Dream Job: Painter

Dream Job: Painter

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Imagine that your work is famous across Canada. That might not happen for a plumber or an electrician, but it can happen for the kinds of people who paint pictures. Do you know about any famous Canadian painters? You might have heard of some artists called the Group of Seven, who were well-known artists in the twentieth century. If you are interested in becoming an artist and you develop your talents, you might also become a well-known painter.

In 1920, several Canadian artists were beginning to develop a new style of painting. These painters were especially interested in painting using the same modern style as the well-known painter, Tom Thompson. They decided to support each other by forming the Group of Seven. Artists such as A. Y. Jackson and Franz Johnson thought that by working together, they would be able to develop their skills much better than they could by working alone. They travelled throughout Ontario and studied European painters to learn more about art. The style of art that they developed is still easy to recognize now.

Tom Thomson, who had inspired the artists of the Group of Seven, died in 1917 and was never part of the group. However, artists who followed his time also followed the style that he had preferred. The landscapes around Lake Superior were some of their favourite subjects to paint. Later, their style influenced artists like Emily Carr and others.

You might never be as famous as the Group of Seven, but you can still become a painter if you are flexible and willing to work in all kinds of areas. Painters can work for businesses, schools, magazines or museums. A special type of education is generally not a requirement, but a degree in the fine arts can be helpful. Under half of the artists in Canada have formal training from a university or college.

Special festivals and fairs are good places for painters to sell pictures to people, and art shows give customers the chance to look around for what they want. If people like your art, it might even end up in an art gallery.

An important part of becoming a painter is developing a personal style. You might use only bright colours or darker shades. You can work with others to develop your favourite type of art or you can work alone. Whatever style you prefer, you can become an effective and successful artist.

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