Nga Reiniö (Nguyen Thi Nga)
I am a self-taught artist based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
My first drawing was around age 7, and drawing faces could be described as a way of me keeping memories, like drawing characters from my favourite comic books or drawing my best friends from school. Work, marriage, and other life challenges did not bring me further from this childhood hobby until my mid thirties, when a friend took me to a painting workshop.
I nurture my skills by attending in-person and online workshops (both locally and internationally), participating in online classes with renowned artists, sharing ideas, advice and inspiration with other professionals, including artist friends. I have learned that copying what you see doesn’t make you an artist, and intuitive painting requires consistent practice for the feel of improvement. My inspiration in making art is my love for Mother Nature and my contemplation about life. No matter how hard I try to communicate with people, I always feel that the spoken language is not enough and that painting fills this gap. I also like to paint a self-portrait at least once a year to see my own reflection and evolution within it. The language of colours and brushstrokes, or marks and textures is a better way of communicating for me.
After my experience from the painting workshop, in 2018 I found myself most interested in acrylics fluid art.
Late 2019- I practiced oil painting with a deeper commitment and understanding of the medium.
The buttery nature of this medium, and its fine blending capabilities on all kinds of surfaces is what inspired my love for creating shapes, lines and expressive portraits with it. After finishing a self challenge of painting 100 faces, I learned one of the most important lessons on my artistic journey: while likeness is important in portraiture, making a painting look like a photo doesn’t help me tell my own story. Just like an Edgar Degas saying, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Late 2021- I took an online class with gouache and was inspired by Lena Rivo, a renowned artist based in Spain. My desire to paint in the outdoors has grown since then. I can see myself travelling and painting in nature, creating my colourful journal of life.
March 2022- I discovered pastels from an artist friend’s suggestion and from my children’s art kit. I instantly fell in love with this medium. Since I had always practiced the art of maintaining brushstrokes and textures with oil paints, I felt the same attraction to mark making/texture creating with pastels.
April 2022- After participating in my first annual juried art show I felt the need to create my own artist profile. I occasionally sell my artworks through word-of-mouth, and through friends of friends’ recommendation. I’m also passionate about sharing my love for creating and painting, since I consider it healing and therapeutic.
I am now a member of PAC - Canada’s community for pastel artists. I believe this platform will give me more opportunities to learn and grow as an artist. I look forward to participating in many more exhibitions and sharing my stories on this artistic adventure with you.
May 2022, Calgary.