Meet Artist Corrinne Wolcoski

The lineup for the spring Earth Songs concert continues to become more unique and engaging. In addition to the stunning garden setting, the two world premieres of musical pieces, an enhanced experience for a few select guests, the concert will also feature a live artist: local painter, Corrinne Wolcoski. Wolcoski’s painting will go home with one incredibly fortunate bidder at the end of the Earth Songs concert on April 22.

Originally from Victoria, B.C., Wolcoski is known for painting inspiring imagery of Canada’s west coast. She has been painting for much of her life, and has been a professional artist since earning a degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2003. Her work has earned her well-deserved attention around BC and Canada, including displays in the Madrona Gallery in Victoria and Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Hotels in Whistler, Banff, Jasper and Stratford.

Wolcoski is an advocate and friend of the planet and the common good, as expressed through her painting. She is active in giving back to charities such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, who will be the beneficiary of the proceeds from Wolcoski’s work during the concert on April 22. Phoenix is excited to share more about this partnership in the coming weeks.

As we love to do with our special guests and featured Phoenix Family members, we wanted to share more of Wolcoski’s story here and recently sat down to ask her some questions.

Tell us a little bit more about the experience of painting while a choir is singing. Is this something you do often? Or will this be a first time thing?

This is my first time painting with a choir; I have done dozens of painting demos and artist in residences and I am looking forward to this event! I painted in Whistler for an International Fairmont VIP evening with performers and music at the Olympic Park on a summer day. The guests were free to wander up and chat while I was there and it was a great experience. Most public events I have done allow the public to come chat, this will be new as the audience watches and listens to music during the evening.  Music is an integral part of my studio work, I always have it playing while I work!

What are you most looking forward to about the Earth Songs concert?

The VanDusen Gardens are beautiful and the Phoenix Chamber Choir produces incredible music, it will be a special evening.  I am looking forward to seeing friends and meeting new people while a create a painting for the audience.  It is meaningful to me as it is on Earth Day, something I have always been a participant in since its invention many years ago.

What do you hope audience members takeaway from the experience of watching you paint? 

The landscapes I paint focus a great deal on the atmospheric quality and not so much on detail. The work is about the feeling of beauty, of nature and how incredible the West Coast is.  I hope by watching the process the audience will share my love and appreciation for this part of the world.  Living here, we all have a responsibility to learn, love and help preserve this pristine natural environment. If I can make small changes or give back, it gives my work and process so much more meaningful.

Pictured above: Wolcoski’s piece, “Chasing the Light”

How did you become an artist and painter? What led or inspired you? 

My mom painted, I grew up painting from as far back in my childhood as I remember. I had always been recognized as a ‘great painter’ by my teachers and peers and it seemed natural to pursue this in my adult years. I graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2003 and have been a professional artist since then.  My passion for art and drive to progress has come from a deep seated desire to become what I have always wanted to be. I realized that without art, my life would be filled with a huge void as it defines my entire personality.

Which artists or styles inspire you today? 

Artists I admire are Claude Monet, J.W.Turner, Emily Carr, Group of Seven, Courbet, Hudson River School of Painters and many other traditional landscape painters.  I appreciate and love their work and how they created it, but I choose to not be influenced by their work.  Instead, my artistic challenge is to visualize in paint the beauty I see in the landscape.  I have no mentor and prefer to carve out my own sense of meaning in the art world by interpreting what I see in the landscape with paint.  The process involves extensive travel along the West Coast, painting plain air, sketching and creating large format canvas back in my studio. I paint from experience and from the beauty I see as my source of inspiration.
Landscape painters today are sometimes trivialized and are not considered to have a strong voice in the contemporary art community, but as the world changes and nature becomes more important, I believe my message and how I paint will become much more significant.  I am honored to be a part of this Earth Day Event.

You may follow Wolcoski and her work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.