#yycLCL January 2023

Image of a group of soapstone cast quails
A group of like-minded quails. Soapstone cast | Photo: Moe Bader

#yycLCL January 2023

Being mischievous is what these quails are best at — and in this photo, we see them cooking up a plan for their next silly adventure all whilst in their ‘Sunday best.’ These quails and a few of the following sculpt examples, are mixed-media soapstone casts, whereby soapstone typically discarded from the original carving project is repurposed to create something new.

Each piece of work is cast soapstone that is individually and lovingly textured, painted and coated in a specialty resin so that the vibrant colours shine through. I am happy to breathe life into materials that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill as part of the traditional carving process, following suit to my mentor’s techniques of form and function in a responsible manner.

Hello there! My name is Moe Bader, a local visual artist exploring a broad range of styles and mediums including watercolour, acrylic painting and, most recently, soapstone sculpting and casting. Adding this third dimension to the art process brings the joys of texture, feel and a renewed study of the nuances of light on surface and form. It also brings with it dust and an absolute mess, the universe’s way of balance — ha! For the last several years, painting, illustrating, but especially carving, has become the path to heal, understand and live with a chronic illness that has had an immense impact on my life.

With a previous life as an engineering professional, I never imagined losing abilities I had so diligently developed. A pivot into art was never planned for and this journey of self-study and practice (albeit slow in nature) has led to new friendships, mentorships and new perspectives of the past and future life. The pursuit of art has helped me manifest new possibilities. By being creative, this mindset has granted me access to new perspectives and growth in life.

I live a creative lifestyle on many days; when I’m not experimenting with sculpting techniques, you can find me urban sketching or plein air painting throughout our lovely city. It is also fascinating to sit down and observe people, so I always keep a sketchbook at arm’s reach. Often, I find myself situated and studying/illustrating familiar locations, trying to change my perspective on life events and experiencing the dynamic nature of people and places.

My style tends to have a happy and playful take on form or colour as an extension of the way I strive to become — wise through experience while young at heart — juxtaposing the fire and brimstone that sometimes resides within. No longer able to dive into things like I used to, I spend much time observing people and the environment. There is so much to see in what many find mundane, we just need to open our eyes and hearts to better see the world. Art exercises that skill. I invite everyone to gift themselves 20 minutes a day to something artistic and find what new possibilities exist!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Remember to slow down and take good care Calgarians, you deserve it!

Moe Bader is a local visual artist exploring a broad range of styles and mediums including watercolour, acrylic painting and most recently soapstone sculpting and casting. He enjoys using vibrant colours to bring out emotional responses and is inspired by the mountains, beautiful landscapes, Canadian wildlife and people.

He shares his artistic endeavours with his lovely community on Instagram. Go and say hi!

Have a photo or artwork to share? From features to podcasts, The Storytelling Project raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives. Tag your Instagram photos with #yycLCL for a chance to be featured in our Photo of the Month series.