You would never guess it from meeting her, but Eleanor Rosenberg cried a lot as a child.
“I think I was upset about being in the world,” she said with a laugh. “And I grew up in Deep Cove. Everyone knows Vancouver is rainy and if there’s a rainiest part of all of Vancouver, it’s where I grew up.”
But all that rain meant Rosenberg spent a lot of time inside – drawing – and experimenting with colours.
And by the age of about 15, she must have cried herself dry because now, the self-diagnosed optimist is anything but depressing.
The 28-year-old is employed in Whitehorse as a graphic designer, but that’s not all this artist has to offer.
“I kind of like breaking through that, ‘If you’re a graphic designer, you work on a computer and you don’t really know how to draw,’” she said.
Rosenberg’s ever-growing portfolio contains pieces of fine art and illustrations for children’s books. As well, there are numerous hostel walls across Australia, and bedroom walls across Canada, which have been adorned with Rosenberg’s original murals.
And now, she is having her “Whitehorse solo show debut,” she said laughing again.
Cup Half Colourful, will open at Triple J’s Gallery 22 on Thursday night.
The collection is a compilation of a few different series but they all fit under the theme of colour.
“Colour is a really important part of my work,” she said. “I’m generally a really positive-thinking person and I feel like colour is an important part of that for me. And I think it also has an influence on peoples’ mood and general outlook on life.”
Even as a younger artist, Rosenberg was always inspired by colour.
When she was only 12 years old, she had the opportunity to do some workshops with Ted Harrison.
“I’ve always kind of looked up to his work and just the idea of using fun, unrealistic colours,” she said.
Rosenberg’s main goal with her artwork is to bring a little bit of colour and joy into peoples’ lives, she said.
She is especially excited about two new series included in the exhibit.
There’s a collection of drawings of musicians that came from the Jazz in the Hall concert series held in Whitehorse this past winter.
The work is really different when it’s based on “life” rather than still objects, she said.
“You have to move really quickly,” she explained, adding that when you only have 10 to 30 seconds to get the main, basic shapes on paper, you have to make “radical” decisions.
“Which can be good,” said Rosenberg. “There’s just this energy behind it. It’s kind of a bit of a dance because you’re drawing but you’re also moving with the music.
“Performance drawing is just really fun. It’s a combination of worlds. The feeling of their music goes on the page.”
is also a series of animals in the exhibit, which is a bit of a new realm for Rosenberg.
“This summer, in particular, I’ve really been enjoying birds,” she said with a grin and wide eyes.
Her words quicken as she throws her hands past her head, like a bird flying by.
“If you see a mountain blue bird or a yellow warbler fly by, it’s like ‘Ohhh!’ It’s a little dash of colour.”
All the while, Rosenberg is standing in front her most recent piece. It almost covers an entire wall of her log home. A mix of acrylics, house paint, Chinese ink and pastels, the piece moves from a controlled clutter of reedy-looking branches on the left to two, small, blue birds on the right. Their wings flitter on the canvas with extra strokes of the striking blue.
“Birds really bring you a lot of joy,” she said. “If I can bring that little bit of feeling of joy to someone’s home then I’d be happy for them to have it. And I want to share that.”
The opening reception for Cup Half Colourful will be at Gallery 22 (above Triple J’s Music) from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
It will run until Saturday August 6.
Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at