Izabella Orzelski holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a Ph.D. in Art Education from the University of Alberta. Her awards and grants include a Winspear Fund Grant and a Dahesh Museum Award in New York. Among her commissioned works is the lifesize portrait of Dr. Harriet Winspear, the late Honourable Lois E. Hole, former Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, and of Dr. Grant MacEwan.
In collaboration with her husband, fellow- artist, she has created a number of portrait series that were exhibited across Canada. Izabella has been an art instructor at the Faculty of Extension of the University of Alberta for the past 20 years. Additionally, she has been invited as a guest speaker to many international conferences.
Izabella strongly believes that is possible to be both: a passionate educator and an excellent artist.
My life is dictated by the politeness and comfort associated with being a Canadian, and the emotional excesses of having a Slavic soul. Life is rich and beautiful and I am on a quest to explore it to the fullest. Art has always been an integral part of my life, though painting suits my personality the most. I feel transplanted into my own magical world, while standing in front of an empty canvas; there is always a new beginning with an infinite number of possible endings. I like this very much.
Throughout the years, the human body has been a main source of my fascination. Perhaps its complexity, which encompasses a multitude of corporeal experiences, has drawn me to this state of infatuation. For example, while immersed in portrait creation, I often reflect on how existential wisdom of each passing moment transforms the body of my subject into an eternally evolving landscape of sorrows and happiness, manifested in visible signs.
Lately, I have discovered my own garden as a source of inspiration. Here, the potential of colouristic nuances is limitless while the labyrinth of organic shapes evokes pleasant memories of the past. Canada’s summers are short lived; this is reflected in my painterly technique with its vigorous strokes and, in most cases, thick paint application to capture the fleeting moment in time.
For my future artistic endeavours I do not have a clear path; rather, I want to let my passion and new life experiences lead/take me on a new visual journey. I am open to new, “yet to come” possibilities.