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Iris Mes-Low

100 Braid Street Studios and Gallery
Studied in The Netherlands with Jan de Kok
Part-time studies at Emily Carr, Vancouver, BC
currently finishing Fine Arts Degree at Thomson University, Kamloops, BC

I am a Visual Artist from The Netherlands. As a child I sat in my fathers atelier and learned everything I could about painting and art. He taught me that copying and studying good art is a instrument to learn technique and so I copied Japanese prints in watercolour and I spent endless hours in museums with my family. At the age of nine I wrote a letter to a local art school asking if I could enter. They was thought tooyoung.

As an adult I applied to Art School in the Netherlands, but I fell victim to bouts of depression. Unable to finish a formal education I studied and apprenticed with visual artist Jan de Kok in 1989.

In 1991 I made a permanent move to the West Coast of Canada. Then I entered into part-time studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, but again depression hampered me from continuing. I eventually became permanently disabled. I continued to take workshops with artists in my area.

At present I work full-time in my studio at home. I also volunteer for non-profit associations by designing posters, newsletters and producing illustrations. Chronic depression has for many years prevented me from exhibiting my work. People with mental health conditions are often depicted as dangerous, violent and unpredictable.

My art is my story. I hope that my work helps to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness. We are not always obsessed with the negative but strive to find our kind of happy, which is not always the Polly Anna image we have been taught to aspire to. Painting has paved the road to my kind of “Happy”. My work is the visual communication of what “Happy “ is to me.

"There is beauty in the dark and in the struggle to obtain light".

My inspirations are such artists as van Gogh, Rothko, and de Kooning. Running the gamut from impressionism to abstract modernism.

Over the years many of my paintings have found their way into private collections both in Europe and Canada
art, gallery, artist, contemporary,

Sample Gallery