Thursday, September 20, 2018

Embracing Our Surroundings Through Art

With the G7 environment ministers meeting here in Halifax this week, we've been thinking a lot about how many of our local artists are inspired by and pay homage to the environment. A number of our artists reflect their love of nature through their interpretations of  local landscapes, many of which feature water. Living in Atlantic Canada, the ocean and the many fresh water lakes that form the backdrop to our lives, provide so much inspiration. 

Taking the time to explore the local landscape allows us to slow down and gain an appreciation for the natural world. Many of our artists are so skilled in being able to capture the nuances of light and color that make up an ever-changing landscape.

Mark Brennan, Evening The Cove, Thomas Raddall PP NS 11" x 14" Oil on birch, framed

Mark Brennan is one painter who is continually exploring the Canadian landscape. He is able to capture the mood of each season through the use of vivid colors and textures. It is so easy to imagine yourself on the scene of any of his works being able to smell the earth or feel the cool air. Mark features many of the country's provincial parks in his paintings.

Mark Brennan, The Clear Air of October, Killarney Provincial Park, N. Ontario 9" x 11" Oil on Birch

Gordon MacDonald is another artist who has a keen awareness of the natural world. He always has a conscious eye surveying the world around him, paying close attention to light and color. Gordon is able to convey landscapes in a way that makes what may be thought of as an "ordinary scene" appear to be one of those rare, heart-stopping views. Gordon's paintings capture those fleeting moments of beauty, and he's able to portray these because he takes time and care to look with curiosity at everything around him.

Gordon MacDonald, Big Round Cloud, 12"x12", Oil on Board

Gordon MacDonald, River Bend at Dusk, 26"x40", Oil on Linen

This past year of one of our gallery artists, Briana Corr Scott, had the opportunity to explore a very special slice of earth: Sable Island. Located 300 km southeast of Nova Scotia, Sable Island is a relatively untouched piece of land whose permanent residents are restricted to wildlife and vegetation. A small number of researchers and visitors make their way to Sable Island each year, and Briana was one of those lucky visitors. Briana created a large body of work that reflected her exploration of the island, and reverence for the pure beauty of the land. The wildness of the landscape and animals she depicts in her paintings have a lot to teach us about respecting and honoring nature, and the power of resisting human interference with nature.

Briana Corr Scott, Seals on North Beach #2, 6"x12", Oil on Board

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

Danny Abriel is another one of our gallery artists who enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the local landscape, including pockets of urban protected green spaces. Danny has a truly unique style of depicting the natural world; he uses bright colors and strong lines that come together to convey strength and beauty. His  paintings have bold presence, and serve as a powerful reminder to respect and protect our environment. Danny's works do not take for granted the beauty of nature, and remind us that nature is a powerful force not meant to be tamed.

 Danny Abriel, What Remains is Beautiful, 24"x36", Acrylic on Canvas

Kimberley Eddy is an artist whose love for the ocean is wholeheartedly expressed through her work. Kimberley's stunning mixed media pieces portray water; each piece is a mesmerizing dreamscape of blues and turquoises that flow in compositions that elicit feelings of calm and peace. Being near, in, or on the water has a huge impact on our overall health and happiness; Kimberley's work reminds us of the magical power and allure of water.  

 Kimberley Eddy, All Is Not Lost, 24"x12", Mixed Media on Board

Kimberley Eddy, Dance With Me Forever, 24"x24", Mixed Media on Board

 Some of our gallery artists re-use and re-purpose materials to create their works as a way to maintain a more environmentally-sustainable art practice. Kim Danio gives new life to shoes and handbags by transforming them into whimsical works of art with paint and reclaimed materials. Kim manipulates her materials in the most imaginative ways, often masking the shoe or handbag that lies at the core of her work so well you would never believe the transformation! 

Kim Danio, Small Bee, Reclaimed Shoe

Basil Doucette is another artist who re-purposes materials to create his work. Basil utilizes reclaimed wood to make tiny folk art wood carvings and creations. He even creates tiny butterflies using wood from fruit boxes in which clementines are packed at the supermarket.

Basil Doucette, Butterflies, reclaimed wood, paint, steel pins.

These are just a few of many artists we represent that hold nature at the forefront of their work. Stop by the gallery for a breath of fresh air, and to see our current display of works inspired by nature!