Saturday, November 18, 2017

Have a holly jolly... too soon?

Well we know it's November and while Christmas is still a month away, BUT - and hear us out - we'd like to ease you into the holiday with some humour via our holiday cards and a few other fun little seasonal items...

First we have Jodie Hansen, who is a favourite of all who enter the gallery. Known for her pun filled pop culture cards, Jodie can't stop coming up with new ideas. Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who, Princess Bride, and Golden Girls are just a small sampling of the fandoms Jodie's work touches on.

This year she's upped her game again with the addition of stickers (!!!) and multi-purpose tree ornaments/magnets/wine tags that are already a big hit!

We're also taking orders for the holidays for amazing line of calendars! Her die cut calendars feature catss, dogs, flowers or Star Wars figures that move around based on what month it is!

Keeping on that humour train chugging are cards by Stephanie Boutilier who also hits the pop culture mark with her cards - especially if you're a fan of the Griswold clan.

If pop culture isn't your jam we also have fun cards from Assembly of Text that are sure to hit the spot.

Their winter button packs also make a fun gift or party favour (except for whoever gets stuck with the grinch button...)

If you're looking for a more peaceful vibe then these cards by Shelagh Duffet might be what you're looking for...

Don't forget we currently have a few special deals on the go - a limited number of gift certificates on special for 20% off! Free shipping within Canada until Dec 9th on purchases of $100 or more! Receive 20% off your purchase until Nov 20th when you make a donation of a gently used blanket or outerwear (or small a monetary donation) for the Navigator Street Outreach Program. We also have stocking stuffer grab bags priced at $2, $5 and $10 with all proceeds going to the Christmas Daddies Telethon!

PS Don't forget to check out our window while you're here for the Parade of Lights...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

There's No Place Like Home....for Art

Just as the title of this blog post implies, we wanted to talk about the importance of including art into your homes- there's no place quite like it!! Ask anyone that has started to purchase a few works of art and they will tell you there's no turning back to reproductions and mass produced art. This painting by Jennifer Harrison is filled with texture-something hard to replicate in print and better enjoyed as an original.

We've met some great new collectors lately and we're so excited for each and every one of them! Throughout the entry here, we are sharing a few images that have been shared with us from recent buyers of art...maybe your home is featured. Take a peek! If not, we'll be doing another post later in the year too, and we'd  love to receive images of art in your spaces.

You may be surprised to learn just how much art can transform a space, and have a positive effect on the environments of people who own it and get to enjoy it! Even though we work at the gallery and can see how new art even transforms our space each month with new exhibits, it still is a magical wonder- just like this Magic Baking Powder painting by Kim Floyd did for this kitchen. What a great place to start the morning!

 Original art enriches your life!  It can even provide a de-stressing effect and serve multiple purposes, while still beautifying your space. These recent purchases and installs of paintings shown below by Katharine Burns really bring the beauty of the ocean inside. So relaxing yet filled with energy! You can almost hear the waves...

Buying original art by local artists is a great way to support the artists, our small business and the cultural economy too and it's environmentally-friendly! No batteries or oil or upgrades needed any time soon, although you can also add a new work or two! Point is, it's not something you will use for a year and throw away only to head to the landfill. You can potentially have it forever to enjoy or pass on to others to enjoy! Love this Angela Carlsen work in this space-it's as if it was made for this home!

The art you choose will reflect your own individual personality too, and owning an original work that no one else has in the world is pretty great. Uniqueness and hand-made is better than mass-produced any day of the week!Some art may appear more modern in the gallery, but when merged with antiques it can become just as timeless and so uplifting -like this recent new homing of a painting by Caitlin McGuire!

Quality over quantity is what many of our clients see a value in. With many of our artists living just steps away from the gallery, there is always an opportunity to meet our artists and learn more about them as people too. You can even learn how to create from some of them- we have some great workshop offerings coming up soon!  This year, consider making art part of your life! There's still time, plus original art makes wonderful gift ideas. Some of our artists are even more than happy to create works especially for you, like the commissioned painting by Andy MacDonald featured below.

In short, skies the limit on what art can do for you! Try some ART out today!  We offer payment plans to make it even easier, as well as gift certificates, hanging services and more.

Art is for everyone and we have something for everyone here at the gallery. Bring yourself, your family and friends, yes, even your children or  your dogs...we welcome all to come inside anytime. Just start looking!It all starts with really see you soon!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

TOYS ART US - A process with Kim Floyd

This Friday two new shows opened at the gallery; TOYS ART US by Kim Floyd and SLOW CENTURY by Andy MacDonald. Today on the blog Kim shares a bit about the process that went into her show. (you can see ALL the paintings from each show now, over on our NOW SHOWING tab on this blog)


While I was working on Pantry (my show about nostalgic food) last year, I was visiting a friend who was running a day care out of her home and she had several Fisher-Price toys. She showed them to me and I was flooded with memories of my childhood. I told her I would like to paint these toys at some point. She eventually closed the daycare and gave them all to my daughter and me.

One day, I mentioned to Adriana about the Fisher-Price Parking Garage and how much I enjoyed playing with it as a child. It turns out that she did too. After talking with her, I decided that I needed to paint it. A few weeks later while thrift-shopping she luckily found both the Parking Garage and the famous Family Play House.

Kim Floyd, Chatter Phone, 6"x8", Acrylic on Board

With all these retro toys appearing in my life, I began working on this second series of paintings about childhood memory. I see my paintings as part-folk/part-pop with a touch of realism.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed painting them.

TOYS ART US is the kind of show that fills you up with nostalgia, either you had one of the toys in Kim's pieces or your kids did. Don't miss it! Come down to the galleryor check out the show online by clicking here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

PUMPKIN TIME: In Support of Adsum House

UPDATE: CLOSING BID was $50!  Thanks everyone!

 Hey everyone! Over the weekend we had a very talented young artist named James Janssen drop by and carve this amazing pumpkin just in time for Halloween. Wouldn't you love to own this beauty AND support Adsum House too? You'll be a Halloween Hero at the office or home when you win this artful creation by a local artist while supporting a local charity.

 ALL money is being donated TO ADSUM HOUSE! 

INBOX US WITH YOUR BID at or phone 902-425-9456 to leave your bid with us, or just drop by the gallery if near-by. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Giving Thanks: Workshop Wrap-Up and Upcoming!

It's long overdue, but we just had to THANK EVERYONE that made our first season of ART ON THE GO! Workshops possible this Summer. What better time to do it, than as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. In case you are wondering what we are referring to, we held a series of workshops this season that took people outside to begin creating artwork. The workshops were intended to be an introduction into various forms of art making. Mission accomplished! It was so much fun!

How did we make the art making portable? Well, we fashioned palette boxes filled with all the supplies needed to complete a workshop with the help of our neighbours. Sieverts Limited provided the wooden cigar boxes....

And then with the help of DESERRES art supplies, we fashioned them into little boxes filled with paint, pens, pastel, canvas and paper. Sometime the bottom was used to mix paint, but the box was  reusable for more art making through the year for the participants.

Here's just a few images from out in the field (literally) as well as at a farm, in the city, and at the beach. We are looking forward to continuing this series into the Winter months. Let us know what type of things you'd like to learn and share any feedback you may have if you took a workshop this year.

Craig Baltzer and his crew took to the streets of Halifax and began drawing the interesting architecture
Sharon Cave and her class learned how to use pastels and were inspired by their trip to the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm.

Caitlin McGuire's class took the Ferry to Dartmouth to explore the waterfront.. Pictured here is one of our younger participants. What was so great about this series, is that it really appealed to all ages and levels!

Gordon MacDonald held two in August and one in September. Although the first workshop at Lawrencetown Beach started out foggy, eventually the sun came out and what a marvelous day it was! 
Gord and his students at Lawrencetown Beach

Then in September, we headed to another nearby beach...Rainbow Haven. And it was heaven!
What a beautiful day that was! Ah...September in Nova Scotia is just the bestest of the best!
One time we even painted at night, with Mary Garoutte! It was magical and fun and we can't wait to do it all again soon!
We heard from many of our awesome Art on the Go-ers who certainly caught the art making bug, and continued the practice of creating art into their daily lives. All because they tried something new!  THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU THAT TOOK A CHANCE and came out for these workshops. You all truly inspired us! Oh, we must not to forget to thank Mother Nature, as we were very fortunate that all the days and nights we were creating outside, the weather cooperated.

 **Keep watching here on the blog for more information early November with workshops offered throughout the "cooler" months by Mark Brennan, Kim Floyd, Abigail Lower, Tacha Reed , Caitlin McGuire and Melissa Townsend.**

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hiraeth & Where I Live

Well gosh. Friday night we opened two shows, Hiraeth featuring new work by Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire; and Where I Live featuring new work by Craig Baltzer. It was a busy night at the gallery and we are so grateful to all our community members and gallery artists who came out to support these three artists.

Caitlin and Megan's show, Hiraeth, featured oil and acrylic paintings that are a nod to the past. Here they delve a bit more into the concept of "hiraeth" and their approaches to the work.

Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire

Pronounced hir-eath, a Welsh concept with no direct English translation, loosely defined as:
"A homesickness for a home you cannot return to, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for lost places of your past.”

Megan LeForte, Sleepover, 20"x24", Acrylic on canvas

: I was meandering through the Internet one day and stumbled on the word “hiraeth” and its definition. I read and reread it over and over. Here, in front of me, was a foreign word from a language I’ve never heard, perfectly describing the motivation behind nearly everything I paint. Cliché aside, I’m an old soul. I live in an old farm house. I work in a museum. I’m most happy in an antique shop, in the pages of a history book, or in an archive surrounded by the smell of old paper. All of this comes out in my artwork. This collection of paintings is the first installment of what will be an ongoing project. The paintings here represent memories, glimpses, and feelings from a time gone past. What is most important to me, through this body of work, is that it brings forth memories to the mind of the viewer, and I hope they’re good ones.

Caitlin McGuire, Time for Judge Judy, 12"x24", Oil on canvas

Caitlin: Megan presented the concept of “Hiraeth” to me at the perfect time. It was almost funny because it encompassed the work I was already making. Last summer my Opa passed away. We were very close and I would count him as a soulmate. We were very different people but we just understood and appreciated each other. He lived in Bayfield, Nova Scotia, in an old blue schoolhouse he fixed up in the 1990’s, which was practically my second home. This house holds so many memories for me and was such a big part of my life. It’s currently up for sale. After he passed I started making work that was centered around my Opa, as a way of grieving his loss. This body of work is an extension of that. It encompasses the nostalgia, the yearning and the grief I feel for my Opa and his home, and that many of us feel for those special places and people in our lives.

Craig Baltzer discussing his new works.

Funnily enough these two shows work really well together. While Megan and Caitlin's work looks back cultivating nostalgia, Craig's new work, Where I Live, a series using watercolour and ink on board, looks at what is currently the present but may one day be the past. In fact one of the locations featured in Craig's new work is already gone as of the show opening!

Craig Baltzer, Clear Sky Over the MacDonald Bridge, 6"x24", Watercolour and Ink on Board

Thank you again to everyone who came out to support these three artists, we couldn't do what we do at the gallery without all of you!

You can see both shows at the gallery until the end of September, and online by clicking on the links below:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Keeping it Simple

Our apologies for a lack of blog entries so far this month- there have been vacations and long weekends to blame for it. But we're back at it and excited to share a few images from our most recent workshop lead by artist Gordon MacDonald this past Sunday, held at Rainbow Haven Beach.

Gordon is one of the five artists that hosted workshops this Summer as part of our ART ON THE GO! series; where we take art making outside of the studio and on location to interesting and beautiful locations!

Gordon's main message with this past workshop was "keep it simple". A message we all need reminding of, in any part of our daily lives for sure, but especially important when creating and painting. He helped students look at approaching painting differently, reducing a selected image to shapes and using only two colours of acrylic paint: Titanium White and Paynes Grey. The images posted below by the participants are proof that painting with a limited palette can really pay off, help you figure out values and the result can be pretty magical.


Keep in mind that these little paintings are works in progress for the most part, and painted within just over an hour, but we really are so impressed by the quality of these works!

We had a pretty amazing day to work outside too. Clouds and skies for miles and miles and miles! And lots of Smiles!

We hope to host a few more of these fun and innovative workshops in the coming months, so if you are interested keep an eye on our blog or send us an email to be put on our newsletter list. Challenge yourself and learn something new!