The Artistic Path | Gloria Ainsworth Mout
The artist’s journey is a long and winding path, a path often plagued with stop signs and caution tape. Canadian artist Gloria Ainsworth Mout has not let that stop her. Since she was a child Gloria has always taken a shine to art. Whether she was decorating the margins of her homework assignments or making clothes out of paper for her dolls, she’s been creating with her hands for as far back as she can remember.
As an adopted child, Gloria was an anomaly to her non-artistic adoptive family. Born in 1940, Gloria was the oldest of five children in remote Northern Saskatchewan. Having little money, she learned at a bright young age how to take inspiration from her surroundings. Gloria proudly remembers, “I got my first camera when I was about 7 years old. I sold garden seeds. If you met the required quota, you received a small Brownie camera, which I did.”
Being adopted did not leave Gloria feeling impacted or set apart in anyway. “I knew from a very young age that I was adopted, but I never felt adopted. My parents were always encouraging me in every way, especially when it came to singing and art.”
Once out of high school, she put her artistic capabilities on the backburner, got married, and began a career as a nurse. As a lover of the arts, animals, and photography, Gloria says the decision to become a nurse was a simple one. “My best friend went into nursing and her father lent me money interest free so that I could do the same. If circumstances had been different, perhaps I would have gone into some art related studies, or attended school to become a veterinarian. However, I did not feel hard done by in taking a different path and becoming a nurse.” Becoming a nurse helped Gloria understand the fluid and delicate nature of being human, and inspired the bright flourish of colors each one of her pieces uniquely mirrors.
The ache to create never left her hands. So intense was the feeling that one day in 1979 Gloria picked up a set of charcoals and did not put them down again. Reunited with her true passion, she joined the local art club, and began to take lessons in oil painting. An artist friend who had been mentoring Gloria finally said to her, “you can only learn beyond the basics through practice. Just start painting.” Suddenly everything she laid her eyes on filled her with inspiration. Gloria fondly recalls, “I enjoyed painting so much that I equated it with falling in love. I started painting anything that stood still.” She established herself locally, and began receiving commission inquiries from friends and neighbors. Ever moving towards creation, she bravely accepted them all.
The commissions helped Gloria broaden her skills as she needed to feel an inspiration towards something she might have never thought to paint in the first place. “I accepted orders for things that I wouldn’t have attempted to paint otherwise, and so I was continually stretching myself artistically.” She began her work primarily with oils and acrylics.
In 1995 Gloria began teaching herself watercolors with instructional books, but she was hungry to broaden her artistic skills in a more hands-on way. She began attending workshops at the local White Rock Summer School of the Arts. She took as much as she could from the experience, but felt driven to explore further. Her passions lead her to a five day intensive workshop in Oregon with Jan Kunz. Looking back, Gloria muses, “I loved it. She had so much enthusiasm and taught us so much. I was so inspired that when I left I felt I could really become a successful artist. At that time, success in my mind was to be able to complete a beautiful painting.” Of course now, Gloria has her sights set much higher as her artistic goals have expanded with her artistic capabilities.
A member of the White Rock/Surrey Art Society since 1996, Gloria has placed in several competitions. In 2005 she took the Michael den Hertog Award with the Federation of Canadian Artists for “Green Wheel,” a piece from her Auto Reflection Series. In 2008 she was awarded Signature Status by the FCA. In December of 2012 Gloria’s work “Pairs of Stripes” appeared the Spilsbury Medal Show.
More recently, Gloria was a finalist with the International Artist Magazine’s Still Life Competition. Her piece “Crystal Pears” appeared in the February-March, 2013 issue. She was also elected by Jury to be a member of the International Guild of Realism.
Gloria is so often inspired by her surroundings she never goes anywhere without a camera. She is moved by the playful nature of color and light. There is no definite or single source of her creations. Gloria remarks, “It may be a foggy morning or an approaching storm. It may be a car, a beautiful flower, or a silver tea pot. I love reflections; be they in water, crystal, silver, an auto body, or a hubcap.”
One can imagine the freedom Gloria finds in creating from not only her surroundings, but also from her own unique and extensive collection of colored glassware, antique silver, linens, and china. “I frequently use a combination of these objects for a still life set up. I always look for reflections, and of course, color, value, and design.”
Gloria currently resides in beautiful Surrey, British Columbia, but travels extensively. She frequently visits the Netherlands to explore Kroller-Muller, the Van Gogh, and the Rijksmuseum.
“My travels through British Columbia and other Canadian destinations as well as Texas have also produced many reference photos. I will never run out of ideas for painting!”
Mout often travels with friends to visit family. “I take time out from painting for friends and family. I like to travel, but even if it is art-related, it almost always includes family or friends. Every artist needs supportive family, friends and collectors, and I’m thankful that I have that support. They give me inspiration and help me achieve my goal to grow daily as an artist.”
The artist’s journey is a long and winding path that is a completely unique for each individual. Though it is a path often plagued with detours, it leads to the exciting and adventurous happenstances of life. Being a true artist, Gloria Ainsworth Mout explores her road to the fullest and has always enjoyed the journey. According to her, that long and winding path has no end in sight.
by: Mj DeArmitt