Friday, June 22, 2018

Hello, my name is...

If you've stopped by the gallery recently you may have noticed an unfamiliar face lurking behind the desk -it's me, Claire! I'm so thrilled to join Adriana and Caitlin at the gallery as the newest member of the team. Having the opportunity to meet and work with some of the many talented artists and art enthusiasts in our city has me so excited!

Although I'm new on the block, I'm not new to the city. I grew up in Dartmouth, and completed a BFA at NSCAD University in 2012 with a major in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing. After graduating, I moved to Toronto for a three-year  artist-in-residency. I ended up staying in Toronto for almost five years, and returned to Halifax in the fall of 2016. It's so great to be back home, not just because I get to live by the ocean again, but also because of the amazing and supportive arts community that exists in Halifax.
When I'm not at the gallery, you can likely find me tucked away in my home studio designing and creating jewellery, or cuddling my greyhound, Flint.




If you're downtown, stop by the gallery to say hello; I'm looking forward to having the chance to get to know all of you!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Art of Environmental Sustainability


Last October artist Briana Corr Scott made the journey she'd been attempting for months - she arrived on Sable Island. To Briana this trip was more than just an opportunity to explore the small sliver of an island off of Nova Scotia, it was fodder for her soul.

Brian Corr Scott, Sable Dunes, 6"x12", Oil on Board

For Briana this trip was a lifetime in the making. She began writing and illustrating her own books as a young child, and with the support and encouragement of her parents, studied painting and illustration at MassART in Boston. When weather cancelled Briana's first attempted trip to Sable Island she channeled her disappointment into writing about what she thought the island would be like. Those writings evolved, and Briana will be releasing an illustrated children's book (that includes a paper doll), "She Dreams of Sable Island", with local publisher Nimbus in May of 2019.

Briana Corr Scott, Sable Surf #3, 10"x10", Oil on Board

Sable Island was everything Briana hoped it would be, and of course so much more. Getting to
explore a space that so few people get to see in the middle of the ocean was a very special moment in time. The work that evolved from this trip culminated in her show, "Pieces of Sable Island", which is currently on at the gallery, and showcases Briana's perspectives and memories of the island.


It's the conservation efforts of the scientists and park rangers on the island to preserve it that has allowed it to continue to be a special piece of Nova Scotia folklore for so long. Another show that touches on conservation is artist Michelle St Onge's new body of work, "The grass is grown, the flowers ris, I wonder where the birdies is?", is a beautiful series of watercolour nests that reflects the impact of clear cutting forests.

 
Michelle St Onge, Studio Apartment: New Build, 12"x12", Watercolour on Paper Mounted

One "nest" that stands out in particular is the "ring" created by the bowerbird, known for their unique courtship practice. The male bowerbird builds it's ring, then begins to gather brightly coloured objects, particularly blue and green objects, to attract a female mate.

Michelle St Onge, Open Concept Loft: Ocean View, 20"x20", Watercolour on Paper Mounted

Unfortuately, this can also include brightly coloured plastic objects like straws and bottle caps. It's works like this that invite us in and gently remind us that this planet is not ours alone, and we have to be cautious of what we're putting out into the environment.

 

Both shows are up now at the gallery and are a must to see in person. If you can't though, you can view them both online at the links below:

Briana Corr Scott, Pieces of Sable Island, click HERE

Michelle St Onge, The grass is grown, the flowers ris, I wonder where the birdies is?, click HERE






Saturday, June 16, 2018

Come Together: Art,Science and Music

Sometimes it's hard to believe how many wonderful things happen at our modest gallery.What a community you have helped us build- we are so grateful! We have put together a little list of some happenings and hope some of you can plan to experience a few of these great things with us next week. Please tell friends and share around!


First off, we will be hosting an amazing artist talk with Briana Corr-Scott and marine biologist Nell Den Heyer on Wednesday, June 20th, 6:30-8:30pm. This talk coincides with Briana's current show on display at the gallery, called "Pieces of Sable Island".  This talk is FREE and no need to register.


At the talk, you'll hear Briana speak about her experience as an artist while visiting Sable Island last October and it's lasting impact on her. Nell Den Heyer will be here too, to answer any questions you may have about life on the island, as she works there throughout the year. There will be a short film shown too.
Briana Corr-Scott in the studio

Meet the artist, see her show, buy some art, textiles, prints or perhaps even some of the specially made candles by The Wax Brewery inspired by Sable Island. Light refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you!

While you are at the gallery, make sure to check out the latest  suite of works called  "Nesting Instinct" by Michelle Saint-Onge that are "nesting" in our lower gallery. This special small show of work is about the big impact of clear cutting forests. These works are in keeping with the theme of the gallery this month, which is aimed at helping people recognize the beauty of our natural environments and consider the importance of protecting them. All things great and small...

“Seeking: 3 BDRM in Nice Neighborhood" by Michelle SaintOnge
Watercolour on paper, mounted on birch board panel.20”x20”
  
On Thursday, June 21st, we will welcome the first day of Summer officially with FREE MUSIC during this wonderful international event, "Make Music Day", which we are proud to be part of! Expect to see a variety of musicians playing at the gallery beginning later in the afternoon until closing at 5:30pm. Check out the LINK here for more details.
See you at the gallery!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Off to Sable Island- A trip for all your senses with Briana Corr-Scott

We're  getting so excited to share the latest body of paintings, textiles and prints with you by Briana Corr-Scott in her latest show "Pieces of Sable Island", opening Friday, June 15th, 6:30-8:30pm. This work is a collection created from Briana's trip to Sable last October.


Briana also collaborated with soy candle maker Kara MacIntyre-Quinn of The Wax Brewery, to create a signature scented candle for the occasion- inspired by the scents that Briana experienced at Sable Island including cranberry, bayberry, lavender and honey. Briana provided the beautiful illustrations on the candles too. Here's one example of the four illustration styles available:

 
Briana will be in attendance for the opening and is excited to meet you, so please drop by before heading home for the weekend. It's a great way to begin your evening out on the town too!  If you can't drop by for the opening, head over anytime as the show runs until July 4th. The full show will be posted online here after it officially launches.



NEXT WEDNESDAY, June 20th, 6:30-8:30pm: Join us for a FREE artist talk with Briana Corr-Scott about her process and her trip to Sable Island as well as meet Sable Island marine biologist Nell Den Heyer.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

SALE- Selected PRE-SHRUNK 2018 works now $95

As promised, here are some of the Pre-Shrunks that are on SALE. All of these beautiful little works measure just 4" x 5" and there are so so so many wonderful works still waiting to find wonderful homes. The regular price on these are $175 but the SALE price on all of these featured is $95.

These works make the perfect gifts for any special occasions and are great memories of the local artists  creating amazing works while living here in Nova Scotia. Treat yourself!

To find out the artist's name and availability of any of these, contact the gallery directly via phone or email (902-425-9456/ gallery@argylefa.com)   Works are selling quickly so get in touch soon! 

Group A

Group B
Group C

Group D
Tomorrow on the blog, we'll walk you though a few specifics of some of these and a few others on offer too! Check back soon or drop by in person to see these beauties!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Birds and Bees and Flowers and Trees

Hello June! We missed you so! In celebration of warmer weather, lush greens and sunny days we've rehung the gallery with new and favourite pieces of ours that celebrate the season.

Starting with this colourful new piece by Caitlin McGuire. No two hummingbirds are the same!

Caitlin McGuire, Charmed (1200 beats per minute), 4'x4', Oil on Canvas

Did you know that a hummingbirds heart rate in mid-flight beats at 1200 bpm? The human heart rate when running is approximately 220 bpm minus your age, so there's a slight difference in the rate....

Mark Brennan, October the Boreal Forest, 36"x48", Oil on Canvas

Though later in the season, the colours in this woodland scene by Mark Brennan makes us want to adventure into this landscape. Even better in person, this piece stops viewers in their tracks.

It wouldn't be June without our favourite pollinators - bees! We still have a few of Michelle St Onge's watercolour buzzers flying around the gallery.

Michelle St Onge, Buzzy, 6"x6", Watercolour on Archival Paper Mounted on Panel

And don't forget about nature's strongest and most strategic little builders, the ants!

Michelle St Onge, Miranda, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, 9"x12", Watercolour on Paper Mounted


We're so happy to see all the trees return to their full glory with their rich green leaves reaching up towards the sun. Here are two examples by artists Jan Davison and Danny Abriel that take us right into the Nova Scotia landscape...

Jan Davison, Point Pleasant #1, Acrylic on Board, 12"x12"

Danny Abriel, Point Pleasant Park Celebration, 18"x36", Acrylic on Canvas

Let's not forget about flowers, here's a few pieces by artist Briana Corr-Scott that exemplify the beauty of the season.

Briana Corr-Scott, Poppy and Small Pot, 16"x20", Oil on Board

Briana Corr Scott, Sedum and White Pot, 6"x6", Oil on Board

Briana has a new show, Pieces of Sable Island, opening on Friday June 15th from 7-9PM, and is going to be a real treat. We'll see you there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Halifax Talks Art Tonight 6:30-8PM

Tonight at Argyle Fine Art we're kicking off Halifax Talks Art with our talk "Take a chance on me: Discovering and supporting emerging artists", from 6-8:30PM. This talk is the first in a series put on by local Halifax galleries including Zwicker's, Studio 21, Secord Gallery and Argyle Fine Art.


We'll have two of our artists, Craig Baltzer and Sharon Cave, talking about what it means to be an emerging artist (which is very different from person to person), and owner and gallerist Adriana Afford, talking about finding, working with and supporting emerging artists.

Artist Craig Baltzer

Artist Sharon Cave

We'll also have Tidehouse Brewing on hand for a little tasting at the talk.


Cheers! See you tonight! More info on upcoming talks in the Halifax Talks Art series:


Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Splash of Citrus with George Spencer

A little bit sweet, a little bit sour, but always refreshing, we're talking about painting citrus today with the works of artist George Spencer.

Spencer currently has a featured body of work on at the gallery that showcases citrus in all it's wonderful stages and forms for admiration and consumption. See the entire show by clicking HERE.

George Spencer, Peeled Lemon #7, 5"x7", Oil on Board

But first, a little history... Citrus cultivation began in Asia over 2500 years ago and references of lemons in art began popping up in China during the late Ming Dynasty. After that citrus fruit spread into the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and their representation in art has been a mainstay ever since. Wallpaintings of lemon trees were even found in the buried houses of Pompeii in Ancient Rome.

Lemon tree in Roman wallpainting from Pompeii, 1st c. CE, House of the Fruit Orchard

In the 1600's the lushness of citrus fruit in art comes to fruition, with the masters of still life, the Flemish painters. They used citrus fruit as a representation of opulence and wealth in their works.

Jacob van Hulsdonck, Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Pomegranate, 41.9 × 49.5 cm, 1620-1640CE

In the 19th and 20th century as still life painting evolved, artists like Cezanne and Frida Kahlo painted still lifes of citrus fruit that made the subject of their works feel alive and intimate, almost as though they were painting portraits.

Paul Cezanne, Still Life with a Curtain, Oil on Canvas, 55x74.5 cm, 1895

Frida Kahlo, Still Life with Parrot and Fruit, 25.4x29.7cm, Oil on Canvas, 1951

Today citrus fruit is a main stay in western culture. Once considered exotic, citrus fruit was a special treat you'd get around the Christmas holidays.

George Spencer, Orange and Lime, 6"x6", Oil on Board

Nowadays orange juice is mainstay at the breakfast table and lemon meringue and key lime pie are diner staples.

George Spencer, Vase and Oranges on Case, 8"x10", Oil on Board

So many of the qualities mentioned above artist George Spencer is able to evoke in his work. His pieces feature the lushness of the Dutch painters, along with the vibrancy and intimacy of the French impressionists.

George Spener, Gin and Tonic, 6"x6", Oil on Board

Not only that, but Spencer captures the contemporary side of citrus fruit. Honestly can you imagine having a gin and tonic out on a patio without a splash of lime? I think not.

George Spencer, Tea with Lemon, 5"x7", Oil on Board

Or a cup of tea without a side of lemon? Good heavens no.

George Spencer, Teapot, Lemons and Knife, 11"x14", Oil on Board

Stop by today to see Spencer's citrus feature, they're a real treat for the eyes (and the stomach)!


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Art on the Go Workshops are back!

It's that time of the year again to start up our fun and very popular ART ON THE GO workshop  series with a few great art talks thrown in for good measure! These workshops are 2- 3 hours long, affordable, all supplies are included and are great for all ages and experience levels.

 Last year we started this series, with the idea that it's fun to learn new art things in the summer but it's even better to do that outside at local places and spaces in our neighbourhood. We created small palette and paint boxes for all the attendees -with the help of Sievert's Limited next door to supply the wooden cigar boxes and we headed to the beach, a farm and more . This year we have lots more fun and creative destinations in store for you!



Within the months of June thru August, we are going to head to a diner for some doodling, to a brewery, to a bakery, to the park and more! Check out our WORKSHOP page on this blog soon, for details on workshops lead by Melissa Townsend, Mark Brennan, Allison Irish, Gordon MacDonald, Jan Davison and others.

We're starting off our workshop series with COLOUR POP on Wednesday, June 13th, 5pm-7pm. All supplies are included as well as a treat from the The Old Apothecary Bakery- and the cost is just $50 per person. Limited class size of 10.

Learn how to make bright colours POP by mixing neutrals! Join us at The Old Apothocary with artist Caitlin McGuire to paint their vibrant interior, while learning how to balance bright colours with the neutral colours in their space. Call 902-425-9456 or email (gallery@argylefa.com) to register today!




We are also hosting TWO free interesting talks coming up soon! The first is part of a series that some of the commercial galleries are presenting together called  Halifax Talks ART. We picked our topic to discuss of Emerging Art as it's one of our most favourite things to discover and to foster new talents. We'll have a few emerging artists on hand to talk about their experiences as well.




The other art talk will take place in support of a solo show of paintings by Briana Corr-Scott, which is all about her trip to Sable Island and how it's inspired her to paint, illustrate and write all about it. We'll also be joined by a scientist that lives and works at Sable Island too, that can answer any questions about the island and it's habitat itself. The talk will happen at the gallery on Wednesday, June 20th, 6pm-8pm.