Candace Propp may be best known to many members of the Shaarey Zedek community as a yogi and yoga teacher. You might even recognize her from the Winnipeg Free Press weekend section where she co-writes a bi-monthly yoga article. But you may not know that she is also an amazing artist whose role in the community is becoming more visible.
Candace considers herself a mixed-media artist. Deeply engaged in the world of nature and the study of yoga, her work reflects the human relationship with our natural surroundings. It is not hard to see the connections between her yogic knowledge of anatomy and deep structures of the body, with her artistic understanding of organic form. Precision, alignment and awareness characterize her yoga teachings, and are reflected artisitcally in her compositional arrangement, media manipulation, and consideration of theme.
I have always been fascinated with the creative force of nature.
I love the way the wind sculpts the snow, the sun paints the earth,
and water carves the land. Nature, with her infinite display of texture,
shape and colour has always filled me with a sense of the divine and
been the main inspiration for my art.
Candace’s early works of oil paintings and drawings soon evolved to included over-lays and bas-reliefs of hand-made paper. Inspired by the rich textures of professionally made papers, Candace spent a few years exploring the art of paper-making. Willow bark, marigold flowers, peat moss, and anything else that had a fibre became boiled and pressed into sheets she would then incorporate into her work. Eventually she began to mould rag paper into three-dimensional forms often including drawing, found objects and even sewing to enhance their meaning and aesthetic appeal. Presently, she has returned to painting and drawing as well as encaustic (a beeswax and oil pigment process), while still enhancing her pieces with image transfers and mixed media to provide a richer experience. Whether interpreting the patterns within sand or snow, the rhythm of roots, the cravings of the soul, the energetic systems of the body, Candace’s work displays an understanding of movement, surface, depth, and the visual equivalents of things that are more felt than seen.
Art is a means of exploring both the seen and the unseen; it’s the felt experience, the critical engagement with both matter and soul. Creation, death and regeneration surface in Candace’s works. Things are always changing. Light is separated from dark, skies motion and drift, borders attempt to hold their essence within. What might appear at a distance as a simple landscape painting on a closer look can reveal social, spiritual and even humorous messages within. Candace is aware of the unbounded nature of the human spirit where joy is expressed. She is an environmentalist and steward of the earth - a spiritual person living out her beliefs through her art and yoga.
As she notes on her website,
“Art’s images can come from nature, people, dreams, ideas - but art’s
soul takes shape throught the artist’s personal journey and experiences.
If we stay awake and aware, our art grows along with us. It can be the
strongest force shaping our lives and personalities.”
Candace studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba, graduating with an Honours Degree. She then went on to complete a Degree and Post Baccalaureate in Education, and taught art in the public school system for more than two decades while furthering her own career as an artist. Once retired from the school system, Candace picked up the pace of her art making through a year-long mentorship program with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA). During the last 6 years, Candace has had private and group shows at Gallery Lacosse, Wpg., Cre8ery Gallery, Wpg. and Warehouse Artworks, Wpg. You can view more of her work at these galleries or with a visit to her studio during First Fridays or by appointment.