Billie Rae

About the Artist

Billie Rae Busby is a contemporary visual artist who creates abstract paintings of sky and land. She uses a precise hard-edge technique and colour theory to reinvent her surroundings. Her paintings evoke wonder and possibility by depicting mood, memory, movement, connection and time.

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she is inspired by both the complexity of urban architecture and the vast rural landscape. She strives to interpret ordinary places in a fresh, new context.

Her abstract works have been exhibited in various galleries and exhibitions in Canada and have been acquired by several collections including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Canada House (the Canadian High Commission Embassy) in London, England.

Artist Statement

I experience a paradoxial attraction for both rural and urban scapes. I am stirred by the sharp, significant lines that construct both places. My quest is to find balance in the void of the solitude in nature and the visual complexity of the modern city. 

By using a hard-edge painting technique, my abstract landscapes depict wonder and possibility, along with movement, mood, memory and time. 

I snap photos while traveling in a vehicle through the sprawl and pause to adore the daily and seasonal changes in my immediate environment. I use these pictures as initial sources for composition and insight in my work. I deconstruct the image by instinctively selecting acrylic paint colours and lines to form a specific rhythm and light for each painting. The composition is layered and distorted to create contrast and the notion of seasons, weather conditions and time.

I paint hard, crisp edges by masking off areas and adding smooth layers with a palette knife and brushes through control and precision. By varying the size of lines and angles on the canvas, I can manipulate the space and accentuate the vastness of the flat area. 

Through each painting, I feel more connected to who I am and my surroundings. These paintings are abstracted landscapes. The process involves the opposition of strong, decisive marks to form a vaguely familiar location. I experience great anticipation to see and interpret ordinary places in a fresh, new context.

What is your “Dreamland” ?

My “Dreamland” is imagining potential in our landscape and nature around us. In my artwork, I play with colour theory and hard-edge painting to create an abstracted view of our reality. “Dreamland” to me is about evoking mood and memory, which are two key focuses in my work.

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