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Name: Irene Pau

Occupation: Art Director at Rethink Toronto

Art Style: Chinese brush painting/ink and watercolour

Piece submitted 2010: titled “Anya” $500 - Chinese watercolour with stitching in refurbished vintage frame (found at an antique store at Queen & Roncesvalles)

R5T: How did you hear about the art party?

IP: I heard about it about 5 years ago from a friend who works in the industry. They knew I painted and thought it would be something I’d like to check out.

R5T: How many years have you submitted art in the show?

IP: 4 years - I skipped one.

R5T: What is your favourite thing about participating in this event?

IP: The art party was the first time I had painted in years after finishing school. It reminded me that I really needed to keep painting and do more outside of work. This party is great because it gives you a deadline to finish the work, and let’s face it we all work better under a deadline.

R5T: Tell us a bit about your art.

IP: The style of Chinese brush painting I do is all about using graphic black strokes and the white negative space to create things in it’s simplest form. Traditionally, this style of painting focuses on birds and flowers. I got bored of that, and I was inspired actually, from the fashion in the TV show Mad Men. I decided to combine fashion with art and my paintings.

I can be impatient, so watercolours are the perfect outlet for me. The ink dries really quickly so you can produce a lot (clean up’s a lot easier too). However, you can’t cover up or erase ink, so every stroke counts. The amount of ink and water along with the timing has to all work together because once you make a mistake, you just have to drop it and move on to the next one.

R5T: What do you love most about painting?

IP: The exploration - I love that the results are always unexpected. It’s also calming, and keeps me focused.  I could stay up all night painting and not feel tired… now if it were an ad we were talking about, that’d be a different story.

R5T: Are you in to participate again this year?

IP: Yes, but this time I’ll start earlier.

R5T: Yeah, they all say that.

You can find more about Irene and her artwork at irenepau.com

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