Art Attack - Elaine Brewer-White

Elaine Brewer-White
Art Attack - Elaine Brewer-White

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It’s no surprise that sculptor Elaine Brewer-White is inspired by “colour, joy, and being in the moment”—her work embodies those three elements and each piece is a tangible reminder of the love and joy that dogs bring into our lives. Like dogs, who have this amazing ability to reflect our greatest traits back to us, Brewer-White’s sculptures uncannily express this same level of intimacy. They are snapshots of humanity at its best.

Brewer-White lives in Langley, BC, in a “really, normal vinyl-sided neighbourhood” with her family and her rescue Shepherd-Collie cross, Dooley. Also a trained theatrical improviser, she has taught comedy and improv, and still performs from time to time. For her, humour is ingrained, not intentional, and can’t help but seep into her work. Enthralled with art since she was a young child, Brewer-White would watch her mother paint watercolour landscapes in her backyard. Her first sculpture was a plasticine mosaic of a clown at a circus—quite prophetic as she’s married to Gordon White, an actor/physical comedian who tours with the Cirque du Soleil as a clown.

For Brewer, her life calling was never “a question of what I will be, just how will I do it.” Brewer studied drawing at the University of Calgary and ceramics from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Brewer-White loves sculpting dogs because “they express what’s noble about humanity: honesty, loyalty, and a wacky sense of play.” Working with clay, she makes each piece one of a kind.

She starts by sketching her subject from information gathered via conversations and photos. Once she’s happy with the drawing, she begins sculpting. All of her work is built hollow. Before the sculpture goes into the kiln to dry, she sends a photo of the piece to her clients for approval. After the sculpture has been fired in the kiln for two days, Brewer-White begins the painting process using acrylics and a process called underpainting to achieve a life-like look and capture the spirit of her subject. When you look at her sculptures, you’re instantly transported to her subject’s world. For a moment, you forget that you’re gazing at a piece of clay. Brewer-White’s work tells a story. It places you in the present and allows you to feel the joy animals create for us.

To commission a piece, visit ebrewerwhite.com. Prices begin at $600.

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