Throughout June, we recognize and honour National Indigenous History Month, including National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. It’s a time to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous history, heritage, language and culture – and that includes the incredible creative contributions of Indigenous artists throughout the country.
When it comes to artistic talent and creative output, Newfoundland and Labrador punches above its weight. That’s why this month, we’re shining the spotlight on some of our local Indigenous artists, getting a glimpse into each artist’s inspirations and creative process.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to Tim Pottle, an Inuk artist from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut on the North Coast of Labrador, who lives in St. John’s.
Much of Tim’s creative practice focusses on botanical art, taking every day objects like carrots, mushrooms, flowers and berries and adding a touch of whimsy.
“I mostly paint with watercolours and enjoy painting things from nature and imagination, often combining them,” he says.
Learn more about Tim’s work in our Q&A below.
Business & Arts NL: What inspires you as an artist, and how did you get your start?
Tim Pottle: I started art later in life. At one point I decided I wanted to learn how to draw, took it upon myself to learn how to draw, which eventually led to using paints. I’m inspired by a lot of tattoo artists. The “new school” style which is bold and exaggerated. It takes common objects and stylizes them.
Business & Arts NL: You mentioned previously that you mostly work with watercolours. What is it that attracts you to this specific medium?
Tim Pottle: I like its ease of transport. I used to paint with oils, but they are a lot more hassle to transport and require a long drying time. Watercolours eliminated those hassles. And the look of them reminds me of storybook illustrations.
Business & Arts NL: Your botanical art is lovely and vibrant. How did you become interested in botanical art? What’s your favourite thing to draw/paint in nature?
Tim Pottle: I joined the Tuesday Art Group at the MUN Botanical Gardens a few years ago after seeing some of the work hung there. Through that I was introduced to the Botanical Art Society of NL, which I recently joined. As of recently I’m enjoying painting mushrooms the most.
Business & Arts NL: What’s your process like – do you work from photos, or do you create on-site? What part of your process brings you the most joy?
Tim Pottle: I keep an eye out for things that I think would make for interesting subjects. I’ll usually take a picture for reference, then draw a version of it, sometimes exaggerating perspectives. I enjoy seeing the piece come together from initial idea through the steps along the way.
To see more of Tim’s work, check out his Instagram @scrotlife, or visit his profile at the Botanical Art Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (click here).