Corla classifies herself as a “serial entrepreneur”. Over her career she has owned several businesses all of which encompassed her creative spirit and approach to life. Her art took a back seat to family life as she raised 4 sons and a daughter who have grown up and rewarded her with 12 grandchildren. Life has so many blessings and things to be thankful for.
Art came back into Corla’s life in the late 1990’s when she finally had time to pursue her own interests again and it was fundamental in lifting her up and carrying her through a grief period when she lost her son in a car accident. The techniques that she has used are tried and true and have taught her to be mindful of the present moment and to focus on the things that really matter in life.
For me, art is about practise and self-reflection, growth and healing. As we come through life there are scars and marks on our psyche that others cannot see but they impact our ability to function day to day. For me, art releases that need to be structured and perfect in this world, to allow my sub-conscious to communicate and to accept what is.
I started out with art from a need to find a way through deep despair and grief after a loss of a son in 1998. It was transformative in taking me out of that dark space for a few moments while doing that art practise and I learned much about what I did and did not like about my way of expressing in the world. 6 years later I up rooted, changed everything about my life and moved away from an isolated rural community that held 45 years of memories and pressure to stay as I was and moved to Saskatoon. With that, my art broke free and expressed that freedom in an abstract way and colour filled my art. I now love what it says about me, there is freedom and excitement in my artistic voice and peace in my soul. I trust my inner knowing and have developed an intuitive approach to my art.
My recent voice has been about service and sharing. At the start of 2021 I made the conscious decision to reach outward with my art and give small pieces of me into the world. Some of the ways I did this were:
- I did an online art auction to raise funds for Prairie Hospice Society
- I trimmed down the practise sheets of art that I was making in the art courses online and to put them into art frame cards to send to everyone in my life for their birthdays this year.
- I took one large piece of paper art that I created and cut it into 16 small pieces, one for each of my children and grandchildren, and am mailing them out for their birthdays this year with a message that they are all pieces of me and part of a greater whole in life.
- I used the same process to cut smaller pieces to fit into a letter envelope and added in a letter, I call it a Message in a Bottle, which I then randomly sent to addresses across Canada. My hope with this is that a small gesture, done the way we used to communicate rather than by technology means, would bring a smile and a moment of pause to someone that may need it.
I am a life long genealogy researcher and I am less about names and dates and more about the stories and the impact our ancestors had… I believe this is why I do art, it is my story and visual anchor and I hope that future generations will carry a piece of that forward with them.