Explore Indigenous Art – Dennis Joseph WeberJune 21, 2021
Dennis Joseph Weber
My mom was born and raised in Batoche and she was Louis Riel’s first cousin, 4 times removed. I grew up mostly in Calgary and I’ve always been an artist. I did my first portrait at six years old, but I didn’t become professional until I was around 48, when the kids got old enough. I do mostly Aboriginal portraits and a lot of commissions.
I’m really more retired right now. I’m going to be 70 this year, so I’ve got no more galleries to do. I still take the odd commission, but I mostly paint whenever I like or am into at that time. I might do a show here and there, but I’m just taking it easy and having fun creating. I don’t need to struggle paying for any galleries or anything, I just paint more or less for myself.
Where I live in Alberta, we have deer, moose and coyotes going by just behind our house, so nature really inspires me. It gives a sense of peace and calmness. For me, painting’s more emotional than anything and nature opens up my creativity.
I did some plein air painting up in Jasper and Whistler. It’s a lot of fun. You paint what you see and it opens you up. You feel more alive and more comfortable in yourself. It calms you down. Everything’s so hectic these days. There’s a big difference between painting plein air and being in the studio. I like studio work because I’m a lot more concentrated but outdoors you’re just painting what you see and feel.
Now that I’m older, I’m more about teaching and giving back to artists. I get a lot of questions and I want to respond to people who are wondering about art and about how to make a living from it. People can find me on Facebook or through my website. Any questions really, I’m glad to help.
I feel I should have been an artist earlier and then I’d be further ahead now, but you know, it’s never too late to start.