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! 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to School with Art!

It's that time of year again... WELCOME BACK STUDENTS! While we're sure you're settling into your dorms and getting acquainted or reacquainted with the city (a lot can change over a summer, huh?), we'd like to help your new space feel more like home with art!

Bye bye summer, hello fall!

Until the end of September we're offering 20% OFF to students with a valid student! Of course some exceptions apply, but the discount is applicable to everything from jewellery to folk art, cards and stickers, to prints and paintings! We've got some really fun pieces in right now, like these great prints...

A few of the assorted prints we have!

We've got so many wonderful things in the gallery for you to check out! Everything we carry is made by local artists and crafters, so not only do you get fantastic art but you're supporting a local business and creators! Wins all around!

Greebs! Come meet them in person!

Here at Argyle Fine Art we try to make ourselves accessible and we believe art is for everyone! We have new shows every three weeks or so and new work coming in almost daily. We also have a few open call show through the year so be sure to check in.

A card for every occasion...

I'll leave you with the best part of back to school prep... new stickers for your notebooks! Pop in soon to take advantage of this sweet 20% off deal before it's done!

Sticker sheets by Angela Doak

Sticker packs by Jodie Hansen

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"The Bare Elements" Landscapes: New work by Mark Brennan

Who doesn't love a spontaneous show? How about one that's two years in the making? Well we're happy to oblige with "The Bare Elements", a new body of work by artist Mark Brennan.

Mark Brennan's new 36"x48" works.

Brennan has been busy working away on this new body of work, which features several large works, including this stunning piece below:

Mark Brennan, The Channel, Stove Pipe Run, 36"x48", Oil on Board

Brennan has developed this new body of work as an opportunity to work larger scale and to find new ways to play and experiment in his work. The results are spectacular.

Mark Brennan, Bog Edge, 20"x24", Oil on Canvas

You'll get to see work from Brennan in this show you may not expect, like this figurative piece below:

Mark Brennan, Lake Crossing, Dayspring Lake, 36"x36", Oil on Canvas

Be sure to stop in and see these beauties, "The Bare Elements" runs until Sept 9th, but we have a feeling a lot of these pieces will be taking off before then. You can see the whole show online by clicking HERE.

Okay one more peek...

Two of Mark Brennan's new works. Come see!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Art is Everything: Playful Sculptures

Yesterday we had our final August installment of our Art is Everything series at the gallery, Playful Sculptures. We had gallery favourite Dorothyanne Brown, who creates the most magical felted soft sculpture animals. Marionnette master Darren “Geppetto” Moreash was here with his friends on strings. Lastly puppet maker and entertainer Terry Angus was here with Fraggles and Muppets alike. Talking to Fozzie Bear was pure joy for all in attendance.

Fozzie extolling from his throne to some kids at heart.

Dorothyanne brought many of her fabulous creations with her, in addition the fantastic beasts we have of hers in the gallery. She brought in some of the tools of the felting trade so you could try your hand at getting stabby. Dorothyanne’s creations bring so much joy to everyone who encounters them, so much so that when purchased they become a part of the family.

Dorothyanne Brown showing some fans her pieces.

Some of Dorothyanne's fabulous soft sculptures.
A new felter working on Dorothyanne's demo.
Dorothyanne Brown, Felted Cod

Darren has been making marionettes for the better part of 20 years and is truly the master of puppets. His marionettes have lead him to meet many of his musical idols and his pieces have been gifts to metal icons the world over. Each marionette is carved, clothed and painted by hand.

Darren Moreash showing off his stringed pals.
Darren Moreash, Marionettes
Marionettes in process.

Terry is a local treasure, was hired by Jim Henson as a teen after auditioning as a puppeteer, to work on on Fraggle Rock as well as other Muppet specials. Terry also builds puppets after working at Jim Henson Productions in Toronto. He’s made many a Muppet, Fraggle and has even developed his own characters, including Butch G Cat.

Terry Angus and Fozzie Bear
Some younger fans came out to meet Fozzie.

Thank you everyone who was able to make it out to an Art is Everything event this August. We had a blast hosting so many creative people and getting to be part of so many great conversations. We hope you’ll join us again in the future to meet the creative people in our community! Keep checking in on our Events/Exhibitions tab above to keep up with the fun things we’re doing around the gallery!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Art is Everything: Repurposing with Purpose

Yesterday we had our third Thursday "Art is Everything" event. This week we had our wonderful Re-Purposers in to show how they turn something old or discarded into something new and incredible. The creativity in the gallery (and out front) was electric!

Angela Doak

First we had Angela Doak, who creates collages out of recylced paper - everything from scraps to candy wrappers, each little piece contains a bit of magic.  

Angela Doak, Stages of Collage

Angela's work focuses on animals, and started as a way for her to make art for her children. Now you can find Angela's work at the gallery, craft fairs and in her new book with Nimbus Publishing, Atlantic Animal ABC!

She was kind enough to sign some copies for us, so pick them up while they're still available!

Kim Danio

Next is the fiercely creative Kim Danio, who takes shoes and turns them into masterpieces. Kim has created animals, buildings, boats, circus scenes, fairy tale scenes - you name it, she's done it.

Kim Danio, Fairy Treehouse and Process

Her eye and ability to look at a shoe and pull out something new and creative is astounding and so joyful.

Kim Danio, Fairy Tree House

Kim brought two new fairy houses with her, and they're so amazing they must be seen in person to appreciate all the detail. However if you can't make it in you can see them online by clicking HERE.

Ed Beals

Then there's Ed Beals. Need a ray gun? Ed's your guy!

Ed Beals, Ray Gun in Process

How about a robot? Ed's your guy! Really anything made of metal odds and ends, Ed's your guy! With a keen building sense and an eye for detail, Ed makes all kinds of extraordinary pieces.

Ed Beals, Watch out little buddy!

There's a sense of imagination, nostalgia and fun in every piece he makes!

William Rudolph

Last, but most certainly not least, is William Rudolph aka Rudy, who makes all kinds of functional pieces out of reclaimed bike parts.

William Rudolph, Bike Parts Lamp and Works in Process

Rudy helps build and retrofit bikes by trade, his art making is just a habit he can't quit. His lamps are some of the most satisfying to switch on and off, which may be a weird thing to say, but if you come in and try one out we promise you'll understand.

William Rudolph, Glasses

Be sure to join us next Thursday, August 24th, from 12-2:30pm for our last installment, "Art is Everything: Playful Sculptures". We'll have Darren Moreash, who makes amazing hand carved marionettes; Dorothyanne Brown, who makes your favourite felted animals; and Terry Angus, who worked for Jim Henson and makes fantastic puppets. See you then!