'World Famous on ArterNet Art' - Paige Ring - is our Featured Guest Artist


'One Fine Day'   16" x 12"

Paige Ring. Artist & Designer

Paige is a self-taught abstract expressionist painter living in Toronto, ON. Her work is inspired by minimalism, aesthetically and functionally.

Paige studied historic costume design at Dalhousie University, then went on to study and work in fashion design. 

Cloth was the first medium she truly learned to appreciate. Using just a roll of all white canvas, she could layer, pleat, fold, drape, and ultimately turn it into a really complex piece of art. It really developed her appreciation for how complex simple things can be. 

Paige applies this concept of minimal complexity to her fine art practice. 

ArterNet Art: Hi Paige, it's great to have you take the time to chat with us today.

A bit about our company: we're an online art gallery, with a difference  -  the culture of our company - ArterNet Art - is to put a human face to all our members and featured guest artists.

We feel it's very important for artist members of ArterNet Art to meet established and inspiring artists, in order to learn more about how they became the artist we see today. 

What were their challenges, their ideals, their twists and turns, etc.  

This is why we love these interview chats and why they are proving to be so popular. So without further ado: Paige,

can you give our readers an idea of your route to becoming an artist? 

Paige: Absolutely. I started creating early in life, I actually don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something as a child. Illustration was always something I was drawn to, but also textiles. 

When I was a kid I’d take my clothes apart and make new ones, so I was often wearing something I made myself. When it was time to go to University I opted for Costume Studies at Dalhousie University, where I learned pattern making and historic clothing techniques. 

Cloth was the first medium I truly learned to appreciate. Using just a roll of all white canvas, I could layer, pleat, fold, drape, and ultimately turn it into a really complex piece of art. It really developed my appreciation for how complex simple things can be, and this is a perspective I've learned to seek in my fine art practice.

I moved to Toronto afterward I graduated to pursue fashion design, and ended up working at a few high end brands developing their clothing lines. Eventually I moved to one of Canada’s largest retailers and was in charge of development for their junior ladies line. Although I do love creating clothing, the fashion industry ultimately wasn’t for me. 

I decided to go back to school for graphic design, and something clicked when I started using my hands again to create marks, lettering and illustration. 

That turned eventually to painting, and I haven’t looked back.   

'Dancing in the Moonlight'  16 x 12

 ArterNet Art: WOW, that has been quite an adventure for you.

Have you had to overcome any difficulties or major hurdles on your journey to becoming the successful, established artist we see today?

Paige: I consider myself extremely lucky that I haven’t had any major hurdles to contend with. I’d say the one thing that was tough, and a pivotal moment in my journey, was deciding to give up a successful career in fashion to pursue something else. 

I think as adults we’re told to pick a career and stick to it, and that makes giving up something we know is secure, a little scary. Making that move was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made though. 

Who knows if I would have found my way to the canvas if I didn’t?

ArterNet Art:  That is so true. Can you tell us about the medium you choose to work with and what was it that attracted you to use it?

Paige: I work primarily in acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal and inks. I used to work in resin but the drying time was significant (and I’m kind of impatient!) 

I love acrylics because they dry fast and layer well. I do use a lot of mixed media supplies for mark making, pretty much anything that will make a mark has found its way into my supplies. I scratch and scrape surfaces and I also love collage in paper and fabric. 

My medium is forever shifting as I find new supplies that inspire me. I have been drawn to raw canvas lately so currently my studio walls are covered with that. 

'Strawberry Fields'  48 x 30"

ArterNet Art:  Do you have a daily routine? Has it always been this way and can you tell our readers how your day looks?.

Paige: I’m into routines and actually spend a lot of time crafting them in and out of the studio. For my art practice and studio routine, I always try to carve out time every day to do some kind of art, even if it’s not a full painting. 

Just 15 minutes of being in the studio usually turns into much longer. In the mornings I wake up early, meditate and have coffee with my cat, Fiz. I usually respond to emails before I do any studio work.   

Before I start creating I find a playlist. I find sound is the best way for me to cut out other distractions. I tidy the space, moving pieces I’m not actively working out of view. That might sound a bit strange but I don’t like to be influenced too much by older work, or work that’s not part of the group I’m working on. I usually paint for a few hours, and take a break to let the work dry and come back with fresh eyes. 

I have high flow days and low ones. The low ones are… annoying. It almost feels like a chore to get paint on my palette. I try not to stress too much about those days though, there’s enough of the high flow days that I just use the low days to do less creative tasks like framing or photographing.

ArterNet Art:  Can you share some  techniques and insights into your process from conception to creation

Paige: I work in loose collections, meaning I’ll start a larger number of pieces at once, moving from piece to piece, not finishing any right away. I’ll usually work through the stages of finishing several at one time. I have a few different bodies of work, one is very several light, hyper blended layers. So light you can see the grain of the canvas. 

The other is thicker, heavy layers of paint that I scratch and scrape through. I love both, and really it just depends on my mood which I gravitate towards. I’d say that the one thing both have in common is subtraction. I often blockout, or subtract areas to find my final composition. Minimalism is always somewhere in the back of my mind when I get to the finishing stages. 

Each time I looked at a piece, I wanted to feel something different, something that I didn't even intend while creating. 

Slowing down to focus and appreciate how complex simple things can be is really important to me, and my work, and I hope those who view my work feel the same.

 My work has a lot of bold gestural strokes, poured paint, and layering of organic marks and scrapes weaving through. I often use a limited palette with just a few colors. 

Color tells a story all on its own, the technique of how the color is applied, smooth and soft vs bold and loose, gives that story life.  

Process shot 1 of 'A Few Dark Edges'

Process shot 2 of 'A Few Dark Edges'

Process shot of a different piece.

Studio Pastels

ArterNet Art: How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Paige: I’m very interested in the process of creating, and less about the final product. As a result my process changes often. I started working in ink and resin, and shifted my process many times since. 

My aesthetic is similar but the materials and how I get there is always evolving. I’m interested in minimalism so I’m always looking for ways to simplify shapes. The layers underneath are usually chaos, but I aim for simplicity for the finished piece.

ArterNet Art:  Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?

Paige: I never know how to answer this question, because it’s kind of everything and nothing at the same time. I couldn’t pinpoint one specific thing that inspires me, but I do know I work best when I’m in the right mindset or mood. I’m really influenced by color, I can be a bit obsessive about certain shades and how they pair with other colors. 

I like to mix my own shades, that part of the process is very important to me. I used to match dye lots in my fashion days, so perhaps it comes from that. 

ArterNet Art: What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?

Paige: I’m not sure I have a favorite sale, but I’d say the pieces that were bought early on by my friends are ones I remember fondly. Just because it’s such a beautiful thing to support the people you love when they’re developing a business in the arts. 

'Off the Beaten Track' Raw Canvas 48" x 36"

ArterNet Art: How were you and your business impacted by Covid-19? Has much changed since that time?

Paige: I consider myself very fortunate that Covid didn’t impact me, my family, or my business too much. I’m lucky that I work from home, so the shelter in place lockdowns really didn’t change much for me. 

Of course I delayed some things I might have been doing in person, such as a residency in France I was accepted to, and some art shows. However, seeing what the rest of my community went through, and some of the hardships others faced, those things seem pretty minor in comparison. 

ArterNet Art: Do you have any hobbies, sports or interests other than art?

Paige: I’m not a sports person. I do yoga and meditate, but group activities aren’t really my jam. I’d say most of my hobbies revolve around some type of art, like sewing or pottery. 

I just got a piano, I haven’t played since I was a child so I'm looking forward to dabbling with that a bit to see if I can tap into a different type of creative flow.

Process shot 'Serious Contemplation'  60 x 48

ArterNet Art: The piano sounds like a great idea, so what plans and goals do you have for the future, both creatively and personal?

Paige: I’d love to get back to seeing art shows (and artists) in person again. I’m also looking forward to the France residency when traveling abroad is a bit more stable, and travel in general. 

ArterNet Art: Going back to when you first started out and knowing what you know now, what would you do differently and what advice would you give to an aspiring new artist?

Paige: I don’t know that I’d do anything differently. Going way back I’d take more art classes when I was a kid. While I made a lot of mistakes on my journey, I think those are part of learning so I wouldn’t want to reverse them. 

If I had a time machine though, I’d probably tell Paige of the past to find the courage to start a YouTube channel, and start a mailing list sooner. 

'Coral Off The Coast'  60" x 30"

ArterNet Art: That's good advice, Paige. Also for our new artists, can you share some tips on how you marketed yourself, when you first started out. What are two or three things you tried that worked amazingly well?

Paige: When I first started I wasn’t really trying to “market”, I was really just experimenting with techniques and photographing or videoing my process to share on Instagram. I was pretty honest about what I was doing and answered a lot of questions when people asked me about process and materials, which I think helped. 

I can’t say there’s any specific formula that works for everyone, but a few things I think are good to know are:

Post regularly on your channels, and respond to people. Build a community of people that don’t just support you, but that you support as well.

Set up a basic website with your name and post your work. It doesn’t have to be fancy but having a place people can go to learn more about you will be important when you start growing your business.

Build out your email list early, even if you’re not ready to send emails. Start collecting sign-ups because those are your people. They want to hear from you and see how you’re growing. 

Create lots of work, and share it, don’t worry about your brand, your audience, or marketing techniques when you first start out. Stressing about making things perfect, is a great way to never start anything. 

Art is the most important element, and if you’re creating work consistently you’ll have things to share and conversations to have. Those other pieces will be there when you have a handle on your craft. 

Process shot Creating 'Morning Frost'   
Diptych Each one is 48" x 36"

ArterNet Art: More great advice to newbies. Do you have any quotes you live by or practice?

Paige:  I kind of have 2 statements that I try to repeat to myself often.

Just Show Up. I guess it’s my version of Just Do It. I find that when I’m not feeling the creative flow, sometimes just walking into the studio helps shift that. If I show up, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll make something. 

Make Cool Shit. This one is… self explanatory. But to me, it’s about not stressing over making something good, it’s about creating something that I love, something that gets me excited. 

Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, it’s all part of the process.

Thank you Paige, for giving us a well thought out article which has included many insights that other artists will be able to incorporate into their own daily art practice.

Discover more about Paige and her work here:

And follow her on Instagram here:

'Wild and Free'     collection each one is 16" x 20"


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