Meet the artist: Candace Brekke

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Where can we see your work?

Online:www.eyecandyartwork.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/eyecandycreative

Instagram: @eyecandyartwork

Actual pieces in private collections in various residential and businesses throughout Minot and Williston. Some available pieces are for sale at 52 West. (south of Ruby Tuesday) Why I don’t display at the Taube or 62 is beyond me. Someday I’ll get my act together…

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Do you have work for sale?

Yes. There are some pieces indicated for sale on my Facebook page. I also take commissions. I enjoy evaluating spaces and creating just the right piece to complement the design.

In what media do you work?

The majority of my work is either acrylic or mixed media on canvas. Most recently I’ve explored creating small works on rocks as part of the #MinotRocks kindness project. Each of these pieces are meant to be kept as your own little piece of art. If they are tagged with #rockcandy, you know you’ve found an original from me.

How would you describe your style?

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Although I enjoy working with multiples styles in numerous mediums, if you had to give it a label, most of my pieces would be considered a contemporary/modern abstract style. Most pieces explore color and texture rather than having an easily recognizable image. I use the paint to stylistically represent image and let the eye fill in the blanks. I love creating abstracts where people can use their imaginations to interpret for themselves what they see. Sometimes my daughter and I will sit together and tell each other what we are seeing in the paint blobs. It’s like looking at the clouds!

I enjoy pattern and line and love to be free with the paint to produce unexpected results. (I often think of Bob Ross’s ‘happy little accidents’ and am pleased when they work in my favor!) Most of my pieces include numerous layers of paint; intentional or unintentional until I find my desired result.

Who would you say have been influences on your work?

I could answer this question with a nod to past professors, fellow artists, or even some of the masters but honestly the biggest influence on my work has been the people and experiences in my life. Sometimes even a song lyric will inspire me to create something visual in response to the music I hear. A trip to the beach or a fond memory may influence the colors I choose or the feeling I want to instill into a piece of art.

My family has influenced me whether they realize it or not. My grandma always provided me with a coloring book, took me to ceramics, and let me dabble in her craft supplies until my fingers were glittered and modge-podged together. My parents let me stay up way too late learning to draw and tolerated pencil-lead smudge marks all over the house. These days my niece’s activity in rodeo has even played a role in some of my art. The fast action of the horse and rider, the colors as they blend while the rider whizzes by, or even the colors of the prairies of North Dakota provide a lot of inspiration to me.

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Sometimes the space itself will elicit the influence on a piece I’m creating, especially when I’m working on commissioned art. My love of design and interior/exterior spaces aid in my choices in these cases. I absolutely love creating something that will pull a room together and add the perfect finishing touch to an environment..

Are there particular themes you like to explore in your artwork?

I’ve mentioned these in the above question, but a few are: abstract, contemporary western, botanical/nature.

What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

Getting my hands dirty! It is a wonderful release after sitting at a computer all day long! It’s a very freeing experience to me; a personal experience where I can express myself through a different medium and nothing must be technical or absolute. I can fling paint to my heart’s desire, listen to loud music and even have my kids by my side making their own art.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’ve been interested in art ever since I can remember. It all started when I got my hands on ‘the big box’ of crayons! I’ve evolved quite a bit creatively. In my younger years, I loved to draw. It was very detailed and realistic. That realistic style followed me to college, where as a student in the commercial art program, my technical skills were honed. I created ultra-realistic drawings, all while learning the art of graphic design and creating on a computer.

It took me awhile to ‘break myself’ creatively. I’ve been a graphic designer for 20 years and I think that has a lot of influence on my art; both good and bad. The concepts of design and the knowledge I have in that area help me when creating something visual, but the technical nature of it can sometimes be a barrier in letting myself go. I finally feel like I’m at a place where I can openly express myself and it doesn’t have to be realistic or technical. The art can be whatever it wants to be.

Other than that, here are the bullet points:

• Minot native, graduated from Minot High School

• Graduated from the Graphic Communications program at Bismarck State College, AA, AAS

• Graduated from Minot State University, BA in Art (Graphic Design) with minor in communications/marketing

• Currently working at Ackerman-Estvold in Minot, ND

• Freelance designer and artist under the name “eyecandy”

• Married, two kids and a new pup named Bobby, AKA Bob Ross

• Love my toes in the sand, watching my kids play sports, getting my hands full of dirt in my flower beds and taking photos of it all.

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