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Andrea Warren grew up in a small town just outside of Ottawa. Spending eight years in Langley, British Columbia, she obtained an Art degree with a minor in English Literature and Philosophy before moving back to Ottawa in 2008. She worked in art supply retail for five years, which sparked her passion for researching and trying new materials. She has been a “Working Artist” for Golden Artist Colors, a paint company based out of New Berlin, New York, since 2008, and adores her position. With it she travels and gives lectures on acrylic materials and techniques to art associations, universities, galleries and art supply shops. Since 2008, she has also been giving workshops in the Ottawa community.
Andrea works primarily in acrylics and mixed media, most often in abstract, but she does sometimes incorporate photographs and drawings into her pieces. She likes to work in layers, building the piece up slowly, and is apt to throwing paint and working with her hands, without the use of tools or brushes. She describes her experience of making art as being messy, spontaneous and a very visceral one, satisfying some innate, childlike need to play and get dirty. To her it is cathartic, it brings her to a calming place, away from the busy mind and where colour and line are all there is to think about. The colours and materials are an inspiration to her, and her new work usually arises out of experimentation with different pigments, new materials, and observation of how things react and interact. A long time inspiration for Andrea has been the german poet Rainer Maria Rilke, especially his “Letters to a Young Poet”. The following quote, she says, sums up her reason to paint: “Things aren’t all tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered”. She says because of that, she loves the ambiguity of abstract art.
Since coming back to Ottawa, Andrea has also been involved in healthcare and therapeutic arts, working two years at the Perley Rideau Veterans Centre and five with Artswell, a nonprofit that teams up with organizations like Salus and the Canadian Mental Health Association. She is constantly reading and haunting used book shops, and enjoys dancing, playing guitar and British comedy.