The Best Address

Artist Claudia Wiebe

Claudia Wiebe is a self-taught artist who intuitively creates mixed-media abstract art. Originally from Germany, she spent over 30 years in Canada, and now lives in Italy. Inspired by a personal journey of vulnerability and resilience, Claudia’s art is often characterized by vibrant colors, bold brushwork, and marks that reflect a very personal and dynamic representation of her experiences. Integrity and an unwavering commitment to authenticity are woven intricately into the fabric of her life and art business – the guiding stars that steer her creative process and shape her interactions with the world.

If Only

 What’s your artistic background?

From a very early age, and for as long as I can remember, I have always liked working with my hands.  I took art in high school, and it was an important part of my life.  Early adult life took me away from my art and immigrating to Canada brought its own and new challenges. Life got very busy, as a mother and a teacher, and it did not really allow me any time to focus on my own art.  However, in all those years, the ‘art’ was always there…

Later, during a very difficult period in my life, art came back to me, and I found myself painting late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I did not have any money or time to attend courses. I bought the cheapest materials and paints from the dollar store, just so I could express my feelings of loss and grief, and this big longing for a different life.

Living in Germany for a year, I am immersed in European culture and history, and inspired to go and buy an easel and start painting.  I return to Canada at the start of the pandemic, and now I have all the time in the world to explore my art and dive deep into my creativity.  I love to experiment, and really enjoy learning by trial and error.  Art is constantly on my mind, and I am painting all the time. Since then, I have embarked on art full time, and I couldn’t imagine life without having a paintbrush in my hand.  I love having paint on my hands and feet, and sometimes in my hair, being “all in”, living my passion.



What’s integral to the work of an artist?

The work of an artist, in general, is shaped by their medium, style, and vision, and is guided by creativity, communication, emotion, and risk-taking. These elements drive artists to innovate, connect with audiences, evoke powerful emotions, and explore new boundaries in their expression.

For me, I think that Georgia O’Keeffe said it best – “I found I could say things with colors and shapes that I could not say any other way, things I had no words for.”  All my pieces have a story or come from deep within. I want to convey these emotions and reach people, giving them a sense of these feelings while seeing beneath the layers of my painting. When this happens, my art touches a vulnerable place within them and sparks their soul.  I then have truly connected with the viewer.


What role does the artist have in society?

Artists approach the world with a desire to create and communicate, whether through visual arts, music, literature, performing arts, or other forms of expression. They can express emotions, ideas, and experiences in unique and powerful ways, harnessing creative expression to evoke empathy and provoke thought and change. They “build bridges” in society, connecting people and inspiring them.


Art can serve as a source of healing for both the creator and the audience, providing a platform for individuals to explore and process emotions, traumas, and experiences. Moreover, artists bring people together through shared experiences, contributing to the creation of vibrant and inclusive communities where individuals can connect, collaborate, and celebrate diversity. In this sense, artists often reflect the values, beliefs, and concerns of society through their work, serving as mirrors that allow people to see themselves and their world from different perspectives.


What art do you most identify with?

I have a profound appreciation for many different forms of artistic expression, but I’m definitely drawn to the boundless realm of abstract art, especially with its expressive and healing qualities. Guided by intuition, abstract art embodies a liberating and limitless exploration of creativity and expression. As an abstract artist, I find immense freedom in my ability to create, inviting viewers to connect with the artwork in their own unique ways, and embark on their own interpretative journey.

What themes do you pursue?

My artwork reflects my life…surrounded by very painful and melancholic memories, as well as many happy and wonderful experiences. It’s a testament to living open-heartedly in a world that paints our stories with shades of joy and unbearable heartache. I believe art speaks to the soul, some days like a soft whisper and other days like a loud roar. It opens an internal dialogue and mirrors my emotions of the moment. I think our best work is done when we are truly authentic – whether we are happy, sad, anxious, or upset. Allowing these emotions to come onto the canvas is when I am most alive.



What’s your favourite artwork?

I don’t have one, there are several that I am most proud of, or that have a personal deep meaning for me.  For example, my latest artwork “If Only…”, inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem, took me over eight months to complete and I was ready to give up on it a few times. Kipling’s wisdom, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” has been a source of inspiration for me in moments of doubt and uncertainty. In this artwork, I’ve channeled the strength and resilience these words convey.

In my painting, I’ve tried to capture the essence of these words, blending colors and brushstrokes to convey the strength and determination that Kipling’s poem embodies. Art allows us to explore the depths of emotion and meaning, and this piece is a reflection of the inner strength we all possess.


Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

Much of my inspiration comes from nature, in general, and more specifically the ocean and seaside.  In 2022, my husband and I were on a short vacation, and we drove the breathtaking 17-Mile Drive along the shoreline in Carmel, California.  It truly is one of the most famous scenic drives in the world and I was struck by the beauty of the deep blue ocean, cresting waves, barren ocean-front vegetation, and the fog. This experience inspired me immensely, and I took countless photos and made notes about my observations and feelings. Immediately upon returning to my studio, I created a large, mixed-media artwork that I am exceptionally proud of, appropriately titled “17-Mile Drive”.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

When I was living in Germany, I was a pediatric nurse in Frankfurt.  Then, after immigrating to Canada, I was a caregiver for several years.  I became a German language teacher and started my own school in North Vancouver, which I operated for seventeen years.

Why art?

Picasso’s quote encapsulates why I chose art. “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” Art speaks to the inexplicable harmony between colors and forms that transcends rational understanding. For me, it embodies this essence of freedom and intuition in the creative process. Through my work, I delve into the depths of human experience, evoking emotions and sparking thoughts that go beyond mere words. Picasso’s words remind me that true artistic expression cannot be taught; instead, it emerges from the mysterious interplay of intuition, imagination, and personal experience.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

An artistic outlook on life is characterized by a profound appreciation for creativity, expression, imagination, and the inherent beauty and complexity of the human experience. It encourages individuals to embrace their unique perspectives, explore new possibilities, and engage with the world in a meaningful and transformative way. Also, it fosters experimentation, pushing boundaries, and questioning the status quo, viewing uncertainty and mistakes as opportunities for growth and discovery.



What memorable responses have you had to your work?

The most valuable experiences for me are when I see that people are deeply touched by one of my paintings and have an emotional response.  For example, I first met one of my collectors at a large Art Fair in Vancouver, where I was exhibiting. Talking about my artworks led quickly to a more in-depth conversation about life experiences, hardship, etc.  We both felt an immediate and deeper connection and maintained communication ever since.

Just recently, I informed her about our pending move to Italy, and it was really important for her to see me again before leaving the country, and we made arrangements for a studio visit. She was completely drawn to a particular painting hanging on the wall and struggled to hold back her tears, as the painting evoked deep memories. It took a little while for her to compose herself, before she stated, “I must have this piece – I cannot leave without it”. Moments like this are the most precious for me to witness as an artist. While it is great to make a sale, it is far more fulfilling and so touching when you can experience emotions like this with a collector.


What food, drink, song inspires you?

My inspiration is not drawn from these things.  Rather, my inspiration comes from life experiences, emotions, memories, connections, poems, and quotes, as well as nature.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Yes, it is very lonely, and I am OK with it.  I actually need the solitude and paint in complete silence. I counteract this by engaging with other artists on social media on a regular basis and have established some close relations.  But, away from the virtual world, I really thrive on personal connection and collaborations. Also, I strongly believe that art should be seen, accessible to the public and not just in galleries, but in all public spaces like stores, hair salons, libraries, etc. It’s about raising awareness to our surroundings because people are often disconnected from so much beauty around us.



What do you dislike about the art world?

I personally find the comparison among artists a bit disheartening. I believe that each artist possesses a unique voice and perspective, making comparisons not only irrelevant but also detrimental to the spirit of creativity. Every artist brings something distinct and valuable to the table, and the pressure to measure up to others’ standards can stifle individual expression and innovation. Instead of fostering healthy competition, this mentality breeds insecurity and diminish the diversity and richness of artistic expression. Therefore, I advocate for celebrating the uniqueness of each artist and embracing the wealth of perspectives that contribute to the vibrancy of the art world.

What do you dislike about your work?

What wears on me are the many never-ending demands that take so much time away from my art. In general, people have no concept of what is involved behind the canvas, and the work involved to run an art business.


What do you like about your work?

I love to be immersed in my art and get lost when I begin with just a word, a sentence, a fragment of a poem, a thought, or an emotion. From the very first marks created with absolute freedom and curiosity, new perspectives unfold on the canvas. Each painting takes shape by adding many layers of paint and creating texture.

My marks and scribbles that emerge intuitively are like the scars and triumphs of life. Colour and line, movement and shapes are in constant dialogue, and it is the continuous adding and taking away that allows the ‘story’ to slowly emerge. For me, it feels like a continuous dance. Each moment along the way has significance and may lead to a change in direction, allowing new ideas and creative impulses to emerge, embracing the unpredictable, while never abandoning my intuition. Beyond the burst of colors, layers, and marks is a soul-to-soul dialogue between you, me, and the vulnerability of the human experience.

Life is not always easy. It is messy and hard and can wear us down. We are often faced with challenges and doubts, but all these things contribute to the story being told on the canvas and are necessary for our growth. It’s all about trusting myself and the process and letting go of any thoughts and worries. Then, everything else falls away.


Should art be funded?

While opinions may vary on the allocation of public funds, I believe art funding is essential for promoting cultural vitality, economic growth, education, and community engagement, as well as for supporting the free expression of ideas. By providing artists with the resources they need to create and share their work, art funding fosters diversity of thought, promotes dialogue, and encourages the exploration of challenging and innovative ideas.

What role does arts funding have?

Art funding plays a pivotal role in supporting artists by providing financial resources such as grants, fellowships, residencies, and commissions. This support enables artists to create and develop their work, fostering creativity and innovation within the artistic community. Also, I believe art funding not only supports artists in their creative pursuits but also helps to uphold and celebrate the rich tapestry of human culture.

What is your dream project?

I long to have a big studio with lots of natural light where I can paint really big and am not limited by physical constraints. My dream project is to create the space, and then create within it.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

I have lots of artists who I admire, but as mentioned earlier, I don’t like to be compared to someone else. I embrace the individuality of art, and the uniqueness of each artist.



Favourite or most inspirational place?

My most inspirational place is the outdoors, nature, and particularly along the ocean. Many of my paintings found their inspiration along the seawall in West Vancouver, Canada – a place I regularly went to find grounding during difficult times.  The sounds, smells and colours of the ocean, the waves, and the sunsets, have inspired many of my artworks. Since relocating to Italy, I continued to be inspired by the sunrises and sunsets, and the seaside along the Adriatic.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To invest in myself and pursue my dreams, regardless of the obstacles and detours that journey may take you on.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

Professionally, my goal is to paint big, and to establish myself in a new country, with a foreign language. Moving from North America to Europe opens a whole new world, and today I stand on the cusp of a new adventure in Italy, ready to infuse my work with newfound inspiration.

Future plans?

In the fairly short time that I have been a professional artist, I have been fortunate to get into multiple art shows and participated in numerous art events.  Now I am looking to take my art to the next level and to find grounding in Europe. I want to be embedded and connected in my new community, both personally and professionally. Short term, I want to find my ‘forever home’ here in Italy and to build my dream studio where I can create for many years to come. Long term, I want to be recognized by my style and approach to art – where you can see one of my pieces and know that it is a piece of ‘SoulArt’, by Claudia Wiebe.

‘SoulArt’ is art that becomes a mirror of your layered story and enriches your life day after day. When you bring my paintings into your space, you’re not just adding a conversation piece to your walls but a beautiful testament to bravery, growth, and the layers of vulnerability that beckon you to explore with your soul.










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