Welcome to the On-Line Gallery and Shop
My name is Trish Sewell, and I’ll be your artist.
I practice contemporary aboriginal art. My preferred media are ink and oil pastels on paper, with an occasional swatch of wax crayon and coloured pencil. I love the simplicity of line drawings coupled with luminous colours. It feels to me like a cross between Woodland art and stained glass windows, two of my strongest influences.
I am a member of Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government, but I am the child of two very different worlds. My father was Mi’gmaq/Anishinaabe. Raised on Garden River Anishinaabe First Nation, he attended the church-run school as a day student. He survived because, like far too many others, when the time came to “graduate” from day school and move away to a residential program, he ran off and got a job in a logging camp. He was 12. When he was old enough, he joined the army, travelled the world, fought some wars and kept some peace.
My mother is a first generation Polish immigrant. Her parents left their farm and homeland when Martial Law moved in back in the 1920’s. They began anew in northern Alberta, farming and raising nine kids. Mom is one of the six that were born here in Canada. She went to business college, had a career in banking before returning to her farming roots to raise her family.
I was born after Dad retired from the army and my parents had moved to northern Alberta. My childhood on a tiny farm on the edge of the boreal forest is the core of who I am.
I studied at the University of Alberta, earned a degree in Native Studies with a minor in Anthropology.
During what I think of as “the city years”, I worked in retail and the oil patch, hung drywall, ran manual presses in the printing industry, painted houses. I indulged my love of theatre, where a background in cultural anthropology can be a boon. Those were all useful experiences, but most of my working life has been in the livestock sector of agriculture. I’ve trained horses, raised cattle, hogs, goats and sheep. All the while, I’ve grown my skills as a visual artist.
The artworks on this site are loosely organized into three halls.
In Legends, you will find works that explore various themes in spirituality, science and psychology. The landscape serves as a scaffold for visual metaphors.
Landscapes features (mostly) representational works. It took me a long time to appreciate the subtle beauty of the flatlands in south central Saskatchewan. I grew up where trees grow wild, and hills can block your view. But, the more I draw the prairie, the more I see the prairie, and the greater my admiration for her grows.
Nightsongs is where you’ll find images about heartbreak and loss, the quest for lost cultural traditions, and the bittersweet realization that even pain has a beauty to it.
Making these images brings me a sense of peace, allows me to synthesize interesting concepts from disparate disciplines, and hones my appreciation for the life that is all of us. May viewing them do the same for you.
Selected images are available for purchase as digital prints. Original works may also be available; contact me for a consultation.