Skye Skagfeld

My painting process is personal, intuitive and heavily influenced by my surroundings. By spending time observing aesthetic characteristics of the landscape, I absorb the essence of the place thus allowing the environment to inform the outcome. I explore the impact and interactions between the shapes, colours and textures of physical elements, often combining both macro and micro features. Through layers of transparent colour I present the fundamental nature of the landscape as perceived and experienced by me. I incorporate watercolour techniques using diluted acrylic mediums to stain raw canvas, creating a delicate and layered ground. This approach is inspired by the soak-stain method coined by Helen Frankenthaler where her thin washes of paint created depth and movement eliciting an emotional response. Alternatively my practice is aggressive and impassioned as I trail visual expressions of my inner landscape. It is reactive and therapeutic; evolving as I grow and develop as an individual and artist. Participation in the Once Upon Water Residency is an exciting opportunity for me to delve deeper into the possibilities of painting with water.

During my residency on Toronto Island, I will create a series of medium to large scale evocative pieces that explore the ephemeral nature of the lake’s surface while alluding to mystical life below. A series of semi-representation paintings will explore the characteristics of freshwater mermaids through full aquatic immersion and figure self-portrait study. My objective is to develop my artistic skills through full-body self-portrait inquiry, honing the soak-stain technique to present a submerged, distorted female form. Utilizing this method, I will create ethereal layers, creating depth, suggesting movement and ambiguity. Colour choice will portray musings, emotions and sensations that arise while underwater. The final pieces will be abstract and semi-figurative, featuring blurry subjects that depict the mysterious nature of fabled marine sirens and the beautiful magic that water holds. The artworks will be displayed at the closing exhibition which concludes the residency.


Skye Skagfeld was born on Vancouver Island but has worked and travelled extensively, including a decade in Singapore. After her lengthy global exploration , inquiry and education she returned to her birthplace and became passionate about painting. She has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Leisure Management from which her research in Australia spurred a dedication to living life as an artist. Fiercely prolific, she continues to learn painting methods through assistantships, volunteering and attending local art courses and workshops including MISSA and Emily Carr University. Her works are held in private collections locally, across Canada from Saskatoon to Toronto and internationally including Australia, The UK and the USA.

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