Artist Neepin Auger: The Next Generation
By Lynn Calf Robe
NEEPIN AUGER: An Artist, writer and mother from the Bigstone Cree Nation. (Treaty 6) Raised in an art studio, Auger shares her artisticstyle and journey which is very much inspired by her late father Dale Auger, an esteemed Canadian painter and storyteller recognized worldwide. In ten years, Auger has created many fascinating and colorful masterpieces including her latest work titled; Alive, Idle No More (one voice) and Follow Me featured on her website www.neepinauger.com.
Having studied under her father, Auger is known for her bold use of colour and thought provoking messages that she communicates through her work. Her unique style and interpretation of the world around her appeals to the new generation. Auger is also a writer and has published two children’s books; Discovering Words and Discovering Numbers which are in Cree, English and French. She currently resides in Calgary, AB with her daughter and is studying in the Department of Education and Schooling at Mount Royal University.
How would you describe your artistic style?
My artistic style is very much inspired by my late father’s artwork. I work with a lot of color. I love bright high impact colors. I want to make art that people can hang in their home that brings a splash of life to the wall.
My most recent works were inspired by nature and our connection to the land as Aboriginal peoples. I grew up outside of the city and I’ve always felt a part of nature. I strive to bring the abstraction of the feelings that come from nature.
What do you hope to inspire in others when they see your art?
Everyone who buys or admires a painting finds a connection to that piece. I love having that connection with people that binds us together through a piece of art. A way where two people can look at a painting and say ‘I get you, and you get me’
I hope I inspire people who see my work to follow their own path; we all have our own paths in life, yet at the same time we are all connected. Art is one of those blessings in life that connect people’s struggles and triumphs.
Is there a singular theme that connects all your pieces or does each creation possess its own message or story?
How do you know when a painting is finished?
A painting is never done, it can become an ongoing organism. However there is a time as an artist where you need to know when to walk away. If as an artist you feel yourself becoming frustrated with a piece of art that is when you need to walk away. Nothing is ever perfect, even a painting.
How would one get started as an artist?
We are all born with a gift. If being an artist is your gift and you feel it in your heart, then don’t let anything stand in your way. Draw or paint with whatever materials you have available. Art is not about having the best of everything, like supplies. You don’t need to have the best paints and brushes when you are starting out. The main thing is to just start drawing or painting. Art is about showing the world your vision.
I go to the places my dad took me as a child. They still know my name and it’s a comforting feeling. To this day when I walk into art supply stores I am reminded of my childhood. My dad would let me buy whatever materials I wanted. This was how I learned to be unafraid of different mediums and experimentation.
What do you hope to achieve with your talent as an artist?
My achievement in art is not about the amount of money or fame I make. My greatest achievement is to know that there are people learning from my art. I am a born teacher just like my father was. I want to share the knowledge I have been taught. Art is about giving and sharing. There is no greater gift then teaching.
Currently I am a full time student, and I am working towards a Bachelor of Education Degree from Mount Royal University. I also have two illustrated children’s books that are being published by Heritage House Publishing. These books are in English, Cree and French and have 36 original works of art, which were all painted by me. I am very proud that I am able to bring my Native Cree language back to life with these children’s books.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Never give up. Believe in your gift.
For more information on Neepin Auger check out her website: http://www.neepinauger.com
(Photos provided by Neepin Auger)