By All Means Create

18 visual artists and one of the most inspiring creative quotes in art history.

Paint, pastel, paper. Screen print and block print. Digital art and photography. Pen and pencil. Collage and clay. All were employed to help us illustrate the words of Vincent van Gogh. We invite you to ignore that inner critic who says, “you cannot” because it is through any medium and by all means that art is created.

Share this inspiring video with your creative community on Facebook or Twitter!

If you hear a voice/silenced: Erika Lax –

Erika employs her artistry both in her personal projects and for Opus through her work in our Marketing department. Her true love is portraiture and she enjoys working in a multitude of mediums, her choice depending on her mood and the piece in mind.

As the narrator of Vincent’s quote (that’s her lovely voice quoting Mr. van Gogh), she has created the illustration of “silenced” on the gorgeous Opus Finest Watercolour Pad using a Toison d’Or Graphic Pencil.

within you: Trevor Code

Trevor, a Store Manager at Opus Granville Island, represents “within you” with help from Brianne Tweedle, who wrote the words using Golden Artist Fluid Acrylics on top of our Opus Essential Gesso.

The paints added a tint to the gesso and he sat down for an impromptu painting session, adding Opus Essential Acrylics to the mix. He had such a great time, he even left the supplies out for other artists to play with as they shopped around our Downtown Vancouver store, where this part of the video was filmed.

say: Andrea Walker Collins –

With a passion for photography, Andrea, the former Manager of Opus Downtown Vancouver (and mom to a beautiful little girl!), has her own business taking photos of artwork for digital fine art reproductions.

Not only were we a fan the photo of “say” she made with wood washed up on a Vancouver beach, so were two dogs out for a walk. It was so nice of Andrea to gather sticks just for them.

you cannot: Colette Lisoway –

Colette is a printmaker and a visual art instructor with ArtStarts and Continuing Education at Capilano University in North Vancouver. Though she primarily works with silkscreen, she experiments with block printing, creating her own blocks using unconventional materials.

Using Easy Cut Blocks and Speedball products, Colette carved and printed the words “you cannot”, incorporating them into her base of silk screened imagery. This was filmed in her studio space that was donated to her from her friends at Brushworks in Burnaby, BC and we would like to give a special thanks to them for being so hospitable while we filmed her section there!

Join Colette at Opus North Vancouver on August 16, 2014 and learn how to Produce Photo Emulsion Results, Without Emulsion!

paint: Skai Fowler –

Skai is involved in multiple facets of the BC art community. To name just a few, she is a visual artist, a scenic painting teacher at the University of British Columbia, and a familiar face at Opus Granville Island, where you may recognize her from one of her demonstrations from our Visiting Artist Series.

Join Skai at Opus Granville Island on September 21, 2014 for her demonstration on Abstract Painting!

Initially, her piece for this video began as an acrylic painting on unprimed canvas with the the word “paint” as a hand-cut stencil made from cardboard. As Skai painted around the letters to form the word, the cardboard cutouts benefited from her brushwork and she was able to incorporate them into the painting, giving the piece two distinct looks.

draw: Sigrid Albert –

Sigrid documents the beauty of Vancouver’s urban environment (and beyond) and posts the resulting sketches onto her blog. She helps facilitate urban sketching groups in the Vancouver area, sharing her love of sketching and encouraging artists to work outdoors. Her weapon of choice is her Pitt Artist Brush Pens and it is simply amazing what she can do with them.

Come rain or shine, you can expect Sigrid to be outside capturing the world around her. She filmed her section of the video along the Vancouver Sea Wall before heading off to Northern England and Scotland. Sigrid plans to do lots of visiting and lots of sketching!

print: Russell Alton –

Russell is a Vancouver printmaker who proves that conventional methods are not the only ones that can get the job done. Instead of using a silk screen frame, Russell free hands his stencils to print his creative cards, tote bags, and cotton rag prints.

He uses the Liquitex Freestyle Paddle Brush to push the paint through the screen and onto whatever surface he has laid out on his kitchen studio table. He uses the processes and tools that work well for him in this limited space and they lend themselves beautifully to his inventive characters and designs.

create: Dave Denson –

As a working artist and an Opus North Vancouver staff member, we were really happy to have Dave involved with this project. If you couldn’t tell by looking at his hands, he works primarily in chalk pastel. He drew a graffiti inspired piece for his word “create”, which was a step outside of his normal aesthetic. We think he married the two quite well in this colourful look into our rainy, urban city.

We were impressed at the amount of different chalk pastels that Dave had in his Vancouver shared studio space. He used a vast array of pastels and Bee Super Deluxe Paper to create this work of art.

create: Alison Woodward –
Brianne Tweddle –

Alison and Brianne have been painting together since junior high school. We met with them at Brianne’s home studio, a decked out double-sided attic, to see what they had created. They used Golden Heavy Body Acrylics and Golden Artist Fluid Acrylics to collaborate on their “create” painting, and it was obvious that this wasn’t there first time working together.

These best friends will be familiar to those of you who frequent Opus Downtown Vancouver. Although Alison has recently left Opus to pursue a full-time career as a tattoo artist, you’ll be happy to know that we are still lucky enough to have Brianne with us. We are sure you will be seeing much more of both these talented artists at Opus and beyond!

create: Rachael Ashe –</p

This was our second time filming with the wonderful Rachael Ashe. She primarily uses found objects and cut paper design techniques to form stunning visual art. We asked her to use her unique point of view to illustrate “create” and it just so happens that had already illustrated the word using cut paper on a previous project.

Rachael creates all of her cut paper designs using an X-ACTO Precision Knife, frequently changing her blades to get these crisp results, and an Alvin Cutting Mat to save her work surface and to keep her blades sharp. She created a new “create” piece on camera in the short time we were there to film. It is always entrancing to watch her work. She even saves the cut out bits of her designs for use in future projects.

We asked four Opus staff from Granville Island, Victoria, and Kelowna to represent one word each in the phrase “then by all means”. Each created their piece using a different medium, surface and, of course, their own artistic view. We lined them up in front of the gallery wall in the newly renovated framing and printing department at Opus Granville Island, a refreshing change to the first Opus location.

then: Tristan Noone

Tristan is a familiar face to Granville Island regulars, known for his friendly service and his wicked moustache. His artwork is created completely in the digital realm, his graphic designs then printed using archival based inks on fine art digital paper, and we welcomed his representation of “then”. The Opus Fine Art Digital Printing Service was employed to take his artwork from the screen to Moab Digital Paper, and the print was displayed in a sleek Pina Zangaro Presentation Book.

by: Eri Irimagawa

<p”>As a Coordinator at Opus Granville Island, Eri helps both staff and customers do their best work. When she’s not at Opus, she herself is creating and cut paper collage is her favourite medium to work in. Hundreds of tiny fragments were pieced together to create the word “by”. The result is colourful, hopeful and beautiful too.

all: J. McLaughlin

Meet J.McLaughlin, visual artist, photographer, performance artist, musician, and Coordinator at Opus Victoria! Truly, she was the perfect artist to represent the word “all”. An Opus Essential Sketchbook provided the base for this fun piece.

means: Trina Ganson –

Okanagan artists will recognize Trina from our Opus Kelowna store where she is a Coordinator. She is also a printmaker and an acrylic painter, whose use of visual texture is predominate in her work. Entwined on an Opus Exhibition Canvas the word “means” has been rendered by Trina in acrylics.

and that voice: Brian G. White –

Brian, the Regional Sales Manager for all 7 Opus stores, is an amazing visual artist who is proficient in a multitude of fine art mediums. Repetitive mark making techniques are a heavily explored in his work, combined with elements such as unconventional canvas shapes and audio/visual work.

In his Port Coquitlam studio, he created 3 separate pieces using his Iwata Airbrush, equipment and accessories to represent “and that voice”. Using clear vinyl stencils of the letters, he was able to mask out the words, spray over top of them, and then peel them away to reveal the words rendered with the white of the page.

will: Ameline Roberts-Krebs

For Ameline, the medium does not matter – she just wants to create! She makes jewellery and greeting cards with her friends (often setting up shop outside her home and selling them to passersby!), creates paintings as gifts, is a master at nail art, and designs complete interiors for dollhouses. Opus gifted her Van Aken Plastalina Clay in a variety of colours so she could sculpt the work “will” however she wanted. We sure were surprised when was saw that she made not only one sculpture, but countless others to accompany her featured piece. Ameline was still happily sculpting even after the filming was done.

be: Ayesha Butt

Ayesha is a staff member at Opus Langley and is a classic watercolour artist who enjoys using Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolours to create her detailed artwork. We asked her to not only do a painting for the video, but to also try something new, etching the word “be” with Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream onto the jar she would clean her watercolour brushes in. We love the result for the video but her painting of the annual Basant Kite Flying Festival in Pakistan is the true star of this segment.

The music for By All Means Create is an original piece composed for the video by Victor Hugo Cobian. We were thrilled when we heard it along with the visuals and we cannot thank him enough for his contribution. For more of his music with his band, The 100th Monkey Collective (which includes visual artist Lucie Bardos), visit

Thank you to each and every one of these artists for silencing the voice within that says, “you cannot” and for sharing their work with all of us.

No matter what barriers you find blocking your own creative path, we hope the inspiring words of Vincent van Gogh will resonate, invigorating your desire to break through. Whatever your medium, no matter your idea, by all means create!

By All Means Create with…

We decided to delve deeper to find how artists silence their “inner critics,” and push past their creative blocks. Watch the series By All Means Create with… for a glimpse into the practices of 11 creative individuals and come away with inspiration and ideas to create, create, create!