Saturday, March 16, 2019

Invisible World: New Works by Briana Corr Scott

We're a few days away from the first day of Spring, and I'm sure many of you would agree that it couldn't come soon enough! March can sure feel like a long month as we wait in great anticipation for some relief from the freezing temperatures and, by now, filthy, muddy, snowbanks. With the recent time change, we now see more light-filled evenings, and many of us are very grateful to finally commute home after work in daylight again!

Briana Corr Scott, Carnation in Blue Pot, 8.5" x 8.5", Oil on Paper, Framed

In her current body of work, artist Briana Corr Scott encapsulates fleeting moments of light in stunning still life paintings that emit light and darkness at once. Briana titled this series of work "Invisible World" in reference to the way in which ordinary, simple things in everyday life can often get overlooked, or become "invisible" amidst the noise and flashiness of our fast-paced society. She finds true beauty in the tiny, magical worlds contained within the objects she carefully studies, and brings to life with paint on canvas.

Briana Corr Scott, Jar with Flowers, 12" x 12", Oil on Board

"The concentration and focus when working from life forces me to pay attention.  When I am drawing a flower or shell held in my hand, I am tracing its actual shape with my eyes, and it feels as if I have never seen a shell or flower before. Each time is a new experience and I am hyper aware of the uniqueness of every living thing. This creates so much joy, and I want that to come through my work." -Briana Corr Scott

Briana Corr Scott, Evening Light #2, 12" x 12", Oil on Board

Briana Corr Scott, Jar with Blue, 12" x 12", Oil on Board

Briana Corr Scott, Flowers in Autumn Light, 10" x 10", Oil on Board

Briana's paintings are full of emotion and gesture; they simply glow to see them in-person. Swing by the gallery this week to entire show, as well as a little installation Briana created in our gallery window of a mock studio environment. The installation offers a little peak into the process work and illustrations that leads to Briana's finished paintings.

Briana's "studio" installation featuring predatory sketches, studies, and inspirations

Detail of Briana's "studio" installation

You can view the entire show online here.

Next week, stay tuned for a preview of new works by Mark Brennan. Here's a peek of one in the meantime!

Mark Brennan, Evening, Perch Lake, 36" x 48", oil on canvas.

Friday, March 8, 2019

International Women's Day Ask and Answer Part 2

In celebration of International Women's Day, we decided to offer you a peek into the lives of a couple of the women artists who we work with and represent here at Argyle Fine Art. In yesterday's post we introduced you to artists Isobel Hamilton and Sharon Cave (click here to read the interview if you missed it). Today, we'd like to share an interview between Kimberley Eddy and Jen Worden.

We hope you'll enjoy this opportunity to learn a little bit more abut these two inspiring women!

Kimberley Eddy, PS4, Ink, Resin, and Sand on Wood Panel

Jen: How do you handle the Life/Art balance?

Kimberley: This is definitely a question that would not be asked of a male artist! Art is my business and my passion, not a hobby and I am going to give it to you straight; balancing it all is tough sometimes. For me, structure and organization are key. I enjoy planning out and scheduling my days, and I specifically set up times for family and times for creating. When I don’t block off time for art, life has a way of filling in the blank spaces, and the art stays in my head; un-made. I do leave some room for flexibility. My studio is in my home, so I am able to create at a moments notice; when inspiration strikes. Most weeks though, I still find that I have more ideas than time. Every artful thought gets written or sketched out in my little journal, so it doesn’t get lost, and I refer to it often, and then plan out what I will create next. 

Kimberley Eddy in her studio

Jen:Which female artists have had an impact on your art practice?

Kimberley: The primary female artist who has had a huge impact on my work, is my mother, Nancy McDonald. When I was a child, I would watch as these amazing images would appear on the canvas, as if by magic…out of the air through her brush. She always encouraged my creativity, and still does. The first time I painted with her paints on a real canvas I was 12 years old. I was hooked.

There are, of course others, but I really must mention Mary Pratt here, as well.  Her ability to have captured the light and the translucency of jelly in glass jars absolutely transfixes me. I am moved to create the translucent nature of water in my work. I love those shifts in colour with the changes in depth, and somehow it partially relates back to seeing those jars of hers.

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

Jen: What is your background- your life before art?

Kimberley: Many women have followed a circuitous route to becoming an artist. It’s a common story. What is unique though, is the path each of us have taken. In university, I really didn’t believe that I could have an art career as a viable future option. I ended up with two degrees, and teaching social studies in Bermuda, all the while, staring into the ocean and being creative on the side. After I had children, and moved back home to Nova Scotia, I worked in the creative field of interior design, whilst offering murals and custom art to my clients. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I found that I turned to my art more and more. It was my therapy; a break from the crisis. I would paint ocean water every chance I could, and I would feel at ease. Then, that happy day came, and he was cancer free. I knew I had to keep painting, and that it was no longer my therapy, but my passion.

Jen Worden, Those Were the Days 05, Plaster, Acrylic, Wax

Kimberley: What led you to your art and why do you create the multi-layered art that you create?

Jen: Art has always been a centering ...balancing... force for me. Without it, my everyday world tilts and the people in my life suffer. BIG time.
The second part? Gave me pause. And what I think it gets down to is my reflection of the Real World, y'know that whole Art imitating Life thing. Rarely is something as simple as it looks. There are always extenuating circumstances. Perspective is everything. As Shrek said, "Layers, Donkey." 

Jen Worden in her studio

Kimberley: Is there a woman in your past or present who has influenced your art in some way and how?

Jen: There are actually 3.
As a child, discovering Emily Carr was a revelation. Finding out you could be weird AND revered was life changing for me.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills [] a contemporary encaustic artist who makes stunningly personal art while dealing with the daily routines of life ...chronic illness, children, family... with a professionalism I can only hope to emulate.

And last, but by no means least, Stephanie Lee [], artist, teacher, mentor, friend. Who introduced me to the delights of plaster and gesso and wax right along with asking big questions and allowing one's life blood to seep into the artwork.

Jen Worden, House up the Street, 16.5" x 14.5", Mixed Media

 Kimberley: Do you have any advice to other women considering a career in art?

Jen: First and foremost, it's okay to be an emerging artist at ANY age!
Secondly, decide if you want to make art for its own sake or for sales. They are most usually diametrically opposed.
And finally, read "Turning Pro" by Steven Pressfield. He asks ...and answers... all the best questions to help you move from amateur to professional.

Jen currently has a number of works on display in our current show "The Repurosers" which you can view online here.

We hope you enjoyed this mini interview series! Gaining some insight into the lives of the artists who create the amazing work we have here at the gallery can really add another layer of understanding and appreciation of the work. We hope next time you're by the gallery you'll consider not just the art in plain sight, but the stories that lie beneath the work as well.

Happy Weekend :)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

International Women's Day Ask and Answer Part 1

In Celebration of International Women's day, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the many women who play a role in our local arts community, and in particular, in our community here at Argyle Fine Art. The women in our community wear many, many hats: artist, businesswoman, supporter, teacher, caregiver, advocate, entrepreneur, mentor, friend...these are only just a few. We are so fortunate to be able to work with and represent a diverse range of women artists, each of whom has an incredible story to tell, and each of whom are exemplary in their drive and passion to create.

One thing that is really special about our community here at Argyle Fine Art is the way in which our artists show support to each other. It's truly incredible to see how our artists are so open and willing to reach out to each other, whether its to offer support and encouragement, to collaborate and share ideas, or to simply be friends!

Today on the blog we'd like to feature an interview conducted between two of the many women artists we represent here at the gallery: Isobel Hamilton and Sharon Cave. We hope you'll enjoy their very insightful and inspiring conversation.

Sharon Cave, Go with the Fly, 30" x 30",Oil on Board

Isobel Hamilton:What is your background- your life before art? (other careers, hobbies, etc)

Sharon Cave: Was there life before Art? I started drawing when I was a little girl. I was actually accepted at Art School but decided against it in the end and went to school to become a nurse instead. Nursing was just the start of a varied career which later included Teaching and then headed back to the Arts in the form of Graphic Design. Now I just paint…every day. It is my hobby and my job. As for other hobbies…I read a lot, I dance (ballet), I am learning to play the piano and to keep my life varied and exciting, I am learning to speak French!

Sharon Cave's studio
Isobel Hamilton: Is there a woman in your past or present who has influenced your art in some way and how?

Sharon Cave: I suppose my Gran was probably my first influence. She was the only “artsy” one in my entire family. She was brought up a Lady, and while she never learned to cook or clean house, she did produce some beautiful handiworks. Recently Adriana has been a big influence on my art making. She has been pushing me to “expand my horizons”, has given me opportunities to speak about my art and my journey, and has been encouraging me to delve more into illustration and story writing. And lastly of course I can’t forget my Mom; my biggest fan, collector of my work and the person who bought my first oil painting set.

Sharon Cave, Rufus, 4" x 5", Oil on Wood Panel
Isobel Hamilton: Do you have any advice to other women considering a career in the arts?

Sharon Cave: A career in arts can be whatever you want it to be. If I could start all over again, I would definitely take business classes.

Isobel Hamilton: Are there any female artists that have had an impact of your own art practice?

Sharon Cave: I mostly choose artists whose work strikes a cord with me, and whether they are male or female doesn’t play a part in that process. If I had to pick, then I’d say Mary Cassatt. I love painting the figure and when I first started out in pastels Mary Cassatt’s figurative work really inspired me. The other artist I’ve chosen is a performing artist; singer/songwriter Sade. I was at the nightclub of her first solo performance and I still remember it as if it was yesterday. The song she performed that night would become a huge hit around the globe. This prompted me to think about the many different ways there are of saying the things you want to say, telling your story your way. Sade’s story is told through her music, mine is told through my paintings.“You can only grow as an artist as long as you allow yourself the time to grow as a person,” -Sade

A work-in-progress painting by Sharon Cave for her upcoming show this May

Sharon Cave: What is your background- your life before art? (other careers, hobbies, etc)

Isobel Hamilton: My background is a little... eclectic! I'm originally from Scotland (we emigrated here in 2013). I've always painted and sketched, but at school I also enjoyed the sciences. I studied Photography, Film and Television at university in Edinburgh, but after graduating struggled to find any film work. I dabbled in various things, including mural painting, jewellery making and website building, before deciding to change career direction. I did a part time course in Forensic Medicine and Science and went on to become a Fingerprint Expert. I worked in Glasgow on a wide range of cases and gave evidence in court a couple of times, and I also studied for an MPhil in Pure and Applied Chemistry. But it was basically a bureaucratic office job, and over the years it became clear that wasn't for me. When we emigrated to Canada I was determined to make a creative career for myself. I tried various ideas before realizing that the thing I have done since before I can remember - paint and draw - was actually what I wanted to do for my career.

Isobel Hamilton, Winter Lights #4, Acrylic on Wood

Sharon Cave: How did you start making art? Why do you make art?

Isobel Hamilton: Like many people I was creative from a young age; I was always painting and drawing and making things. I loved art at school, but didn't pursue it to university level because I didn't think it was 'a career'. So I just did it in my spare time because I enjoyed it. As I've got older I've realized the importance of doing something I love to do, and something I can get lost in. This is what art is for me, more than anything else. I love the sense of achievement when a painting is finished, particularly if I know I've taken a step forward in my own abilities. I also love the idea that I can create something that will speak to someone else, someone I've never met, and that they will put it on their wall and it will become part of their life.

Isobel Hamilton in working in her studo

Sharon Cave: Is there a woman in your past or present who has influenced your art in some way and how?

Isobel Hamilton: It may be a cliche but I would have to say my mother. She studied Fine Art at Oxford university and although she left her career in the arts when she had me she was always creative. Not only did she encourage me to paint and draw (as did my father I must add), she often took me to the museums and art galleries in Edinburgh where we would walk around, looking at the paintings, and she would point out details and tell me stories about the subjects and the artists. We would go on holiday to Europe as a family and would always visit the art galleries there, as well as churches and museums. She has a great interest in Renaissance art and passed that on to me; we reproduced a fresco by Benozzo Gozzolli together in a spare room of our house! I think my love of detailed paintings comes from being exposed to these paintings as I was growing up.

Isobel Hamilton, "Autumn Glow", 12" x 9", Acrylic on Panel

Sharon Cave: Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt you were treated differently as an artist simply because of your gender?

Isobel Hamilton: I had to think about this question for a bit, and no, I can't think of an occasion. I was always a tom boy at school; I had more male friends than female ones and I liked traditionally 'male' subjects like Technological Studies, Chemistry and Physics (as well as Art!). At university most of my classmates were male, and forensic science is quite a gender neutral role. As a result I've always felt very comfortable in any environment, so from a career perspective I haven't ever felt that I was treated differently (except that perhaps I didn't fit the expected female mold sometimes!). I am early in my art career though so, as a female artist, I don't have a lot of experience to draw on....

Isobel Hamilton, Winter Lights #3, Acrylic on Wood

Isobel will be showing a new body of work here at the gallery next month opening on April 23rd, and Sharon will have new work in a show opening on May 11th.

Check back tomorrow for a second interview featuring artists Kimberley Eddy and Jen Worden!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Spring Sights!

Happy first day of March! The official first day of spring isn't for a few more weeks, but we're happy to have survived February, and the fact we're now into the month of March, so today we're going to celebrate a bit!

The 2019 Pre-Shrunk Show has been extended a little longer, so we're going to highlight a few pieces that are still available that exude cheery feelings of Spring.

Deb Bromley, Serene,  4" x 5" Acrylic on Wood Panel
The color palette of Deb Bromley's "Serene" feels like a big breath of fresh air. The pink blooms poking up through the grass sure have us anticipating some early tulips this year!

Emily Baron, Daisy, Oil on Board

Emily Baron's "Daisy" combines rich colors, thick, textural brushstrokes. The dark background creates a subtle moodiness that is offset by the vibrant hints of bright orange and pink. Such a lovely piece!

Gordon MacDonald, #09,  4" x 5", Oil on Copper
Deep orange and purple skies seem to abound at dawn and dusk throughout the winter, bringing a visual warmth even amidst the chilliest days. This piece by Gordon MacDonald perfectly captures the fleeting beauty that exists during the rising and setting of the sun.

Debra Judge, 03, 4" x 5",  Alcohol Ink and Resin
This bright and cheerful piece by Debra Judge is such a welcome sight to the eyes! Debra's use of ink and resin creates a really unique effect that achieves a delicate appearance translucency in the flower petals.

Susan Gilson, Stormy, 4" x 5", Oil on Canvas
Susan Gilson's painting "Stormy" features a little squirrel, a creature that will surely be happy as we humans are about the return of warmer weather!

Susan Black, Truce, Watercolor on Paper, Mounted
Susan Black has a series of beautiful watercolor paintings that are part of this year's Pre-Shrunk show. Each painting has lots of detail, and a carefully chosen color palette -perfect to brighten up a tiny corner of your home.

Vanessa Cornell, Star of Bethlehem, 4" x 5", Digital Drawing Mounted on Panel with Acrylic Paint
Vanessa Cornell's painting "Star of Bethlehem" combines both digital drawing and acrylic paint. The result of combining these two types of media is really unique; the digital drawing creates a softness while the acrylic paint adds interesting texture.

Carlos Carrillo, Lirio (Lily), 4" x 5", Watercolor and Pencil on Paper, Mounted

Carlos Carrillo's floral watercolors feature soft, pastel colors, that are so perfect for Spring! Carlos pays great attention to details, which makes each piece really full of life.

Swing by the gallery this weekend while the remainder of the show is still up! You can also check out the the whole show online here to see which pieces are available.

Happy Weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Weaving the Landscape

Textile-based art has been gaining momentum and popularity over the past few years. Knitting, crochet, macrame, weaving -these are all forms of textile art that have seen a recent resurgence. Textile art can be a great activity to learn; it can be low cost, low mess, and has the potential to be quite therapeutic (assuming you don't attempt to tackle a project that is too far beyond your skill level!). It can also be an eco-friendly art form by incorporating natural fibres and re-purposed materials.

One textile artist who has caught our attention over the past year is Allison Pinsent Baker of Shad Bay Weaving. Allison's works will likely surpass any preconceived notions of what weaving looks like. She creates the most stunning woven tapestries that look almost like paintings. Using mixed natural fibres, Allison weaves landscapes with perfectly chosen color palettes. The incorporation of various types of fibres, many of which are hand-dyed and spun by her mother, creates textural variation that really helps the pieces come alive.

Allison Pinsent Baker, Untitled, 17" x 25", Mixed Natural Fibres
Allison's deep connection with the east coast landscape is so apparent in her work. From the carefully chosen colors, to the rugged and rocky seascapes, her works easily illicit sounds, smells, and sights of the Maritimes. She creates pieces that are close and familiar to her heart, like this piece "The Woods" pictured below. As a child, she spent a lot of time outdoors exploring the woods, often with her grandfather in tow.

Allison Pinsent Baker, The Woods, 36" x 39", Mixed Natural Fibres

Allison Pinsent Baker, High Head, December, 19"x35", All Natural Fibres

Allison is currently collecting plastic straws in preparation for an exciting project she'll be initiating very soon. As an artist who utilizes natural materials in her work, Allison is an advocate for taking steps to reduce single-use plastic in our landfill. There are so many environmentally smarter alternatives! We're encouraging any local businesses (and households) hoping to phase out the use of plastic straws to bring your remaining straws to us here at the gallery, where we'll be collecting them on Allison's behalf for use in her upcoming project.

Swing by soon to see Allison's works in-person, and to check out "The Repurposers" show featuring twelve local artists who incorporate natural and/or found objects into their work. You can view the entire show online HERE.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

From Trash to Treasure!

"One person’s trash is another person’s treasure." This is an old saying we've all heard many, many times before. In our upcoming show “THE REPURPOSERS", twelve local artists will bring a fresh new perspective to this old adage.

This Saturday, February 23rd, 1:30-3:30-pm, swing by the gallery for the opening of "THE REPURPOSERS", and have the chance to meet in-person twelve fantastic artists that take repurposing to whole new artistic levels.

We also invite you to bring us some of your unwanted stuff that can be used by these artists in future art projects. If you’ve been following the wisdom of Marie Kondo, consider passing along anything that doesn’t “spark joy” to us here at the gallery. We have a list of suggested items below.

The idea for this show came from an overwhelming want and need to remind people to make better choices as a consumer- and to reuse before recycling whenever possible. It’s also about reminding us all of other ways we can make easy, small changes that help us move towards larger, positive change, like using less single-use plastic in our daily lives.

Here is a sneak peek of some of  truly inventive works made by the artists we'll be featuring in "THE REPURPOSERS" show.

Kim Danio, Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs, Re-purposed Handbag and mixed media.
Kim Danio's imaginative works always knock our socks off. She is known for her ingenious methods of transforming shoes, purses, and handbags into masterful works of art. Who knew an old handbag could live a second life as a blues bar! :) 

Kim would be happy to take your old shows, boots, purses, odds and ends for use in her creation of future works!

Ed Beals, Assembled Found Objects

Ed Beals is a master of creating impressive works by assembling found objects. Ed's ray guns and robot-like creatures look like props straight out of a sci-fi film!

Ed would be happy to take any old metal scarps, parts, gears, and hardware!

Basil Doucette, hand cut and carved folk-art butterflies made of recycled wood fruit crates 
Basil Doucette creates wonderful folk-art from reclaimed wood. These butterflies were actually made from the thin wood of clementine crates -such a great re-use for something that often gets tossed into the landfill!

Basil would be happy to take any wooden fruit crates, other discarded wood ends, scraps, acrylic paint, pins, nails, and felt.

William Rudolph, Shifter Glasses, Assembled Founjd
William Rudolph is another artist who creates works by assembling found objects, particularly old bike and camera parts and gears. William's work is always playful, and often kinetic; his good humor shines through each piece he makes!

William would be happy to take any old bicycle parts, old camera parts, old metal scarps, parts, gears, and hardware!
LoHiFi (Chris Little and Theofanis Pitsiavas), LoHiFi Flier, wood, eye-hooks, fishline, A/C motor
LoHiFi Productions creates impressive kinetic art pieces using simple, re-purposed materials. Their work is a definite must-see in action -it's quite the show! :)

William would be happy to take small bits and bobs, small scraps of wood, wire, string, anything miniature.

Zanahoy, "Macrame Mysticism", 10" x 12", Vintage frame, 1950's reprint of a makeup advertisement inlayed with "Nuclear Mysticism" by Dali.

Zanahoy Handcut Collages creates clever, thought provoking collages from various reclaimed print media. From flyers and print advertisements, to re-purposed prints, Zanahoy combines seemingly incongruous imagery to create fantastical scenes.

Zanahoy would be happy to take discarded old books, flyers, catalogues, and magazines.

Trista Hallam, Seahorse, old discarded book.
Trista Hallam brings old books to life my carefully folding the pages of a book to create an image. Trista can transform old discarded books that are collecting dust into sculptures you can display in your home!

Trista would be happy to take any of your old hardcover books

Jen Worden, Herring In Shrine, 8" x 8", mixed media

Jen Worden is a mixed media artist who incorporates old photographs, beeswax, and many other odds and ends like construction scraps into her work. Her pieces have a really intriguing sense of nostalgia!
 Jen would be happy to take plaster, old photographs, beeswax, and construction scraps.
Kevin MacLean, reclaimed objects, drift wood.

Kevin MacLean utilizes a variety of reclaimed and found objects, often in conjunction with driftwood, to create sculptural works. We love the wood and metal combo!

Kevin would be happy to take pieces of driftwood, old metal scraps, watch parts, wire, and lobster traps.

Allison Pinsent Baker, Untitled, mixed natural fibres, driftwood
Allison Pinsent Baker is a textile artist who creates gorgeous woven wall-hangings made of mixed natural fibres. Allison's pieces are often suspended from driftwood as opposed to a metal rod or wooden dowel.

Allison would be happy to take leftover natural fibres (yarn or fabric scraps) or driftwood.

Susan Slade is a mixed media artist who creates whimsical shadowboxes from found objects that look like tiny, magical worlds.

Susan would be happy to take any odds and ends, broken bits of jewellery, small glass bottles, old photographs, anything miniature,

We’ll also be joined by BEEZY WRAPS- a local company that offers a great alternative to plastic-based food storage.
In addition, we are asking for donations of PLASTIC STRAWS from any local restaurant or anyone wanting to make a change to paper or other alternatives. The hope is that in the coming months, and original work of art will be made using these straws collected by participating artist Allison Pinsent- Baker.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Near, On, and Under Water!

One of the best parts of living in Nova Scotia is the luxury of being close to water. Whether it's to the ocean, a lake, or tiny river, you don't have to drive very far in any direction to be able to reach some sort of body of water. 

Living near the water is a huge inspiration to many of our artists. In this year's Pre-Shrunk show, there are many works that feature water in various forms. In some pieces, water takes centre stage, while in others, it's a calming backdrop. Some artists even chose to focus on what lives underwater!

 Let's start with some works that place the viewer NEAR the water. Looking at these pieces are so reminiscent of going for a drive outside of the city center, perhaps to take a hike, or head to the beach for an afternoon! 

Barbara O'Neil, Rural Road Near Broad Cove, 4" x 5", Acrylic on Canvas

Lio Lo, Salt Marsh, Watercolor on Paper, Mounted

Kim Floyd, Cloudy Lawrencetown, Acrylic on Board

Becky Junkin, The Watershed, Acrylic on Canvas

When you live near the water, it's likely you'll also find yourself spending time ON the water. Whether you take out the canoe for a paddle, head out to sea to go fishing, or leisurely float around on a blow-up tube, being on the water can so much fun!

Natasha Grenke, Rainy Day on the River, Watercolor on Paper, Mounted

Lisette Dempsey, A Day at Sea, Acrylic on Panel

Deb Bromley, Pool Fun #3, Acrylic on Wood Panel

It's hard not to live near, and spend time on the water without thinking about what lives IN the water. The following artists chose to create works that feature underwater creatures (not all of which can be found in least we hope there aren't any hammer head sharks around here..!?)

Dusan Postolovic, Gus, 4" x 5", Colored Pencil on Watercolor Paper, Mounted

Briana Corr Scott, Perriwinkle #21, Oil on Wood Panel

Kerry Hodgson, Feeling Crabby, 4" x5", Acrylic on Wood Panel

Tori Contois, Hammer Head, Acrylic on Wood

If you haven't yet made it down to the gallery to see Pre-Shrunk 2019, there's still time! The show has been extended until February 26th. You can also view the entire show HERE.