of the Regina Five. So, those were the people that informed my world at that time, although not my practice, because I was not a guy, and I wasn’t a large colourfield abstractionist, and so I became a closet painter again, because everything was passé, or, “leave out the content – we only want the intent”, or whatever. So then I went to Concordia. I left Regina and spent some time in Quebec and studied art history, and decided I didn’t want to work in a museum, in an art gallery. I wanted to paint, I wanted to create, I didn’t know that it was painting, or what it would be. Moved out to the country where I think I found my true soul, or meaning. I loved it. Ah, the country in Quebec is full. I mean, it seemed as though Saskatchewan was empty. There’s the sky, and then what else is there…well, now I know (laughs). I really started to paint things that meant something to me, far away from nosy eyes, the guys, the big “guys”. And have continued to ever since. I got far enough away to find who I was, or who I was at that time.

Duration: 2:35 min
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