Interview and photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Erynn Doherty is a secondary visual arts, photography, and English teacher with the UCDSB. Her art is inspired by nature and geek culture and can be found at her studio, Whispering Wood Artistry – a name inspired by bedtime stories she told her children when they were young. She says that art starts as a warm spot in her belly, a spark in her mind that spills onto her canvases. Also, Erynn shares a photography business with her friend Rachel at Beyond Clarity Photography.
Art and geek culture fans can meet Erynn Doherty and check out her work at the 2023 edition of the Cornwall and Area Pop Event (CAPE) that takes place on Saturday, April 22nd (10 am-6 pm) and Sunday, April 23rd (10 am-5 pm) at the Benson Centre in Cornwall.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What is your preferred artistic medium, and what do you like about it?
“I love to sketch and paint, working with bright, high-contrast colours. I love watching a painting come to life and jump off the canvas as I add detail. When I teach new skills and media as a teacher, I also fall in love with art over and over. From watercolour and pencil crayon to woodburning and stained glass; I’ve done tile mosaic work, airbrushing, oil painting, wood carving, printmaking, and lots of photography.”
2 – What is your artistic education and background?
“I have been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember, from drawing alongside Mr. Dress-Up and sketching at the breakfast table to the visual arts program in High School. I then studied Visual Art, English, and Photography at Bishop’s University before completing my education degree at Queen’s University. I teach, but I am also a lifelong learner. I take courses at local galleries and online and learn from my students and teach them.”
3 – Do you prefer realistic or more abstract art styles, and why?
“I appreciate all kinds of art, but I’ve never been good at creating abstract art. I can throw paint at a canvas, spin it around, turn it upside down and I still see ‘a duck’ or a fairy peeking out, and I need to turn art into what I see. Maybe it’s a curse, but I am one of those people who sees faces in marble facing and creatures in the clouds. It’s just how my brain works.”
4 – Do you participate in events or art shows, or exhibits? Tell us about that.
“I absolutely love painting events. I have participated in Art in Motion which was spectacular, two Art Battles, Conquer the Canvas. Live painting and timed painting are such a rush! I have showcased my art and photography at Art Walk, Artfest, the Trunk Show, TAG, Apples and Art, and I have a booth every year at the Cornwall and Area Pop Event (CAPE). Now I help to run our local Art Walk as well.”
5 – Do you collaborate with other artists, or do you generally work alone?
“I think that artists run the risk of being solitary creators because making art is such a personal process. I do often create alone, with music blasting in my studio. But between teaching in a room full of students, taking mini-courses, and becoming involved with local art events and shows, I’ve discovered how inspiring it is to be around others when you create and show art. There is so much talent and so many great personalities to work with. So, when I am offered opportunities to collaborate or work alongside others, I do.”
Learn more about Erynn Doherty at Whispering Wood Artistry on Facebook.