Talia Goldsmith is one of those people that truly believes you’re never too old to take on something new.
The 33-year-old artist currently has a collection of her works on display at the London Public Library (LPL) Central branch, and while that might not seem like anything out of the ordinary to most people, consider first that Goldsmith has only been painting on her own for the last two years.
Originally hailing from Duncan, B.C., Goldsmith said art was always something done by other people in her family but not an ongoing pursuit of her own. “It was just something my dad did. It was always there and I remember going downstairs to where he had his band saw and I would play with the sawdust.”
It wasn’t until returning home after an 11-year stint abroad that what had been nothing more than a passing interest before morphed into something bigger.
“When I was in the U.K., a lot of people would ask me about my culture and all that,” explained Goldsmith, who is a member of the Cowichan First Nation.
Wanting to know more herself, she said it was like trying to quench a thirst when she finally came home two years ago.
“I just wanted to know more, I wanted to know everything.”
That thirst included learning everything from how to carve and paint to making baskets and knitting the Cowichan sweaters her tribe is known for.
Working first with her father, who does traditional First Nations carvings, it wasn’t long until Goldsmith felt the urge to start spreading her own artistic wings, which she did by painting a few ideas of her own on canvas.
Moving to London about a year ago, she was still constantly looking to her father, sending pictures back and forth asking for input. But as time passed, the number of those calls to B.C. looking for her father’s advice have declined as her own confidence has grown.
Describing her work as a mix of traditional First Nations style with a dash of realism, Goldsmith works primarily with acrylic paints on canvas. The collection of works she has on display is her first public showing and she said the response she has received so far has been nothing but positive. In addition to being contacted by a few people interested in her art, Goldsmith said she also has been commissioned by one customer to create an ongoing series of works.
Looking forward, Goldsmith has no intentions of slowing down, but in fact is hoping for “bigger and better” things in the future.
“I like to paint. It makes me happy and I just hope that my art will make other people happy to look at it.”