T6 Interviews Toronto based artist Rebecca Proppe
Hi Rebecca, thank you for agreeing to join us in discussing your practice!
Thanks for taking the time to look at my work!
Your practice appears to be largely comprised of painting, what do you enjoy most about the painting process?
What I think primarily attracts me to painting is the immediacy of the work. While the same could be said of drawing or sculpture or printmaking, painting is what works best for me right now. Being able to mix pure colour on my palette and apply it with the brush is super satisfying, and at this point the touch and feel of the act of painting is about as important to me as the final product itself.
Are there other creative mediums you have always wanted to try/ are currently starting to explore?
I’ve recently been getting back into printmaking, which I was never great at, but I’ve decided to give it another shot. Lino printing lets you focus in on small detail while you’re working on the block, but printing of course has this great immediacy that’s so satisfying. I’m also always experimenting with my drawings and new mediums on paper, but I always come back to painting.
How would you describe the relationship between your artistic practice and your ongoing art historical research?
I think it’s always changing but it’s always important to me! I started making art way before I had any interest in art history, but my academic interests then seemed like a natural extension of what I was already doing in my art. In terms of the painting process and materiality, I’m really interested in thinking about how painting has evolved historically in terms of mark making and application, and where my work might fall into that mix, but I think most artists think that way about their work. Content wise, I do refer quite frequently to art historical themes and tropes in my work—in large part because I am constantly considering my own potential position in relation to this “canon” of art history, and the relevance of art making in today’s society.
Do you have any creative patterns/ routines?
I wouldn’t say that I have any specific routines, but I think it’s important to create and do your work every day. It’s important to keep ideas flowing by stimulating that part of you consistently. Music is also an increasingly big part of my practice and helps stimulate what I work on and the direction my ideas are going.
Can you describe for us any projects you’re working on at the moment?
At this particular moment in time, I’d say I’m working on a few different projects, mostly paintings and a few prints and my first attempt at a zine. My work is all coming to focus on feelings that I think are affecting a lot of young people now, of disillusionment and awkwardness. More than anything I think my current works are trying to speak to a sense of isolation or alienation many young people feel, that as we grow older we start to realize we actually don’t understand the world around us that we experience every day. This is why, though I’ve been painting portraits almost all my life, I’m starting to lean more towards landscapes and dystopian environments in the paintings and drawings I’m working on right now.