Elissa Cristall Gallery is pleased to present our latest Artist Spotlight interview with Toronto-based artist Mara Korkola. In conversations and email over two months, Mara spoke to me about her path to contemporary art making and the curiosity that continues to drive her work. Korkola’s captivating works compress worlds of information into small intimate oil paintings. The interplay between the landscape and the light is perhaps what excites Korkola most, prompting buttery brushstrokes in electric colour.  Read full interview…

Mara Korkola, No Place #480, oil on panel

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion for art?

Art was always there. My mom, and her mother, were painters. My father taught high school art for awhile. Art, craft and design were valued in my home, it was something we did.

You make the comment “approaching painting is like getting ready for a big game.” Can you explain?

I was involved in sports when I was younger, so I am full of sports similes like being a high-jumper or a quarterback: all quiet focus, aloneness, and then all-in. You either have it or you don’t. You can get in the zone, or it eludes you. Also, like a game of chess. You win or lose.

I might do my underdrawing, and an underpainting, earlier, but painting happens in one sitting. It’s an all-or-nothing venture.

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Elissa Cristall Gallery represents emerging and mid-career Canadian artists. During COVID we are continuing gallery operations online featuring our “Artist Spotlight Series” and online exhibitions. Please contact us if you would like to inquire about purchasing an artwork or if you have questions about an artist or artwork on our website.