Stacey Walyuchow stumbled upon her signature collage art style while struggling to paint an accurate portrait of a woman.
She tried to put a photo of the woman’s face beside her work but she still couldn’t get it right. Walyuchow ended up colouring the photo with oil pastel and adhering it to the canvas, and felt impressed by the unique result.
“It looked kind of interesting and different and it’s kind of progressed from there.”
Walyuchow, who is based in Calgary, has found success making commissioned pieces that combine painting and collage.
“It’s not a typical collage in the sense of using magazine pieces and creating a story using different sections of publications,” said Walyuchow.
“I like to create a story using acrylic paints to create a background, various photography and stock photography, different elements of those things, and then use oil pastels to change the structure of the paper and then put them together on the surface.”
Walyuchow finds inspiration with her desire to depict the experiences and struggles of women.
“Clearly it is a subject I know well; that is how I identify and life experiences at this stage of my life, there’s a lot of it,” said Walyuchow. “I think that our experiences are incredibly relatable and through art, extremely relatable.”
Her art, which often contains what she calls a “female protagonist,” is open to interpretation.
“I always ask the question, ‘Do you want to know what is happening? Or would you rather leave it to your own imagination?’”
She enjoys the opportunity to see people react to her work, though Walyuchow notes it often takes people a moment to take her art in.
“I think that with art, I just want somebody to feel something, if it’s joy, if it’s sadness, if it’s something uncomfortable, if it’s anger, it’s fine by me. I think that I just want people to actually take the moment to look at it, soak it in and feel something.”