Many of my early childhood memories include the pleasure of drawing and painting. I was born in 1971 and raised in Vancouver BC. I was a quiet child, but found a very comfortable way to relate with subjects and adults through art. I was consequently given opportunities to attend workshops and receive private instruction from local teachers and career artists.
My formal training began with Harry Mickelberg, with whom I studied classical still life in oil paint. I later explored materials in a less structured way with Jill Tebbitt, from whom I learned to incorporate anatomical movement and free expression in charcoal and other media. Over time I found my own balance between realism and the abstract.
I was also strongly influenced and encouraged by secondary school art teacher Robert Crumlin, who with formal discipline, helped refine my skills and understanding of materials. He encouraged submissions to exhibitions, resulting in awards that include:
1987 Emily Carr BC Young Artists award, with the piece exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and toured through BC and Seattle. The1988 Art’s Fair first place two dimensional award and exhibition at the Robson Square Media Centre. Also awarded in 1988, an Arts Umbrella Multi-Media Workshop Scholarship. In 1989, a medical illustration award, with work displayed by the Medical Research Council of Canada.
In my early twenties creative projects included commission paintings, sketch design planning, and fashion illustration. Then in 1993 I shifted my focus to physical bodywork, which led to a 22 year career as a Registered Massage Therapist.
For many years since my 20's, I was predominantly focused on work as an RMT. In recent years, the creation of a home art studio has re-ignited and enriched my work in abstract/representational mixed media. I began showing my paintings again from 2017. This was a tremendously important step to not conceal, but rather to develop my creative expressions...and share these experiences with others.
I am continually inspired by my work in massage and teaching yoga; the visual representation of body tissues that underlie what we may take at face value is particularly interesting for me. I am thankful for the earlier formal teachings stressing the critical importance of technique, material & realism for a serious artistic endeavor. However, venturing from literal points of reference has been most important in discovering broader emotional and visceral impacts. As much as I am inspired by intricacies of the body, I am also very much influenced by other natural elements, flora and landscapes I’ve had the pleasure to experience around the world.
In painting I typically sit down to a blank canvas with intentional presence and a clear mind, which allows a spontaneous flow of line and color to lead the way. Other times, curious and intriguing visions emerge which I sketch or explore further through painting. The times I venture into painting with a vision or particular view of realism, the inspirations often metamorphose into images quite different from my initial intention. The process led by prevailing subconscious adaptations, are some of my most meditative, peaceful & content places to be in solitary time…So important in my life, and wonderful to share with others who see into what I do.
Victoria Mitchell’s art directly addresses the human condition with honesty and contemplation. Every work adopts a narrative of justice, love, redemption, or compassion in a world thirsty for significance. Victoria’s own story of resilience has inspired many after her guest appearance at the Artist Next Level podcast. I believe her art and personal story adds positive value to the world today.
Sergio Gomez, MFA, Curator & Director of Exhibitions Zhou B. Art Centre, Director & Founder of 33 Contemporary Gallery, Chicago, USA
Victoria Mitchell's work is imbued with an intimate knowledge of the deeper workings of the human form. Through evocative portrayal of body-like forms and other naturally existing phenomenon, Mitchell's work has captured the attention of her collectors and critics.
Trudy Van Dop, CEO, Curator, Owner of Van Top Gallery, Publisher of BC's Guide to Arts+Culture, BC & New West Cultural Crawl Founder +Producer
Victoria’s work is incredibly detailed & organic, done with a meditative patience that is transporting and without a doubt will hold your attention.
Jeremy Charles Oakes
Art Curator, Red Gate Arts Society
I know Victoria as the consummate yoga instructor, Victoria the caring massage therapist and health advocate, and Victoria, the extremely talented artist. She has a unique style which melds her knowledge of the body, with her love of movement and incredible imagination. The attention to detail, the subtle shading and unique use of line has created a style all her own. I am proud to say I own a couple of her works, and hope to adopt more in the future. As her successes mount up, she remains humble, self-effacing and grounded.
I feel a mix of emotions looking at each piece, with an overwhelming wash of happiness and warmth being surrounded by all of their (and VIctoria's) energy.
Intuitive, imaginative, innovative, and inspiring, Victoria is able to capture and express the deeper nuances of nature, cityscapes, and the human form. I am proud to own several pieces of her artwork.