Her interest in the environment led her to take environmental science in university, but when Shardi Janes realized she could turn her love for art into work, she switched programs.
She’s now taking a bachelor of fine arts, visual art with a minor in art history, at Memorial University’s Grenfell campus.
Ms. Janes, originally from Cape Ray, was recently awarded the 2011 Silver Anniversary Scholarship.
According to a news release, the scholarships are awarded to a dependant or employee of a Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) member organization. Ms. Janes’ mother Janice works at St. Christopher’s Hotel in Port aux Basques, so Ms. Janes was eligible to apply.
“I had to write an essay,” she said about the application procedure.
In her essay, Ms. Janes said she discussed her community involvement, such as her work at the Cape Ray Lighthouse Museum and running a kiosk with a friend at Scott’s Cove Park. They sold artwork, photos and crafts highlighting Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I was pretty excited because I still have a big student loan,” she said with a chuckle about finding out she had won.
Ms. Janes was no late bloomer when it came to visual arts. She said she’s been interested in it her whole life. She would only have been about seven or eight when she came across one of her first inspirations on television. His name was Bob Ross.
“He used to come on almost every morning and paint,” she said. “It was a show of him painting, and he would paint these big amazing pictures of scenery.
And of course, there was Mr. Dressup, who often took out his felt-tipped marker and spoke to his audience as he drew.
Until she got into the visual arts program, Ms. Janes said she took the scenery around her for granted.
“Since I’ve been in that program, I’ve learned to look at things differently,” she said.
Ms. Janes describes art as a big stress relief and says that’s the main reason she’s so dedicated to it.
“It lets you relax and lets your inside feelings and thoughts come out in the way that you want to express them,” she said.
A challenge, she said, is trying to get people to take her seriously when they realize she’s studying visual arts. She said she normally just brushes off reactions like that. On the other side of the coin, Ms. Janes said it’s nice when what she creates is appreciated, when someone is inspired by her work or when someone understands her work.
Although she said she didn’t think she was going to like it, Ms. Janes said she’s really enjoying her sculpture class.
“I really, really enjoy painting, so I really want to learn how to do better painting,” said Ms. Janes.
She said she paints scenery with watercolour and really likes to paint mountainous regions and oceans.
Although it’s not definite, Ms. Janes is looking at art therapy as a possible job.
“I’m really interested in that right now because I like helping people, and I think that art therapy is meeting two of my favourite things to do halfway,” she said.