ARTIST PROFILE: Halina Grzyb

Tuesday May 09, 2017 - 2:05 pm

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Halina Grzyb in her studio.
artist profile

Rather than considering her artistry a gift or a talent, Oakville artist Halina Grzyb calls it her “personal addiction.” She's been expressing her life experiences through art since she was a little girl living in Poland.

“For more than 30 years, I've been painting everything around me. As a child, I drew and painted clothes, shoes, furniture…even on pots and pans. I cherished every moment I spent painting,” says Grzyb. “I consider my pieces works of passion, creativity, history, opportunity and simplicity, all influenced by my past and my daily life.”

Today, Grzyb's portfolio includes abstracts, portraits, still lifes and architectural themes. Her work has been exhibited in various venues and solo art shows and can be found in private and corporate collections in Canada, Poland, Italy and Hong Kong.

As a youth living in communist Poland, Grzyb's artistic skills were less than popular in her community. “I designed and tailored my own clothes,” she laughs. “My friends and family loved it but not my neighbours so much.”

In the late ‘80s, the communist oppression deepened her family's desire to explore and escape their native land for a better life. In 1986, Grzyb found her new home in a refugee camp in Italy—the next step to a promised future in Canada.

“Italy provided me with great exposure and opportunity to build on my artistic addiction,” Grzyb remembers. “I met many artists who influenced and shaped my methods, and I experimented with textile and porcelain painting.” Her work also provided her family with a nominal income.

After her immigration to Canada in 1988, Grzyb continued her art studies at Sheridan College and the Haliburton School of Fine Arts.

Influenced by her early years in Italy when she worked with textiles and porcelain, Grzbyb recalls that painting clothing was a money-making venture that became too expensive to sell. These days, she's revisiting that experience painting canvases in a variety of materials including tissue paper, modeling paste and the soft bark of the palm tree.

“There will always be material similarities between the different projects I create,” she explains. “I have experimented with oil and acrylic paints, cold wax, textiles and painting porcelain. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work I create.”

Grzyb counts among her successes raising a happy, healthy family. She has two grown sons and a grandson, Daniel.

Today, Grzyb paints a variety of themes but lately her passion has been for abstracts which she says allow her to create art with emotion and excitement.

A recent abstract series was inspired by a visit to Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. “I'll never forget my first trip with our sons to Bali,” she reveals. “I took so many pictures of the Bali sunset, and I've painted many sunset-sunrise series since.”

When asked if she favours one of her works of art, Grzyb thinks before admitting, “No. Each new painting is a new experience and a new excitement.”

The work of Halina Grzyb is currently on display at the Lauri‚Äčer Gallery in Toronto‚Äč.

Pending shows are as follows:

Solo show at Julia Ristorante - August to November 2017

Art in the Park - Oakville Art Show - August Civic Holiday

Solo Art Show - Royal LePage Mississauga at Plantation Place – dates TBD

For more info, visit halinagrzyb.com.