aldea wood vancouver island

Gathering west coast inspiration in Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.

Hey, I’m Aldea! I am an artist and designer based on Vancouver Island. I love to create in a variety of media including oil, acrylic and gouache painting; pottery; surface pattern design; and drawing. I have slowly grown a professional printmaking practice specializing in linocut prints on paper and fabric.

I was introduced to printmaking as a young girl by an aunt who imported etchings to Canada. She lived part-time in Mexico and connected with some of the most talented Mexican printmakers. Their work was colourful, playful and full of imagery I’d never seen.

I had my first try at printmaking in high school and later studied intaglio copper etching and oil painting while visiting Guadalajara, Mexico for a university exchange. After getting a degree in economics I completed a 3-year diploma in graphic design and illustration at Capilano University.

I grew up on Bowen Island surrounded by nature, and now call Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island home. I enjoy the outdoors and am inspired by natural encounters. I love the coast and try to visit Tofino and Ucluelet once a year—usually camping close to the beach—to soak up new west coast inspiration. I am thrilled to share my work with you!

Whale Inspirations

While completing my design diploma I spent my summers working as a resort photographer for a remote fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii. It was there that I saw a humpback whale for the first time.

Between 40 and 50 feet in length, the majestic humpback is breathtaking to see in the wild. While in Haida Gwaii I saw more many more humpbacks, and a host of other fanciful sea creatures I’d only read about. I began to have dreams I was swimming with whales.

About five years after my first baleen whale sighting, my dream came true. While swimming less than ten feet from the beach at English Bay in Vancouver, a grey whale appeared offshore from me, raising its pectoral fin in what seemed like an acknowledgement. While I didn’t wallow—always mindful to not disturb marine life—it was an experience that will stay with me forever.

Whales continue to be a source of creative inspiration and still appear in my dreams from time to time.

Here is a short video of me swimming in English Bay when the grey whale appeared:

Learn how to avoid disturbing marine mammals: Marine Mammal Regulations of the Fisheries Act

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Education

2001 Etching and painting classes, Hospicio Cabanas Cultural Institute, Guadalajara Mexico
2003-2006 Illustration Design Elements + Applications Diploma, Capilano University,
North Vancouver
2015 Silkscreening workshop
2016 Shibori fabric dyeing workshop

Instruction

2017-present Palsson Elementary School: Artist in the Classroom Printmaking Workshops
2017-present Cowichan Valley Regional District: Various printmaking classes and workshops

Shows/Events

2006 Group Show, CityScape Community Art Space, North Vancouver
2009 Gallery by the Sea, Outdoor Group Exhibition, Sidney BC
2013 Out of Hand juried artisan fair, including art demonstration Victoria BC
2013 The Art Affair Group Show, The Vancouver Club
2016 Moonrise Creative juried artisan fair
2016 Opus Outdoor Art Competition, pioneered plein-air printmaking at this event
2016 Collingwood School Art Fundraiser, Donor and Exhibitor, West Vancouver
2016 Camp Fancy Fundraiser art auction donation
2018 and 2019 Marine Education Research Society art auction donation
February and March 2017 solo show, Coffee on the Moon, Duncan BC

Stockists / Galleries

2015-present, Reflecting Spirit Gallery, Ucluelet BC
2016-present, Scarlett’s Boutique, Lake Cowichan BC