about alissa bick

Dog in Shades

Capturing a living image through line challenges me to convey more than what I see – what I feel – into my work. Rendering a subject through the medium of pencil, pen, paint, ink or wash adds a unique energy that cannot be conveyed through digital means, regardless of post-production finishing. I try to actively engage my subjects during the initial sittings to get to know who they are as individuals, their signature characteristics, before getting them down on paper or canvas. The end result should capture a sense of their persona as well as a physical likeness. I also like to work across a range of mediums. Depending on the topic, the final completed work may morph from a drawing or painting into a collection of related works, a book, a print or etching, or a series of items. I retain the copyright for all the images that I produce and frequently return to earlier images for new explorations.

I have always had a pencil in hand and drawn on just about anything flat. My early training as an Art Historian gives me a classical perspective; later Fine Arts training at Langara College and Emily Carr College of Art & Design has added expertise in a variety of techniques: graphite, watercolour, gouache, oil, pastels, coloured pencil and digital media. I begin with photographing the subject for details but put aside the digital props once I start drawing. The final product is competed as a sui generis non-digital work of art. I am always looking at art for ideas and motivation to try new methods; please see my page on ‘Influencers’ for specific examples.

My books and therapeutic materials stem from my training as an Educational Psychologist and my practice as an Educational Therapist. I believe strongly that most learning differences occur because the individual’s preferred modality for information does not conform to the heavy emphasis our learning system places on print literacy. In addition, I have found that individuals identified with Dyslexia and ADHD/ADD characteristics are highly creative and demonstrate higher order problem-solving when allowed to explore terrain that is ‘out of the box’. The research on learning differences supports my anecdotal experience; in fact, students identified as LD generally thrive when allowed to move into kinaesthetic, visual, auditory, and aesthetic modalities. The materials that I have developed encourage the growth of creative problem-solving strategies through expressive writing/drawing therapy in a CBT framework. These materials are designed for use by individuals alone, or in partnership with  parents, caretakers, support workers, and therapists. These materials are available through special order; please see my ‘Other Media’ page for details.

Each project begins with initial photographs (stage 1), moves into studies (stage 2) from which there may be some finished drawings, and ends with a full-colour portrait/landscape/still life painting or watercolour (stage 3). I may choose to create multiples (prints) from any of the images developed during the process or derived from the final product. All the images produced are my own, and I retain the right to use the images indefinitely. The originals may be commissioned for sale or purchased as original drawings, paintings, watercolours, or inks; in addition, these images may be turned into etchings or prints, or digitalized and used to create logos, cards, and limited edition prints. All the unique art pieces that I create may be ordered in any multiple format (posters, cards, limited edition prints) online. Please see my ‘Other Media’ page for details.


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