Loretta Sheshequin was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is Oji-Cree and a member of the Chapleau Cree First Nation. A formally trained artist, she received her Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts (HBFA) degree from Lakehead University in 2000, majoring in Printmaking.
As a student, Loretta's work was recognized with the Lakehead University Dean's Award for Printmaking, as well as individual show awards. Her work was also selected for presentation to Lakehead University honorary degree recipients Buffy Sainte-Marie and Douglas Cardinal. As a professional artist, her works have found a home in many private collections.
She enjoys the tactile qualities of materials such as linoleum and wood in block printmaking, as well as exploring line and tone through the various intaglio techniques. Much of Loretta's work is characterized by her use of earth tones and a layering of images. She draws inspiration from her Bear clan roots and her love and respect for her culture and the nature that surrounds her. Hers is a contemporary approach to traditional Aboriginal art.
I think I've always been a printmaker. This is what I was meant to do. The technical aspects of printmaking challenge me and push me every time. When I start a new work, I usually have a concrete idea in mind. Pulling that idea out of the material and bringing it to life is very rewarding.
Some of the materials I use in the printmaking process are very industrial. I try to take those materials and create something organic and full of life. To me a successful piece is about tone, composition, color and layered meaning.
I learn from every piece I do. I learn about technique, but more importantly, I learn more about myself, my people and where I come from. This is what I'd like others to take from my work too.
The technique Loretta uses is as follows:
A fine art print is a multiple original. made by hand by the artist. Each print is pulled one impression at a time, from a plate/block (e.g. zinc or linoleum) created by the artist. With original fine art prints, the tactile quality of the ink and the printing style are inseparable parts of the artwork.
Loretta creates her block/plates and then hand prints them using a printing press and other fine art
printing equipment.The edition is established by Loretta beforehand and is sometimes imposed by the plate/block wear; therefore she chooses to print very small editions, usually 20 or less.
Although, in all editions all prints look the same, slight differences can be found.