Débora Cardaci gets bored if she does any one thing for too long.
The North Kildonan artist has taken that opportunity to explore several different areas of creativity — doing everything from life drawing to painting to sculpting. The 49-year-old even played a major role in creating her studio in her Brazier Street home.
She revamped an old attached garage at the back of the house in approximately three-and-a-half months.
"I found this really old, weird house that has all these additions," Cardaci said. "I found the right people and I did a fair bit of all this myself because that’s another thing I like to do — I like to build stuff.
"I like to work with wood and I’m not afraid of power tools."
Cardaci had been using a sunroom as a studio prior to being able to spread out in the converted garage, and has taken advantage of the opportunity to create mural-sized paintings, as she enjoys the opportunity to keep things fresh.
"I need to find the variety because I get bored," she said. "I like when everything is varied. Since I like everything — painting, drawing, and sculpting — I tried to have all the options."
Cardaci taught life drawing and sculpting at universities in her homeland of Argentina, and is offering classes out of her studio aimed at students ranging from children to seniors. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish, and classes can be bilingual at times, which adds an extra dimension to the sessions.
"There are a lot of people here that are very interested in learning Spanish, and this is a fun way to do that," she said. "It’s not in the environment of a typical classroom, so if the person is also interested in art, it’s a perfect match.
"We switch (between languages) all the time, and people that aren’t even interested in Spanish, they start to learn. There are some people here that don’t speak English, so they learn English."
Cardaci, originally from Buenos Aires, moved to Winnipeg in 2006 as she looked for an opportunity to advance her career. She initially came on a 10-day exploratory visit before settling here, initially in St. Boniface before buying a home in North Kildonan in 2008.
"In Argentina, our country has a lot of social and economic problems — political stuff, too — so to be able to develop as an artist, to evolve in your profession, and to grow, it’s not very easy,"
Cardaci said, citing the established Argentinian community as what brought her to the Prairies.
Cardaci feels she has been able to accomplish her goal, growing as an artist and breaking away from more traditional approaches. She feels the vast differences between Buenos Aires and Winnipeg — particularly in the Canadian winter — have helped with that transition.
"It’s incredibly scary for a South American person, but at the same time, it’s very poetic, it’s very beautiful, it’s very inspiring," she said. "The quietness, the silence of the moments where snow comes, it’s beautiful. I’ve been able to concentrate and focus.
"My art is more expressive now."
Cardaci hopes to expand into teaching the lost-wax technique of jewelry-making, and hopes to set aside some time to be a student at some point, too.
"If I had a lifetime, a long life, I would get into everything," she said. "I would like to be a movie director, I would like to get into photographs, learning photograph techniques. I would like to work in a foundry."
For more information on Cardaci or the classes, visit her website at http://www.deboracardaci-fineart.com