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Angela Thibodeau

Angela Thibodeau is an eclectic visual artist originally from Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. She has immersed herself in a variety of landscapes from Yokohama’s harbourside and vibrant Taiwanese markets to cozy New Brunswick towns, the brush of eastern Nova Scotia and, from wearing time-travelling glasses, Toronto’s streetscapes. Her love for varied cultural, geographical and natural experiences is evident in her paintings, sketches and videos. Below, Thibodeau shares some thoughts from her sunny studio inside her Sackville, New Brunswick home. 

AE: What is your first art-related memory from childhood?
AT: I remember being in pre-school and asking the teacher to draw the outline of a tent. Then I'd grab some green paint and fill it in. I must have painted dozens of green tents.

AE: You are very eclectic, from both a media and theme perspective. How would you describe your current artistic style?
AT: Like a pendulum. When I swing too far in one direction, I turn around and swing the other way…swinging between painting and video.

AE: You've been a bird watcher and lover of nature for a long time. Has your art always been connected to this?
AT: There has always been a connection. Even when I was a child I had a sense that birds were the most beautiful creatures on the planet. Around the age of seven, I started copying different species and feather patterns from books. In a sense, I was trying to understand how they could be such perfect little beings. 

AE: You’ve said that your daughter has enabled your years of artistic doubts to vanish. How so?
AT: In two ways: Firstly, before pregnancy, I had lots of free time to plan and research artworks. But, all too often, the excessive planning would lead to self doubt and dead ends. After becoming a mother, I realized that planning a painting or video (or my life) is a luxury. Now, with only rare moments for art, it means I only spend that time on making work. No prep, planning or reflections. More often things don't work out. All I can do is keep moving forward and have faith that someday I'll have a bit more time to look back and reflect on what I'm creating. Secondly, when my daughter was just a few months old, I would take her to see the shows at the local art galleries. She could barely hold up her head, but she clearly had preferences when it came to the art we experienced. I'd never spent much time with children, so seeing how they are born with an appreciation for the arts was a huge revelation to me.

AE: What are you working on now?
AT: I'm trying to build up a body of landscape works.

AE: Is there anything you would like to add?
AT: At the end of April I'll be taking part in the East Coast Mama Collective Spring Fair in Halifax. Also, Ian Chew (Ian Chew Photography) is the photographer who took my photo [below]. When you've got a moment, you might want to check out Ian's page on Facebook called "Humans of Sackville". It's quite the sensation. Considering how Sackville is such a small town, this is one of the most popular "Humans of..." pages on the Internet. 


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