The Joy of Painting

Regina Gudelis

Regina Gudelis says being true to yourself brings out the joy of painting.
The artistic journey of Gudelis is now on display as part of the Victoria Hall Art Shows series.
The Joy of Painting features work by Bright’s Grove artist – a self-taught artist who has spent over half a lifetime honing her skills through art studies. “I have taken a lot of art seminars from well-known artists like Ray Robinson, Carol Barnes, and Steve Aimone,” she said.
Her ability to infuse her paintings and sculptures with a rich, intangible quality inspiring feelings and emotions in those who view them has earned her numerous awards and acceptance into many juried exhibitions.
Gudelis’s work hangs in private, corporate, and gallery collections throughout Canada, the US and Europe.
A practitioner of yoga and meditation, Gudelis brings a gentle sense of spirituality to much of her work through symbolic forms.
The abstract art form is a fitting vehicle for the way she interprets the invisible world. “When you start, there is no subject,” she says. “You start with a few lines and shapes…you start to see something in them.” Her first abstract work while studying with Carol Barnes was called Child of the Universe, a piece developed from a line in the poem, Desiderata.
Inspired to try her hand at watercolours as a young mother of four, Gudelis says during the last 45 years, she has developed artistic styles from realistic painting to abstract.
“I work mostly in abstract, but I do like flowers,” she said. “I love colours and shapes and line. Everything has to have unity and balance, and it has to bring out emotion in the people who look at it.”
It is in the realm of the abstract she has the freedom to take chances and interpret the energies she accesses through meditation and yoga. She says people lose their willingness to take risks and freely express themselves as they progress from childhood to adulthood. “When you start painting abstract, you have to start painting like a child again,” she said.
Gudelis ranks Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keefe at the top of the list among her favourite abstract painters. She has always remembered the advice she received from Georgia O’Keefe. “Before you die, remember, paint your own way,” she said. “Be sure you are true to yourself or you will be sorry.”
Having developed a strong artistic style, the work of Regina Gudelis can be identified by the confident, exuberant brush strokes that speak of the joy she receives from her creations. She explains it with a quote by Jackson Pollock. “Somebody asked him what are you painting and he said I am painting myself,” said Gudelis. “The longer you paint, the more you go towards yourself. You can forget yourself.”
One of Gudelis’s latest works is a collaboration with three other local artists. It is a series of four seven-foot tall mural panels that can be seen in the lobby at Bluewater Health in Sarnia. The panels represent the importance of organ donation.
Paintings from the Joy of Painting exhibit can be seen in the Victoria Hall lobby through the month of August.