Rita Vindedzis creates one of a kind, original acrylic and mixed media paintings. Her art is clean, fresh, modern and is a perfect complement to your living space. We interviewed Rita to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.
1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art?
I’ve been painting and running my art business for over 20 years now, and I enjoy the freedom that being my own boss gives me. Some days I paint in the morning and do business tasks in the afternoon and some days I take care of the business tasks in the morning and paint and do the art things in the afternoon. It all depends on how I feel that day. When I am in painting mode, I like to give myself 4-5 hours uninterrupted. Journaling, meditation, exercising and walking are a daily must for me, so I fit them in throughout. On any day I might feel the need to "get out" so I'll visit the AGO, the ROM, or just walk and explore this beautiful city. As for what inspires me to make art? I make art because I have to. It’s like breathing to me.
2. Tell us more about your art studio.
I have my studio space at home so I’m fortunate to have no commute time. My work hours are usually from 9 to 5 (while my husband is at his office.) Having my studio in our living space can be a challenge at times but I’ve found a system that works for me and I’m quite happy. I hang my finished paintings on the walls and have created a couple of areas for photographing for social media. A few years ago, I was fortunate to have my studio featured on Cityline, hosted by Tracy Moore. Design/colour expert Sharon Grech came to my home/studio to film two segments. Creating an inviting home/studio space to have collectors visit and a how-to-hang art segment.
3. How did you first get interested in your medium?
I grew up living with art as my parents were both artists and ran an art business in the family home. They both painted in oils for many years and although their studios were in the basement, the fumes still permeated upstairs. After many years of being exposed to the toxic vapours and the headaches they created, I knew I wouldn’t be painting in oils. Acrylics were the medium for me. As well as being non-toxic, they are well suited to mixing with other media. I especially enjoy the quick drying time.
4. Describe your style in one sentence.
I paint contemporary abstracts in an expressionistic style, using fresh, uplifting colour and gestural strokes.
5. Has your style changed over time?
Definitely. When I began my art career, I was painting quite realistic still life and landscape. After a few years, I felt the urge to loosen up my painting and the landscapes became more abstract. 2018 was a very hard year for me personally with my mother’s passing, and I stopped painting for about a year. When I returned to the canvas, I craved bright, uplifting colour and freedom of expression with mark-making and bold gestural strokes.
6. What are your main artistic tools?
Acrylic paint, brushes, pencil, China marker, Caran D’ache Neocolor crayons, Faber-Castell crayons, Posca paint markers, cake scraper, squeegee.
7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?
I do, and I used to agonize over it. Now I accept that it’s part of the creative process and that it will pass. I get out of the studio, explore the city, spend time near the water (I’m a 10-minute walk from the lake.) meet a friend for gallery hopping, window shopping, or an espresso in the sunshine. Basically, I chill out about it.
8. What artists - either contemporary or from history - have had an impact on you and your art practice?
Chardin, Monet, Matisse and Turner. Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell have all impacted me and my art practice over the years.
9. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?
I think the biggest change is that people realized just how important art is to well-being and feelings of calm and happiness. Not just looking at art but actually making art for stress relief. It was interesting to see many artists taking to social media and zoom meetings with art tutorials and lessons free for anyone that wanted to participate. With all the galleries and museums shuttered, we were forced to go online to view and purchase art. I think that online art sales flourished and are only going to increase even after the pandemic.
10. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?
I’m working on a website re-fresh, so taking new studio and in-action photos, as well as writing new content. I will be doing a release or two of new work but have not yet decided on dates. I’m also painting to update my galleries with new work. Working more closely with designers and creating commissions for their clients, working with brands, and possibly teaching a workshop are all on my list of what to do next.