Mercedes is currently working on a new graphite pencil series that is a reminder to focus on the small beauties of life. A student of Redeemer College University, she left with an honours in psychology and a visual art and art history major. Over the last few years, she has been accepted into many juried exhibits in Brantford, Woodstock, Hamilton, Etobicoke, and London with her work winning several awards including Best in Show and Juror’s Choice.
Mercedes has always had a strong love of art that developed when she was young and was introduced to a variety of mediums. In university, she was given the chance to develop her artistic style and thought process. From there she realized that she could tell stories through artwork and even have conversations with viewers without speaking. “My artwork aims to ask important questions and give the viewer a fresh perspective with which to answer those questions.”
In university, Mercedes was taught by James Tughan, a leading chalk pastel artist in the illustration world. Tughan introduced her to the chalk pastel medium, which has now become one of her favourite drawing mediums. He showed her what it was like to make a living as an artist, and also encouraged her as she began to develop and understand her artistic style.
The topics Mercedes now chooses to deal with are not as negative as they were when she started out. One of her focuses when starting with chalk pastel was trying to understand the act of judgement and how it affects us. As she continued to develop as an artist, this study of judgement has actually affected her topic choices. Her topics now are not wholly negative statements, but rather negative or difficult topics that have the chance to be changed into something good if given the opportunity. It is a change from seeing things as black and white to seeing things on a grey-scale. Mercedes says, “I love the stage of drawing where the final piece is starting to take shape. It proves that all the hard hours of research and sketching and planning will pay off in the end!”
Mercedes advice to developing artists, “Don’t give up! Continue to take classes, learn, and create artwork any chance you get. Play with different mediums and get out of your comfort zone every now and then. You’ll always be pleasantly surprised by what you can learn and take away from experiences that happen outside your comfort zone.”
Mercedes enjoys the Grand River in Brantford and the city’s extensive trail systems as they are a beautiful source of natural landscape within the city. She is also an admirer of the work of the Group of Seven, who still have a strong presence in Brantford. Their approach to documenting Canadian landscape in a unique and new way by bringing in a fresh perspective is inspirational.
Mercedes' work was previously featured at the Marziart Gallery in Hamburg, Germany alongside artists from France and Russia. She is also scheduled to participate in the upcoming ‘Art in the Park’ in Woodstock on July 21st featuring original works, giclee prints, and inkjet prints. In March of 2019 she will showcase a solo exhibit at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.
You can also follow Mercedes’ work on Facebook