Roberta Cromarty

Roberta Cromarty was born in Edmonton in 1958. She started out as an excellent figure-skater and got a Bachelor of Social Work under her belt. Then, only about a dozen years ago, she was taught and inspired by her then-partner, a professional painter, to discover her own creative spirit. Now, she says, creating is her life’s passion. She puts paint and collage on canvas, does ceramics, and fabricates evocative “spirit boxes,” often custom-conceived for the end-user. Her influences include Aboriginal, Métis, and Christian themes and styles. “In the first instance, I see things in extremes,” she says. “This leads me to juxtapose divergent ideas, bring out contradictions, and paint things busy, bright, and vibrant.” Roberta loves Picasso, Van Gogh, the Dutch painters, and Aboriginal painter George Littlechild – but most of all she takes Frida Kahlo, partner of Diego Rivera, as the historic model woman. “And I’ve been more directly influenced by some incredible people,” she adds. Roberta describes herself as persevering, kind, with a good sense of humour. “When I’m humble and open to spirit, I’m guided. Anything not done with love is not worth doing.”

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