Sunday, July 5, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIO DAYS: Amber Solberg

Welcome once again to our Sunday Studio Days Series.  We hope everyone had a great week! Today we'll be featuring the creative workspace of gallery contributor Amber Solberg.

Amber is an illustrator, artist, craftsperson & instructor. Originally from Alberta, she now lives and works and creates art in Nova Scotia. She's evolved her practice to revolve around nature, conscious creation and storytelling. With watercolours, ink, and embroidery thread, she makes work that spans from the technical to the expressive, all with an underlying creativity...

Amber is an illustrator, artist, craftsperson, and instructor...

"I've always made the best of a small space growing up, so I shouldn't be surprised that's what my art and my studio space reflect. I work in a corner of my bedroom, and as you can see, have made extensive use of the wall for ideas!"

Inside the Artists' studio...

"...I like to put up reminders: of deadlines to meet, ideas to work out later, the work and images of the people in my life, or iconic packaging (a lot of candy wrappers find their way up to my home-made corkboard!). This year, I've also started putting up post-its to show what jobs are on the go and what's been completed--which has been really nice to look up and see during the tough days..."

Interior view of Amber's studio...

"...Since COVID put us in lockdown, I've been dredging out old sketchbooks. I've really fallen out of practice with it, and this time makes me feel I should get back into the habit. I've always enjoyed fine-tipped gel and blue ballpoint pens to sketch with, especially in museums and art galleries..."

Recent sketchbook drawings...

"...For a year in 2015, I journaled a trip around Europe through sketches and doodles, and I look back at that now as my most creative time. The reduction of materials available to you can really make you work outside of your comfort zone!"

Detail of studio interior; Lots of natural light to fuel Amber's creativity...

"...Currently, I'm working on a personal project I've had on my mind for a long time now: customizable children's books. I've done custom pet portraits and custom family illustrations before, but as someone who works and plays a lot with kids, I've read my fair share of children's books that are missing SOMETHING-whether it's in the storyline, the story pacing, the illustrations, or the message to convey..."

A natural storyteller, Amber keeps a journal to document her story ideas...


 "...I'm creating children's books that will be wholly unique because it is ABOUT them, and they'll be able to see that in the pages. I'm aiming to have two done by fall, so keep your eyes peeled!" - Amber Solberg

Amber's "Cursive Pins" series..available for purchase from the gallery!

You can see more of Amber's Cursive Pin collection HERE

For purchasing inquiries contact us at 902-425-9456 or via email at gallery@argylefa.com

Saturday, July 4, 2020

ART SCAVENGER HUNT TIME! GET YOUR CLUE SHEETS HERE!

Hello Adventure Seekers!  Take yourself  and friends on a fun art adventure beginning today at Argyle Fine Art! We are excited to be OPEN again and are taking part in RE-OPEN CITY which is happening throughout downtown Halifax and Dartmouth.

Check out the listings of participating businesses and their very special offerings of back-door delicious foods, sales, contests and yes......an ART SCAVENGER HUNT,   RIGHT HERE!



This Art Scavenger Hunt will have you searching inside our gallery and outside at some of the public art displays around Halifax too!  You have until July 9th to find all the clues, so get searching!  Complete your form and send it to us or drop it off, for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Certificate from our gallery as well as some other artful prizes!  Watch our social media channels for hints....

BELOW is an IMAGE of the ART SCAVENGER FORM, but you can download it as a PDF to either have on your phone or print off at home for handy dandy use!  We of course, will have some printed and available at the gallery too!



https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MCxE-wEvtAkZ2QSCx5K-gXQWH3dZKs1A/view?usp=sharing

Friday, July 3, 2020

Newslettery Re-post!

Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? If not, it's easy to do right from this blog site and we promise not to spam you or over do it with emails! Just one email a week to keep you up- to- date on the happenings at the gallery, filled with lots of new art to delight your eyes!

You can sign up from almost any  page on this blog (look to your left- you should see the sign up form there) or simply head over HERE TOO! New members that sign up between July 4th and August 4th will be automatically entered into a draw to WIN special gifts from us too.


Here's what today's newsletter looked like!  ENJOY and please visit us in person or online soon!

 
"For All we Know", 24" x 18", Acrylic and watercolour on cradleboard by Craig Baltzer, $685

Road Trips are Better when you add ART

If you are planning on heading out to discover your home province this weekend or our neighbouring bubble provinces, make sure to add some ART to your trip! Art is easy to find as it's all around you! To all of you living farther away, we hope you do the same! Thankfully we can all connect virtually anytime and enjoy art from the comfort of our homes or cottages too,so make sure to visit our gallery online anytime. There is so much to see and discover! SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES! SMALL PURCHASES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER!   FOR JUST $32....why not purchase a signed copy of Briana Corr Scott's book, "The Book of Selkie"  from Argyle Fine Art and receive a secret link to host your very own SELKIE PARTY with extra special things created just for you by Briana including colouring sheets, bunting, art-making videos, cupcake toppers, two ZOOM backgrounds using her illustrations that you can use anytime you are chatting with friends and more!. Of course, each book comes with paperdolls and clothing also illustrated by Briana. YAY!
RE-OPEN CITY is happening again this weekend in Downtown Halifax and Dartmouth, so get outside and support your local businesses. Lots of special offers and fun to discover at each participant. FIND OUT ALL ABOUT IT HERE with a great interview on Global News last week!
We have lots of new art for you to discover in our gallery, including new art by SHARON CAVE  that features adorable bunnies like Benjamin featured here!



But we thought we'd encourage you to really LOOK at art in our gallery and also find a few public gallery works in Halifax too, by taking part in our ART SCAVENGER HUNT!

Pick up your Art scavenger forms as soon as we open tomorrow, Saturday, July 4th at 11am.Take a look around the gallery to find answers to some of your clues. Then head outside to discover other local public art hidden in plain sight!

Return your completed forms to us in person or via email at gallery@argylefa.com by end of day Thursday, July 9th for a chance to WIN $50 gift certificate from us and some other artful treats! Great for any age! HAVE FUN!
 WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR SCAVENGER HUNT  ?  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERSION OF THE CLUE SHEET!  
If you'd rather enjoy nature this weekend, why not go on an artful nature walk and talk with Mark Brennan. Artist Mark Brennan has put together a video presentation about his life as an artist- how it all began and how he continues to be inspired by his surroundings in nature and expressing himself through a variety of mediums.

For $10 get an exclusive link to this wonderful presentation that Mark had planned on doing in person before Covid-19 as well as a special "BACKYARD BIRD"  identification challenge check-list adventure you can do outside anytime on on your own with friends in family.Share your findings with us and photos too. In addition, you will also be receive a small packet of seeds to plant some flowers to attract birds to your backyard.

ENTER TO WIN YOUR REGISTRATION FEE BACK by submitting a photo of a bird or your favourite place in nature. Send your photo to us via gallery@argyelfa.com no later than August 8th.**THIS IS A GREAT THING TO DO VIRTUALLY- no need to live in Nova Scotia or close to participate! We'd love to see images from other parts of the world too!**
 
We are planning lots of great shows and events that can be enjoyed this season from our gallery, no matter where you live! We hope to add some new workshop opportunities soon and are planning for some exciting shows in July and August, including Gordon MacDonald's annual show opening July 23rd and new works in August by Isobel Hamilton! Thanks to all of you that keep on supporting us with purchases, social media shares and notes of kindness.:-) We hope to see you soon!
REMINDER OF NEW GALLERY HOURS:
Wednesday- Saturday
11am-5:30pm
Or by Appointment

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Virtually Yours!

We are OPEN for business, but of course not everyone is ready to visit us in person just yet. So we've put together some of the available works by Sharon Cave in a "VIRTUAL GALLERY" online at the link below. 


Using this application, you can walk around the gallery much like you would in person, getting up close and personal with the works and read the details about each piece with their tags on the wall too. We love that you can also see how the works look in relation to others on the wall by size...something hard to imagine for most of us.


 If you are viewing on a desktop, simply clicking on the link below works best-give it a moment to load. If you are viewing on a mobile device, you will be prompted to download a free app to view the gallery.



* If interested in any of these works, please get in touch with us at 902-425-9456 or gallery@argylefa.com. Happy to help!  We are still offering FREE delivery of art within HRM or we can arrange safe,affordable shipping options as well as offer curbside pick-up.

 Of course nothing is as good as real-life in person art viewing, so please do drop by soon. We have lots of safety precautions in place, but our gallery is still as welcoming and comfortable as ever.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIO DAYS: Briana Corr Scott

What a week! The Gallery Re-Opened to the public on Friday, after a long period under lockdown, and losing an entire season in between! The Summer months brings a welcomed new energy to both the City and the Arts Community. Our Sunday Studio Days series continues this week with a look at the creative workspace of Gallery Artist Briana Corr Scott.

Briana draws and paints still lives from observation. Her subjects are primarily objects from nature; flowers, bones and shells. Her painting style is quiet and meditative, she concentrates intently on each object and wraps it in glowing painted light...

Interior of Briana's Dartmouth studio.

"I do all of my work in this studio, but my process and inspiration starts outdoors, walking in nature, on the beach, or (long ago in pre-covid) travelling..."


A multi-disciplinary Artist, Briana is a published author, painter and illustrator...  

"I make a lot of different things in my studio so it changes all the time. Sometimes I paint, write, animate, illustrate. Sometimes I'm cutting, painting or on the computer..."

Exterior of Briana's Studio retreat, complete with garden pond!

"The (Studio) building at first was a garage and then my husband converted it to an office when he was starting his business. I took it over after he move his business to a bigger space. I think it is too nice of a space for a messy painter person like me, but I am very grateful for all the natural light and that there is enough room for my 3 kids to come in and out and hang out if they need. It makes working a lot more realistic, as I am their caregiver.."

Preliminary sketches for future projects...

"…I bring home my sketchbooks, journals and notes and make a pile. I work every single day so the pile gets big very quickly. I go through the pile every month or so, and ideas fall out of and merge from other things in the pile, and some type of final work begins."

Briana surrounds herself with objects that inspire her work...


"Whatever I don't use gets put into a second pile. If it doesn't survive the second pile it gets burned, and that is an important part of my process. I like to give myself the ability to destroy and start again. People tell me not to burn my work but I get as much out of destroying some of it as I do making it." - Briana Corr Scott

Studio interior with Briana's artwork on display. 
On Saturday, we celebrated the launch of Briana's new book; "The Book of Selkie" from Nimbus Publishing. The book is composed of short poems that explore the Selkie legend, and is beautifully illustrated with Briana's own original paintings.

The book sells for $24.95 and is now available for purchase (contact us for details)! 

As a special offer, for just $32, you can receive a signed copy of the book along with some special online extras including crafts, coloring, and printable activities. Briana even made two ZOOM backgrounds for you to use when chatting with friends online!

Briana posing in the Gallery with her new book; "The Book of Selkie"

Briana Corr Scott, "Peonie One", oil on board, 8" x 8"


To see more of Briana's work, follow the link to our flickr page HERE

For purchase inquiries, contact us at (902) 425-9456, or via email at gallery@argylefa.com


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

GALLERY RE-OPENING WEEKEND!

After a long and difficult period under Covid-19 Lockdown, we're excited to announce that we'll be RE-OPENING the Gallery to the public this coming FRIDAY, JUNE 26 at 11 am!  

We would also like to thank you all in advance for your patience and cooperation as we adjust to the new rules regarding Social Distancing. These practices will be more familiar to us now that businesses are opening up.

A hand sanitizing station has been set up at our entrance and will be required to be used by everyone when they enter and exit the gallery, and we will be limiting visitors to no more than five in the gallery at a time in 30 minute increments.We encourage anyone who would like to see an exhibition at a specific time to book an appointment. We will allow no outside food or drink to enter the space by our visitors. We would prefer it if you wore a mask when in our gallery but will not enforce it as long as proper social distancing rules are being followed. We do have masks available at the gallery for purchase and a few disposable  ones as well. Children must be accompanied by adults at all times.

Sharon Cave, "Fabian", oil on board, 8" x 8"
To jumpstart our summer season and to coincide with our grand Re-Opening, we're thrilled to bring you a new body of work from gallery artist Sharon Cave.  "Foxes and Bunnies and Hares, Oh My!" features 14 new paintings of your favorite furry animals!

Sharon will be in the gallery on Friday from Noon to 3pm, to greet and speak with visitors who want to see the show in person.  You can also view the exhibition online HERE


For those of you who can't make it to the gallery on Friday, we will be streaming a Live Event on Instagram at 3 pm (AST).  We'll be sharing a virtual gallery tour, as we talk to Sharon about her show, and her painting practice.

As part of our "Artists in Studio Getting Coffee" Series, post an image of your favorite mug on Instagram for your chance to win some treats from the gallery!



Our Re-Opening Party continues on Saturday, June 27 with this amazing book launch of Briana Corr Scott's "The Book of Selkie" from Nimbus Publishing.

Briana and Woozles Bookstore will at the gallery from 2pm-4pm.  Pick up your copy, and see some original paintings from the book on display along with other recent works by Briana. The book sells for $24.95 and we are taking pre-orders now! 


But wait, there's more!

As a special pre-order incentive (and part of Halifax's Re-Open City initiative), for just $32 receive a signed copy of the book along with some special online extras including crafts, colouring, and printable activities. Have your very own selkie party anytime! Share your experience with friends young and old alike. Briana even made two ZOOM backgrounds for you to use when chatting with friends online!
 

Host your own Selkie Party!



We'd like to thank everyone for their continued support throughout the lockdown, and look forward to seeing you all again soon!  

New Gallery Hours:
Wednesday- Saturday 11am-5:30pm 
Closed Sunday-Tuesday (or by Appointment)


Got a question? We have answers! Contact us at (902) 425-9456 or via email at gallery@argylefa.com.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIO DAYS: Andrea Crouse

Welcome Back!  Hope everyone had a great week.  As part of our Sunday Studio Days Series, we're thrilled to introduce you to the work and creative space of local Artist Andrea Crouse!

Andrea is a paper collage artist who uses recycled print material to create her artwork. Inspired by the colourful houses in her neighbourhood, many of her pieces are of homes seen throughout the North End of Halifax and typical of many Maritime communities.


Andrea in her Halifax Studio...

Andrea has transformed her den into an art-making space. Complete with great lighting, the den provides enough space to keep materials out and ready-for-work. When the mood strikes, she’ll move her desk to a bright corner of her home to take advantage of natural lighting.


Studio interior, all set up and ready to create!

Lots of natural light creates a calm and welcoming workspace...


Tools of the trade.  Recycled magazines are used to create much of Andrea's work.


“Finding inspiration in the everyday, my subjects are homes that catch my eye on my daily walks. Once I have a photo that I think will translate nicely into a collage, I get started with a quick sketch of the major shapes and perspective lines that I can use to guide my creation.

Then, when I am satisfied that I’ve captured the image, location of windows and doors or any greenery, I get started with colour-finding...

Beginning a new work always starts with a sketch...

...I find a comfortable place to sit and start sifting through magazines for colours and textures I think will work nicely.  Once I’ve found my palette, I lay out all the pieces of paper on my desk and group by colour.

I typically start with the main colour of the houses and then build in windows and doors.  I find it interesting to study how light and shadows come into play and try to include as much of that detail as possible...

Finding order in chaos...the creative process at work! 

...There is a real meditative quality in the paper cutting process and something I include in my daily life in addition to practicing yoga and more traditional forms of meditation.  I find my breathing slows down, my heart-rate slows down (despite the amount of coffee consumed) and I am able to sustain an altered state of calmness for quite long periods of time.

During this pandemic, I have found my creative time even more necessary. With daily life in an altered state and so much uncertainty, art time kept me grounded, calm and focused.

Everything in its' right place...a recent work in progress.
I tend to work on smaller size wood panels. I have done a few larger pieces such as 12”x6” and 24”x12” and hope to explore this more in the future.  Working on small panels, means cutting very tiny strips of paper by hand.

I use small craft scissors to cut all pieces and apply with the tip of a pencil or tweezers when cuts are really really small.  An exacto knife comes in handy too. I use glue appropriate for paper to apply paper to wood panels and finish things off with UV protective varnish.

"Claddagh"

My pieces take a considerable amount of time to create, given the nature of the work, and can be 1-2 months, depending on the size. 

I hope that as these pieces find their new homes, the peaceful and meditative nature of the process comes through and the recipient feels happy and relaxed looking at them.

These past few months I have been working on what I am calling ‘heart projects’….projects for close friends and family who have asked for collages that I previously wasn’t able to find time for. Real or perceived, time is something I always feel is on short supply.  

"Hatchling's Hope"




I completed a piece for my partner of a cottage we enjoy together, a collage of my friend’s new home, and a waterfront scene from a friend’s hometown in Ireland. I am currently working on a piece for my father on the farm where he grew up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. 

While these pieces won’t necessarily show up at the gallery, it’s fun to share them here to show how I’ve been focusing my time and energy during the pandemic.  I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on the importance of friends and loved ones as we’ve been separated during the creation of these pieces and this has been a nice way to spend the extra time found.

"Clendenan"

I look forward to continuing to document my community in paper collage and to experiment with new techniques and larger pieces.  I have been having so much fun getting to know this welcoming community found at Argyle Fine Art through shows and social media and am pleased to be connecting with so many new people through the process.

Take care and stay safe everyone.  Thanks for reading." - Andrea Crouse