Exchanging Kind Words with Andrea Warren, Painter & Arts Educator

Something exciting is coming in January ... new friend, painter and arts educator, Andrea Warren is coming to Ply Studio! Well, actually, she's not physically coming to the Studio but we're going to meet her online, starting January 17th.


What will she be doing with us? She's going to work with us to explore different styles of abstract painting, experiment with a variety of painting techniques, and brush up on our art history - all in one class!

She'll be with us virtually every Tuesday evening for 8 weeks, starting January 17th at 7pmEST and ending March 7th. Each week, Andrea will explore the life and work of one of eight important abstract painters, from history or making history now:

  • Hilma af Klint

  • Sonia Delaunay

  • Agnes Martin

  • Yayoi Kusama

  • Joan Mitchell

  • Helen Frankenthaler

  • Janet Sobel; and,

  • Carmen Herrera

For more details about the class, here is the link to register.
But you might be wondering what else I can tell you about Andrea before you make the decision to register? I sat down with Andrea the other day and asked her a few questions, and she kindly responded, so here goes!

1. What do you tell people you do for a living?

I am a painter and arts educator, and have been a  “Working Artist” for Golden Artist Colors since 2008, which means I get to talk about paint for a living - which I love! 


2. When did you start experimenting with acrylics? (Or whatever medium you want to talk about/focus on)

I began really experimenting with acrylics 20 years ago when I started working in an art supply shop in BC during university. That’s where I first fell in love with paint, and I spent a lot of time playing with and researching the technical aspects and possibilities of acrylics. This only deepened when I started working for Golden, and got to train with the paint makers themselves! My paint nerd heart couldn’t have been happier.

3. What is your favourite thing about making art?

My favourite thing about making art is its ability to capture aspects of life that are beyond words. I love that ultimately it’s an act of play. And I just love the physical qualities of paint - especially playing with colour and texture.

4. Name 2 things people don’t usually know about you.

I am an aspiring writer - I write poetry, and am working on a book of essays about art. I also love plants, and have an ever-expanding indoor jungle - we’re quickly running out of window space 😂. 

5. Pets? 

I have one large kitty named Ziggy, named after my love of David Bowie. He is the sweetest boy and my constant sidekick! 

6. What places in the world have inspired you and your art the most? Why?

I think the three places that have most inspired me are the places that were important to me in my formative years- the forests and fields outside my house where I grew up (south of Ottawa), the beach near my grandparent’s house in Florida, and the town outside Vancouver where I lived in my 20s. None of them show up directly in my work, but they fuelled my imagination and nourished my little artistic spirit. My all-time happiest place is still anywhere by the sea.

7. Why did you design the course “Women of Abstraction”? Who is it intended for?

I designed this course because there is such a rich history of women artists, many who are still little known. I feel like there’s so much we can learn from these incredible painters - not just from their artwork itself but the way they navigated their lives. I wanted to share their work and widsom with others, as these women have so influenced my own practice. 

This course is for anybody and everybody who would like to learn more about making abstract art, and who could use a big dose of inspiration from artists that have come before us! I've intentionally made it accessible to all, regardless of experience or skill level - all my classes are very relaxed, supportive and open-ended, and you can take each week’s projects any way you want to go. (And if you're not sure if this class would be right for you, you're welcome to email me at info@andreawarren.ca and ask any questions you may have!) 

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