September 21, 2016
Wonder Gives Way to Meditative Consciousness in Sheila Neufeld’s Paintings
Sheila Neufeld’s paintings reflect her passion for nature and mysticism and envelop the viewer in a sense of calm wonder.
Story: Sam Wink
Photos: Jennilee Marigomen
Sheila Neufeld completed her art studies at Langara College in 2004 and made a pivotal decision one year later to have her first major show. Her paintings showcase expressive bursts of whimsy and joy. While capturing the imagination of the expanding consciousness, Sheila's paintings reflect her passion for nature and mysticism and envelop the viewer in a sense of calm wonder.
To begin, your house is beautiful and obviously well curated. You mentioned that your husband and yourself often go browsing for pieces together. What type of pieces normally catch your eye? Is there a feeling, sentiment, or look that you gravitate towards; and do you try and incorporate that into your own work?
Thank you! We have many different styles of art in the house and what catches our eye is different every time. We buy what we enjoy as my partner is a spontaneous love at first sight buyer. There is no specific feeling or sentiment that we gravitate towards however in my own art practice I tend to paint more playful, whimsical paintings.
You’re a big fan of floating, or float tank meditation. Does this unplugging from the world help you with your work? Does the quiet kick start your creativity?
Yes I feel that unplugging from the world helps me with my work from the perspective that a quiet mind is for me a better, clearer channel of creativity. Floating is good for this.
In your collection “Metamorphosis” your work is joyful, bright, and full of movement. I have to ask, given the name of the collection, do these butterfly-laden pieces reflect a change in your life and art practice? Was there a moment when things just clicked, and opened up?
I had a lot of change going on at that time and the first painting “Flutterby” was created so effortlessly. When that painting was created my art style did change. These moments have happened with different styles but that one was special. It is wonderful when that happens!
Collaboration is a hot topic in Vancouver, and to Kabuni, is that something as a painter you’ve experienced or are keen to experience? Is there a local artist or designer you’d like to work with?
I have experienced collaboration when a friend and I had a booth at the home show a few years ago. It was a lot of fun! I would collaborate again as I have many talented artist friends!
To date, which pieces are you most proud of, and why?
I would say “Flutterby” the first of the “Metamorphosis” series is one of my most special paintings. It hangs in our bedroom and will never be sold. I keep one or two from each series that has significance to me.
What would be your dream project?
My dream project is really large scale paintings in any space where people can enjoy them.
What are the first things you look to for inspiration when starting a painting?
The first thing I look to for inspiration is nature because of its beauty and the forms in my art have their basis in nature.
What is one thing in the home that makes you the happiest?
The thing inside my home that makes me happiest is my meditation room with all my crystals. It is a peaceful place. Outside we have a hummingbird feeder and I love watching the hummingbirds as they come around.
What is one thing you are excited about in the Kabuni App?
I love how artists, architects, designers and their clients can easily connect and collaborate.