We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Bissett Beaver and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Wendy, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My work-life balance has been changing over time. Working all the time was something I used to do … all the while missing out on some of the smaller joys in life. The need to paint and make money was greater than the need to socialize … whether with my family or with my friends. As I have gotten older, I’ve come to realize that … like my dear friend is always telling me … I need to do me. Taking time for myself, learning how to relax, and spending some quality time with my grandchildren and the rest of my family. The other things don’t matter. What’s the point of filling your life with stress? Recently a personal family diagnosis has brought this way of thinking to the forefront … life is way too short!! I love painting and love helping people smile and if I am inspired or asked to do a custom piece … because, you know, I still have to make money – I will definitely put work first. My happiness is what’s most important.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught artist, and I work with acrylics. As a young child, I loved to colour and make everything pretty and I was good at it – I always had wonderful school projects!!! Then life happened and I raised my 4 children and they had good school projects too!!! Finally, I got bored and watched some Bob Ross shows and figured I could paint too. It took a while with lots of “Oh, that looks like crap” moments but I kept at it because I enjoyed painting so much and I finally developed my own style and things took off from there. I recently took up a challenge to illustrate some Oracle Cards and also co-author and illustrate a book. I decided to try watercolour because I wanted to see if I could!! Everything turned out beautifully! I’m the type of person who is not afraid to try new things – most times it works out – sometimes it doesn’t!!! I am so happy that my bright and bold illustrative art invites viewers to explore their neighbourhoods and make new visual discoveries for themselves. I have also published a doodle art colouring book featuring different places and things around Nova Scotia to help people destress their minds during this trying time.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many wonderful places to see in the Halifax/Dartmouth area. The Halifax Citadel overlooks the Halifax Harbour and is a great historic site to visit. If you like winding trails and paths then you might be interested in Point Pleasant Park. A walk along the boardwalk at the Halifax waterfront is always a great place to discover unique shops and you can visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where you will learn of Halifax’s connection to the Titanic. There is also the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. It is the oldest, continuously operating farmers’ market in North America. Take a ride to the Dartmouth side of the harbour on one of the Ferries and head to Fisherman’s Cove, in Eastern Passage. It’s the perfect place for taking pictures of fishing boats and also has many quaint shops. With lots of pubs and local craft breweries around Halifax/Dartmouth – there is always a place to go and spend an enjoyable evening out with friends. And, of course, don’t forget to try one of our donairs – Halifax’s Official Food.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
You know, I have to say that most of my family has been there for me through all my quirks, my insecurities, my ups and downs, starts and stops until I actually started to believe I could make this work. They like everything I do … sometimes offer advice that I may or may not take … they are always constant. I credit them all for the support, love, and encouragement they give me every day.

I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful Co-Op Gallery, Art1274 Hollis. They invited me into their fold and have always encouraged me to do my best. Thank you all!!

Website: www.maeisart.com

Instagram: @maeisart

Linkedin: Wendy Bissett Beaver

Twitter: @maeisart

Facebook: @maeisart

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