MRC x Spiller's Rock Studio

We sat down with Troy Mitchell, the artist behind our latest #MRCArtists Collection to talk about his art and what "the spirit of the East Coast" means to him. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a husband and dad, originally from Twillingate, on Newfoundland and Labrador's northeast coast.  It is a vibrant fishing community and I come from several generations of fishing men and women.  I joined my dad's boat when I was 12.  My career is in healthcare management and I am a private practice therapist.   I love being outside and working with my hands - it balances out my life.   
When did you first find a passion for art and what inspires your work?

Creating things has always been so energizing.  I have sketched most of my life and tested out watercolour/oil painting.  For quite some time I've wanted to capture the east coast in a unique way.  Printmaking, which involves first carving the image into lino, allows a bold, minimalist approach to subjects which resonate.  I love watching an image emerge from the carved surface, unsure of the final appearance until it is printed.  I've focused much of my work on the sea and landscape of Newfoundland, and Twillingate - it inspires me to create images which showcase its beauty.   

Who is your favourite East Coast artist? 

Such a tough question.  I don't have a favourite, honestly.  Routinely I am struck by how East Coast artists bring things to life in new and unique ways.  The variety and brilliance always reminds me that we live in such a creative part of the country.  Especially the ocean and land surrounding it - there are constantly new and imaginative ways to show it's beauty!   

You chose to donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of your collection to the Twillingate Island Elementary Breakfast Program. What does this program mean to you?

It makes me so happy to send proceeds to Twillingate Island Elementary Breakfast Program.  I've been a social worker for many years and know first hand of the impact of poverty.  Having food available is one of the most fundamental needs that we can provide in society.  With adequate food through a breakfast program we even the field for every child, lifting opportunity and creativity.  Twillingate is my hometown, much of my art is based on its land/seascape.  I'm so thankful to give back to the community. 
What does "the spirit of the East Coast" mean to you?

It's one of those things East Coasters know.  We fully accept the enormity of the Atlantic Ocean at our feet, and a level of creativity in all forms which seems unlimited.  For me the spirit is community, in each East Coast province on its own and what we feel in common collectively.  It's the level of eye contact, connection to our roots, willingness to tell stories, and help out.  Here on the East Coast we have held onto a way of living which intertwines who we are with where we live, the things we create, and the way we share it.      

Favourite singer or band?

I love so much variety in music.  Also a huge Green Day fan!!   :)

Favourite pizza toppings?

Full disclosure - pineapple does routinely make its way onto my pizza! 

Bucket list vacation spot?

The next back-to-normal wish list is the South of England.  Over the past couple of years I've connected with so many printmakers from there - so I'd love to travel that coast and visit them.   

Shop Troy's collection here:

Follow Troy on Instagram here:

Check out more of Troy's work here:  

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