This week I’m featuring one of my favourite painters, Dijon Curley.
Growing up in the south shore of Nova Scotia in Chester, Dijon has been surrounded by the natural beauty of the region and by art his entire life. His mother Rosalie Bishop and his father Donald Curley, are both established artists in their own right, through their encouragement and influence, he has acquired his own expressive voice in his art.
He draws inspiration from the local landscape. growing up along the ocean coast, he was exposed to rural life, the beauty and simplicity of the area. Trees, sky, open fields punctuated by his use of light, are transformed into dramatic vistas
Executed by his heartfelt response to his environment, his deep appreciation for the landscape is obvious to the viewer, whether it is a field of golden wheat or a coastal scene of deep blue.
Dijon has had successful showings at the Teichert Gallery in Halifax , Nova Scotia. In both solos and group shows for the past 12 years and also Amicus Gallery in Chester, Nova Scotia. he has collections in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
He now resides in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
Bruce: When did you know you were an artist?
Dijon: I was brought up in an exceptionally creative household. Both my parents are successful commercial artists and always encouraged me from a very young age to explore my artistic and creative side. I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps.
Bruce: What’s your favourite medium for creating?
Dijon: I have always loved working with acrylic. With acrylic-based mediums, glazes and finishes, the possibilities are endless. Plus, I love that I can finish a painting and have it varnished and ready for a gallery three days later. Other mediums, like oils, take far longer to dry and cure.
Bruce: What were you like in high school?
Dijon: Like most teenagers, I had a great circle of friends, of which a lot I still keep in touch to this day. I majored in art in high school, so I was surrounded by other creative peers and encourage even in other curriculum to use my art in different ways. I was a popular kid and loved school.
Bruce: Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Dijon: First, I have to say my parents have always been my biggest inspiration, through their teachings and guidance, they allowed me to find my expressive voice in painting. They continue to be my inspiration with every brushstroke and painting I produce.
Other people who have inspired me over the years are artists like Vincent Van Gogh. I love his use of colour and forever movement with his brush strokes.
Alphonse Mucha is another inspiration to me. He lived in Europe during the Art Nouveau movement, at the turn of the last century. He created beautiful paintings, sculptures, furniture, and jewelry. He continues to be an inspiration to this day.
Bruce: How many art exhibits do you do a year?
Dijon: I moved to Peterborough in 2013 from beautiful Nova Scotia, where I grew up. I am quite well known in Nova Scotia and would have at least two solo shows there a year and would always submit to group shows as well.
I moved here and realized nobody is familiar with my work here. So I am currently looking for representation here. I still show in Nova Scotia at the galleries that have carried my work for years.
I also sell directly from my studio here in Peterborough. With social media and the internet, it allows me to show my work all over the world.
Bruce: What time of day are you at your best for creating?
Dijon: That tends to rely on what I’m currently working on entirely. If it’s a painting that flows right from the start, the best creativity is the entire process from start to finish.
My parents always taught me to challenge myself with each painting, and whether it’s colour or values or composition, I like to challenge myself with each work.
There are more times than not that the creative process is not flowing while working on a painting. I always try to find the positive in that situation as I enjoy the challenge and feel I grow as an artist with not only every work, but especially the ones that I struggle with now and then.
Bruce: Where can one go to see your work? On line? In-Person? Studio?
Dijon: All of the above. In Nova Scotia, the main gallery that has carried my work for years and have had a number of solo shows is Teichert Gallery in Halifax, at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. I’ve also shown at many smaller galleries over the years.
Here in Ontario, until I find representation, the best way is to view my work is on my web page, www.dijoncurleyfineart.ca or my Instagram dijoncurleyfineart. I have a Facebook art page under the same name.
I also encourage people interested in my work by inviting them to my studio. People love seeing the process and the place where all the creativity happens. My studio is in East city in Peterborough.
Bruce: What is your ultimate goal as a Canadian Artist?
Dijon: My ultimate goal as a Canadian artist is to always enjoy what I do and make the most of what I’ve been given. It’s hard living off my paintbrush as there are millions of other amazing artists out there, but I’m confident my work will always create a path for me to pursue my art and ideas as a career and living. Being self-employed is harder than being employed by someone else. I find I am constantly working on promotion and exposure all day and every day. It is exceptionally rewarding.
Bruce: If there was one thing you would like to accomplish before you are 80, what would that be?
Dijon: I have always wanted and hopefully will someday open my own gallery and art center and artist retreat. I have taught art to children and adults and love helping others find their creative flow. Plus, I have a huge list of places around the world. I’d love to visit and paint someday. Suffice to say my bucket list is pretty big.
Writer Bruce Christopher
Editor Bruce Law
Publicist Mike Tubbrit
Hair for Bruce by Henry’s Barber Shop Peterborough