For local artist Kal Barteski, wife and mother of three, painting has been her passion since as long as she can remember. Stating at the age of five that her goal in life was to be a painter, Barteski has achieved just that and so much more. For one, she is the founder of LINKwithlove, an online collaborative set to teach others how to deal correctly with online property. She’s also a winner of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and is an extremely well known blogger. She has published a book, sold her art internationally, and much more. All of this while painting daily. Barteski’s love for life, contagiously optimistic attitude and crazy talent make her a force to be reckoned with, and she exemplifies this perfectly through her unique work.
“Polar bears are easy to identify with living in Canada— they are tough, creative, adaptable and extremely awesome,” says Barteski.
For anyone following her blog, they would see her personal updates and progress on her polar bear paintings for her upcoming polar bear art show.
This love affair all started back in college when she was dropped off at the zoo and asked to sketch. She found herself at the polar bear exhibit sketching Debbie, the bear at the time, and her new favorite muse.
“I became enthralled with her. I fell in love.”
Their relationship blossomed and Barteski found herself painting Debbie nearly every week. This random encounter and Barteski’s very public admiration for polar bears has led her down a path full of remarkable experiences. Most recently, Barteski became a certified TEDxManitoba speaker and her talk granted her an emotional standing ovation.
She was also presented with the extraordinary opportunity of adventuring to Churchill for the documented show Wild Obsession which aired on Animal Planet, where she got to meet the polar bears in person.
“Nature is amazing and the world is complicated only by people,” says Barteski on what she learned from the experience. The polar bears have also taught her how to “adapt, persevere and get on with things.”
“There is an opportunity everyday to redefine who we are and how we react to life. You can change your mind. You can be a chameleon,” says Barteski who has truly lived her own words and has survived to talk about it.
With so much already under her belt, her career goals for the future are simple, “Career goals change by the minute, but it all boils down to paint everyday for as long as I can. And maybe have a couple of shows, raise some money for good causes and share some ideas.”
She credits a lot of her career to saying “yes” to opportunities that come her way, and not being afraid to stray from the path.
“I made a couple of lucky choices and followed my passion.”
As for her future? “Truly, my life goals are pretty basic. Love my family. Be kind. Appreciate where I’m at. Paint everyday for as long as I can.”
Check out her TEDxManitoba talk here: