This is my column in our b2zone magazine, where I feature artists which are members of the b2zone artwork collection group. We have so many various artists of great talents and skills, and I introduce them to you via this column. Stay tuned!
Artist featuring Loona Cavalier
Loona Cavalier is a self-taught artisan who has dedicated herself to leatherwork and woodwork. Born and raised in Germany, she and her husband decided to move to Alberta, Canada, in 2008 to enjoy the Canadian way and the beauty of its wonderful countryside. Even though Loona’s creativity was present since childhood, she never thought to make a living from it. After she graduated from school, Loona started an apprenticeship as a nurse and worked as such until she and her husband decided to leave Germany for good. Loona’s artistic journey started several years ago when she needed a purse, nothing ordinary or from a retail store. She decided to make one herself.
During her quest to figure it out, she came across leathercrafting and fell in love with it, deciding to learn the techniques and finesse of this craft on her own. Her love for natural materials, their durability, and the possibilities they offer to create beautiful and useful items, eventually led her to woodturning and resin casting, which is her new passion. When she bought her first lathe, Loona’s hobby turned into an endless pool of ideas. Once more, she was hooked. Learning by doing, she explored woodturning and what could be done with it. Loona likes to mix materials, like different types of wood, seed pots like pine cones, or even pasta or coffee beans. Mixing these materials allows her to create beautiful, unique, and useful items that cannot be found in normal stores. Whether hiking up in the Rocky Mountains with her husband or sitting in her garden, Loona takes her inspiration from nature and the beautiful environment in which she lives. What started as a hobby soon turned into a business. Loona sells her unique and beautiful items online and at local craft markets.
Featured artist Helen Rietz
American Painting artist Helen Rietz, raised in rural Michigan, is well-known for her richly detailed and intricate “old west” watercolor artwork. Although she dabbled in art as a child and enjoyed stage design in college, painting is Helen’s second career. After graduating from school and getting married, she spent years in California working for a global consulting firm. Helen always loved the open land and its wildlife. When she and her husband traveled through Africa, Latin America, India, and Australia, her dream of exploring the world became true.
Traveling brought her life to a turning point and to think over her fast-paced career. She and her husband decided then to uproot their lives and to move to the Intermountain West where the open spaces and natural beauty of the countryside gave her time and freedom to rediscover Art. Inspired by the history of her new home and the rugged independence of its people, she began to capture the images of this disappearing western life. Today, Helen’s home is in Helena, Montana, a former gold mining town.
She and her husband spend long days, even weeks roaming the Western countryside. Old barns, homesteads, grain elevators, abandoned trucks and tractors, ghost towns and more are all inspiration for her work. Her subject matter is unique and unexplored by other artists, which results from her willingness to drive the rutted back roads and to get grimy climbing through crumbling buildings. At first, watercolor sounded like an easy medium to Helen but, when she took her first painting course, she discovered watercolor’s difficulty and its unforgiveness, especially true for realism. However, Helen enjoyed the feel of the paint as well as the vivid colors, so she stuck to it.
Over the years Helen has found two mentors who have been key to her success as an artist. The first one is Ian Roberts, a nationally-known artist and author who has helped her to achieve a strong sense of composition. The second artist is Alan Shuptrine, a realism watercolor painter who lives in Tennessee. Alan Shuptrine has helped Helen to understand where and how to create rich detail that sets her work apart, and they paint together as often as they can. Painting is Helen’s passion. It inspires her to get up every day before dawn to paint in her studio. After that, she loves saddling up and riding her wonderful Quarter Horse mare Daisy.