Art Minute

She didn't meet her father till she was 13 — but he ended up changing her life with painting

When she was 18, Fiona Ackerman joined her father in Germany where she learned from him and painted all day.

When she was 18, Fiona Ackerman joined her father in Germany where she learned from him and painted all day

(Fiona Ackerman)

Vancouver-based painter Fiona Ackerman didn't meet her father until she was 13 years old — while on a school choir competition through Europe.

"My mom arranged that after the choir sang at the Cologne Cathedral, I would meet my father," Ackerman recalls. "I remember being on this stage and you're looking at all these people and you're like...'One of these people.'"

Watch the video:

When she was 18, Fiona Ackerman joined her father in Germany where she learned from him and painted all day. 1:04

"My father is German," she says. "He's a painter, and my mother met him when she was travelling when she was younger. You can fill in the blanks."

Ackerman attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, but she says her father, Gregor Hiltner, is the one behind her training. When she was 18, he asked her to join him in Germany to take part in one of his summer academies, where she spent a whole summer learning from him and painting all day. She's been painting ever since.

"It was great, and when you ask me about art school...it was a great way to spend some time and not have to work all day long. But, really, my education came from my father."

Ackerman's painting style reflects that of her father's and unites carefree expressionist painting with strict and thorough editing and composing. Her explorative paintings are exhibited across Canada and in Germany. See more of her work below!

(Fiona Ackerman)
(Fiona Ackerman)
(Fiona Ackerman)

Art Minute is a CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.

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