Raymond Thomas Syrja
I was born in Jasper Alberta and lived most of my life there. I have a great love and reverence for the awe inspiring beauty of the National Park. My artwork has always been a celebration of beauty and life.
Though I was born in, lived and worked in, a very small community, I have experienced the richness of life elsewhere and studied local art through travel to Cuba, Kauai, Bali, Mexico, Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Paris, Barcelona, Morocco, Gibraltar and throughout the USA and Canada.
In retirement, my wife and I moved to Summerland and we are enjoying the great beauty, welcoming community and many events of this warm Okanagan town.
The exhilaration and spirituality that I feel when in nature is the reason for my artwork, it is all that I wish to communicate; sometimes brashly and bold, other times with more grace and intuition.
Watercolour is a wonderfully fluid and transforming media which allows both a subtlety and richness to flow through the images. Acrylics can dance with vibrant joy and exhaultation. I try with both to bypass the sentinel and reach into the soul of the viewer; lofty ambition indeed.
- during the past 40 years, worked in watercolours, acrylics, sculpture and graphic digital art
- studied watercolour painting with Harold Dermont Olson over a 10 year period
- studied watercolours with Brian Atyeo, Barbara Nechis and Greg Johnson
- a member of the Jasper Artists Guild for 10 years
- taught as a Workshop Instructor with the Jasper Further Education Council, Silvertip Art, Jasper Park Lodge Elderhostel Program, A Brush With Watercolour, Jasper Artists Guild and Artra.
- co-author of two watercolour workshop booklets
- projects have ranged from fine art shows to billboards; museum displays to restaurant menus; travelling displays to chalk boards
- participated in many single artist, two person and group shows
- Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival Peoples Best of Show Award
- with sales radiating from Jasper National Park, the artwork has travelled throughout the world.