One of our goals as a business at Pineridge Hollow is to source and support as much local talent and product as possible. While there’s no doubt the local recognition is growing, I don’t think the average person may realize how many fantastic products are readily available right here in Manitoba. From farmers who provide us with vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, oil and pasta to artisans making home décor, jewelry, candles, pottery, and art. In the summer we have the privilege of hosting an even greater number of smaller and up-and-coming vendors at our weekly Farmers’ Market. We wanted to bring some more attention to the vendors you can find here throughout the year with our Local Love Blog Series.
Last month we shared our first “Local Love” blog post highlighting one of our favourite local vendors from our gift shop. We loved your feedback and response–it looks like you locals really do love unique Manitoba product! So next up is Lisa Whitehouse, an amazing watercolour artist who has taken Manitoba (and beyond) by storm for 3 years with her custom pet portraits and brightly coloured animal-themed paintings.
What inspired you to start your business?
I started selling my art in June of 2015 when I made the decision to stay home with my kids. I started out hoping to sell a few paintings to supplement our income, but I soon fell in love with the whole process of watercolour painting including the interaction with the people I painted them for.
I started Whitehouse Art to create paintings that made people smile. It sounds cheesy, but I genuinely love how happy my art makes people.
Where did you learn to paint?
Lots and lots of practice!
How did you come up with your unique style?
My style is always evolving. I am constantly inspired by other watercolour artists who like myself feel that watercolours should be enjoyed!
What things continue to inspire you?
I spend hours on Pinterest looking at wildlife photos. I’m always inspired by the beauty of nature and I have a tendency to visualize animals in bright and often unnatural colours. Sometimes I see a photo and I just HAVE to paint it!
Do you have a favourite painting?
It’s constantly changing, but right now it’s probably my Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
It is so hard to narrow it down! I love how happy my pet portraits make my customers, I love that something I created can bring so much happiness and above all, I love having a career that allows me to be home with my kids.
Was there anything that was really important to the success of your business?
Social media has created an opportunity to share my work with a huge audience and it has allowed my customers to share it as well. I know for a fact that my success is due in large part to my customers spreading the word!
What makes the Manitoba market so unique?
Manitoba is amazing and I have often wondered if I could have achieved the success I have in any other market. Manitobans are proud of where they come from and see the value of supporting local. My customers go above and beyond by not only supporting my art through the purchase of a print or portrait but through sharing and spreading the word about what I do. Word of mouth has been paramount to the success of my business and I cannot thank my customers enough!
What’s next for your business?
I feel like I’m always growing and evolving as an artist and being inspired by other creatives. My list of wildlife I hope to tackle is endless and I’m also hoping to carve out some time to try out some other mediums like acrylic and charcoal.
You can find Lisa’s work in our store or learn more about her through her website.
Stay tuned for our next Local Love blog post!