Painter

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With Charlotte Keates


I first saw Charlotte's work on The Jealous Curator last month and then in my most recent Hello Wonderful interview Aimée Brown mentioned her as one of the three people she thought we should know about. Charlotte got in touch with me after that and I thought she'd be a perfect person to write about here and I am excited to share the interview with you! 

Charlotte's solo exhibition at Arusha Gallery has just finished. Boy would I have loved to have seen it! She will be visiting the US and Canada shortly and I look forward to meeting up with her when she visits Vancouver. Can't the Internet be a great place?


Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

My name's Charlotte Keates, I'm a London based artist. I am about to embark on a big inspiration trip across the States and Canada for the next few months...

What do you believe in?

I believe in doing what you love. If you can go through life enjoying what you are doing on a daily basis and then make a living from it, then for me that is the dream - obviously I also believe in a lot of hard work, determination, passion and kindness..all things that help you along the way.

When do you feel your most wonderful?

When I'm by the sea. It has a way of making everything else seem so insignificant and it's that feeling of contentness and happiness when the sun is shining and you are looking out at the water...if I happen to have a sketchbook nearby that is just wonderful!

What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere? 

When I start a painting I initially apply a ground to the panel before painting the subject. This was something I stumbled upon purely by chance, a happy result to a trial actually. I was painting with egg tempura some time ago, and in using what is a hugely frustrating painting medium, you have to initially prepare the surface of the boards; layering and coating it with a traditional gesso; a mix of rabbit skin glue and french chalk. I inadvertently used the wrong measurements, the kind of ridiculous mistake like putting salt in a cake instead of sugar … needless to say the boards were unusable for the egg tempura, so I was left with all these redundant prepared surfaces.

I tried painting on them and just fell in love with the way the paint fed into the ground, and the smooth fragility of the surface. Next I experimented with a more uneven and painterly built-up effect that just really worked.

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder? 

My grandma was an extremely creative woman and she always use to say to me when I was little how she found it interesting that colours never clashes in nature and in what we see around us outside...I was very young but we both shared a love for colour and this always use to make me think... It still does now.

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Only three? Ok...

My favourite painter of all time - Mamma Andersson (a Swedish artist who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at her private view in London) 

David Doran and Jon Doran, one is a wonderful illustrator - http://www.daviddoran.co.uk 
The other a wonderful painter - http://jondoran.co.uk

And Ben Edmunds


Thank you so much Charlotte! You can view Charlotte's website here and follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook

Have a wonderful day!


Hello Wonderful! An Interview With April Lacheur


Hello Wonderful! I love living on the west coast of Canada and today's Hello Wonderful interview is with April Lacheur a painter who captures the beauty of the west coast with acrylic paint and ink. I first met April when she was interviewed as part of Papergirl Vancouver's artist interview series in 2013! One of the things that I most admire about April is that she is an artist and a really savvy business person. Let's get to know this super hardworking and inspiring artist better below!


Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you? 
Hello! I'm April Lacheur, an acrylic painter living in beautiful Maple Ridge BC, Canada. I make my living creating bold and colorful paintings that are my own unique interpretations of west coast nature. I am obsessed with trees and paint them in a self-discovered style with twisting bark and exposed roots. Bright colors and clean lines can be found in my work. I sell my work at art markets and online and also have a line of art cards and prints from my original works that can be found at 70+ retail locations Canada wide. 

What do you believe in?

I believe we are all connected, much like the roots of trees and the elements of earth. I believe it is important to remember we all have individual roots that create us and take us down different paths. By being mindful of other people roots as well as our own we can create more acceptance, empathy and understanding in the world. 

When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel most wonderful when I am painting! That is why I am following my dream of being an artist. Life is too short to not do what you love and do what makes you feel wonderful as much as possible! I am also a Registered Nurse (I do this once a week). Although I feel this is important work my passion for art is much stronger. It is always a fabulous feeling to share my work and hear how other people connect with my paintings. Art is such a personal thing and I always find it so interesting that what I see in my paintings may not be what other people see. Its always so special to hear when someone connects deeply with my work and the personal meaning it has for them. 

April Lacheur Cards.jpg

What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?

I don't know if I would call this a 'wrong turn' per say but more of a detour to my correct path. When I wasa kid I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. After graduating from high school I wanted very badly to go to art school, however my parents felt it would be best to 'get a real job' and go to University to get my Nursing degree. I was ok with this idea since I also had a desire to help people, but art is where my heart was. I went on to work in a hospital in post open heart surgery. I didn't mind the job at first but I quickly lost my passion and could feel myself burning out. I fell into an opportunity to sell my art at a local restaurant and when my painting started selling quite quickly I gained the confidence to purse selling my work further. I was able to build a business and start selling my work at shows and reproducing my work quickly because my Nursing job provided me the funds to get these things going which I think is a struggle for a lot of artists starting out. It costs money to start an art business. I knew I did not want to work full time as a Nurse forever and this fueled my passion and the hard work needed to build my business to a sustainable level. I now look back and realize my 'wrong turn' in not going to art school was actually the right turn after all. I still Nurse one day a week at a community job I quite like. It provides me with the ability to help people as well as balance in my life. 

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

I can recall being very young and going to the Vancouver aquarium for the first time. I was in awe of all the animals and sea life. I have always been an animal lover and still find lots of wonder in observing them. 

April Lacheur- West Coast Sunset.jpg

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Laura Mawhinney- Founder of Project Aftershock Charity for Haiti- White Rock BC. 

I am proud to call Laura a friend, she inspires me every day. When Haiti was hit with massive earth quake in 2010 she jumped on a plane to Haiti to provide nursing care. Shortly after that she opened 'Project Aftershock Thrift Store' in White Rock and uses the proceeds from the shop to go to Haiti twice a year to fun medical clinics, volunteer at orphanages and sponsor families. She is one of the hardest working and most selfless people I have ever met. 

Jamie Smith- Artist and founder of Thrive Studios- Vancouver BC. 

Jamie is a friend and fellow artist that, like me, gave up her safe 'real job' (she is a teacher) to purse her passion for art. Jamie has developed 'Thrive Studios' in Vancouver with vision of helping female artists in Vancouver connect and thrive in the art world. I find her drive, passion, focus and work ethic to be super inspiring and thank her for creating thrive which I feel greatly benefits my professional artist development and helps to feed my artist soul. 

Kelly Strongitharm- Founder of Ruben's Shoes Charity- Port Moody BC

One can not help but be wow'ed by Kelly's story. When visiting Ruben, a boy she had sponsored for many years in the Dominican Republic, Kelly noticed many kids there did not have shoes. She had an idea to collect used shoes from friends and family and donate them to villages in the Dominican Republic. Her idea very quickly exploded in to a full blown charity operation with 12,000 pairs of shoes being donated in 2013. Ruben's Shoes has delivered 2 huge shipping containers of shoes to the Dominican Republic and 1 to Sierra Leone and has also started a sponsorship program to send kids to school in DM. She does all this while running her own insurance business. Her energy and passion is truly amazing. 

Betula Grove by April Lacheur.jpg

Thank you so much April! You can visit April's website here and also find April on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have a wonderful day!

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With The Wonderful Rebecca Chaperon!

LadyofthePinkLake_18x24_Chaperon.jpg

Every time I see a new piece by Rebecca Chaperon I think this. Seriously. I am having a little trouble writing this intro because I started daydreaming about portals and I just want to tell you to skip ahead and read the interview because Rebecca's answers are so interesting and inspiring, just like her and her work! Enjoy. 

(Images credit Byron Dauncey)


Rebecca Chaperon.jpg

Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you? 

Hello, I'm Rebecca Chaperon, I'm an artist who lives and works in Vancouver BC, Canada.  My primary medium is paint and I love it so, so much! I'm addicted to colour exploration and my subject matter ranges from text paintings, to hovering black portals in snowy landscapes and lately crystal formations. I also published a picture book about missing school called Eerie Dearies: 26 Ways to Miss School. It's an ABC book that begins with A is for Astral Projection, perfect for the little truant in each of us. 

What do you believe in?  

Compassion and acceptance for others is important to me and so is getting down to the authentic (sometimes quirky) version of ourselves. I think that, going back to those things helps us create what we value, here we can express ourselves bravely, clearly and with enthusiasm. 


When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel best when I am creating and then when I'm sharing what I have created. I love to put my work out there because it offers a sense of the strange and wonderful. I like to add a little something mysterious and nonsensical to the world. When people look at art they have a chance to transcend their surroundings and really lose themselves in the experience. Brian Eno has this amazing quote that I have been meditating on: “Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.”  

What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?

I started a big painting in 2013 - it had a really pretty colour gradient as the sky - but as I worked I realized that I wasn't really ready to make the painting in the way I wanted. This is because I had a sense, at the edge of my mind, of what I wanted to create but I just couldn't quite put my finger on it. I couldn't visualize it in my mind - like having ingredients but no recipe. I set the piece aside and felt pretty thwarted and dissatisfied. About 4 or 5 months later the visual part or "missing recipe" had naturally evolved out of my iceberg series. It was weird to realize that it all started with that unsolvable riddle of a painting that had been created half a year before.  Understanding  and acknowledging that I really wasn't getting it helped me later to understand clearly and with conviction that I had "hit gold". 


What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

Recently, I feel like I experience wonder through small details of things I see throughout each and every day. When I was a kid my mom would tell me fairy stories, and she liked to back them up with "proof" that fairies were undoubtedly real and up to all kinds of shenanigans.. She did a number of things to back-up her statement that fairies were real... like when I wasn't looking and she switched out my normal sized cookie for a huge one she had secretly baked for this fairy-prooving caper. In the end it wasn't that I believed in fairies exactly but more that I was enjoying "suspending my disbelief" a relief from the imposed logic and order of the world. This is the thread that I carry into my art work. 


Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Brandy Masch a very good friend and great artist. She can create large to miniature pieces and does custom work, her larger works of art are like a hundred of her miniature pieces put together. 

Katy Horan - amazing art work. It's been a pleasure to watch her new work released each year. 

Mira Song whose paintings will make it into my collection one day. I am very picky about paintings I hang in my house but I love her combination of geometry, tight colour schemes and painterly marks.


Thank you so much Rebecca! You can view Rebecca's website here and find her on the social media of your choice Instagram, Twitter,  Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. Shop for her original art, prints and books here

Have a wonderful day!

(Images credit Byron Dauncey)