It serves as a tool for my mental health, I find spending time on the water feeds my soul and makes me feel better about life.
I live on Lake Ontario and spend a lot time on it and it inspires my work.
I draw a lot of inspiration in my paintings from the out doors and the waterscapes are a big one for me, just because of their luminosity and I use water mediums too so there’s that sense of it too, the actual element is present in my work. That sort of inspired me to go in a direction where now I’ve launched an apparel company that also does events that’s sort of inspired by water and recreation and gives back to sustaining the Great Lakes, it’s had a huge impact on me, it means everything to me.
I honestly feel like every single person who ends up watching this, ends up hearing about any of this can relate to stress and experiencing anxiety and just a general sense of disconnect and to all those people -and I say this to myself any time I get into that spiral too, even if you think you don’t have time, go outside, find out where the nearest place is and start exploring and interacting. I swear to God, even going for a fifteen minute walk on any kind of beach or shoreline, whatever you’re instantly going to feel so much better.
There’s this little park called Rhododendron Gardens and it’s in Port Credit. My parents took me there one time on the weekend just to show me, they love it, they go all the time. It’s on lake Ontario and it has this almost hidden beach. You will see it at a certain point if you follow the path but once you descend, it’s like a small escarpment and then you roll onto this perfect rocky beach. It’s so quiet, it’s so, I don’t know it’s like anything that’s small, you just feel so much love for it, it’s just so private. If you were a kid and you stumbled upon it that’s where you’d spend all of your time because it just feels so serene.
I was also in a really raw almost state myself, it just nurtured me so much, my connection to water in general had always been pretty strong but I kind of feel like that specific time and place made it stronger to Lake Ontario itself because I just observed its beauty across the seasons, you see the lake right before the storm and it’s raging and the water’s flying. In the winter time it’s able to freeze and it covers these huge rocks in beautiful ice sculptures, it’s gorgeous. And I think that was the first time I was specifically like Lake Ontario is beautiful.
My name is Oksana Berda, I’m a Toronto based painter and and my Watermark is Lake Ontario.