Ohannessian is a Canadian artist who was born in Yerevan, Armenia. It
was then part of the former Soviet Union, where freedom of expression
in any form was severely restricted. Since she could not freely
develop her innate gift for painting, after graduating from high
school, she found refuge in the study of biology, which allowed her
to connect to nature's creativity. Education
and Teaching Experience:
the age of 20, Lilith immigrated to Montreal, Canada. Here she
continued her studies in biology. After receiving a Bachelor of
Science degree from Sir George Williams University (presently
Concordia University), she was employed as a research assistant at
McGill University where she used light and electron microscopes as
tools of investigation. Here she could observe the symbiosis of
living organisms, their inexorable interrelation, vitality, and
design. Initially, her art developed out of this understanding and
she was greatly inspired by the organic shapes of the microscopic
world, by plant and animal forms. She then pursued her studies
in the Arts and in 1986 she graduated from Concordia University with
a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art.
1991 she moved with her young family to Ottawa, where she continued
her scientific work as Research Assistant at the National Research
Council of Canada.
At the same time, she practices her art whenever time permitted. Her
search for self expression with minimal elements, yet with maximum
content led her to sumi-e, or Japanese brush painting. Lilith started
taking lessons from the
noted Japanese artist/teacher Tomoko Kodama, whose breathing brush
method opened another avenue
addition to sumi-e, health challenges moved her towards Eastern
philosophies, teachings and practices, such as Tai Chi, Taoism and
Zen Buddhism. With this new awareness, Lilith developed her own and
unique language of painting and drawing, combining an ancient Eastern
painting style with Western sensibilities and aesthetics.
- Bachelor of Science degree from Sir George Williams University (presently Concordia University)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University, specializing in Studio Art (Graduation in 1986) (under the supervision of Guido Molinari, Tom Hopkins and David Moore)
- Sumi-e classes at the Ottawa School of Art under the direction of Tomoko Kodama (1998-2006)
- Workshop with Ghitta Caeserman-Roth (2002).
- Mixed Media Art courses at the Napean Visual Art Center under the direction of Suzanne Warren Powell (2002-2003)
- Giving Oriental brush painting classes and workshops since 2007.
Here are the highlights of her artistic career:
She exhibited her work with the Yohaku Group at the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa, at Britannia Gallery and in Tokio, Japan. Her work appeared in juried shows at the Ottawa School of Art. She also participated in some of the Ottawa Mixed Media Association's juried shows. She had several solo shows of her paintings and drawings. She annually participated in Ottawa Orchid Show art exhibitions and has won numerous awards. She has been frequently commissioned to do paintings for private customers.Lilith has been teaching and giving sumi-e workshops since 2007.