Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Make your day better with Hygge & the art of Craig Baltzer

With our ongoing show just getting started, we thought we'd highlight a few of the works in the show here on the blog, but hope that you'll drop by for a closer look and perhaps even add a little bit of our hygge to your home with original art by local artists!

Today we're showcasing all the works painted by Craig Balzer in response to the concept of hygge.  Craig not only understands the concept, but really lives it everyday and it shows in all the artwork he does. In fact, hygge is an art form itself and is a great way to escape the  drudgery winter can bring while bringing great happiness by appreciating the simple things in life.

 Whether that be a warmth of a winter's day with the glow of the sun streaming through your home like the painting above called "Still", 6"x8", Watercolour and Ink on Board.

 Or a warm cozy pet cuddled up on your lap or on a window sill in the sun....ahh.....to have the life of a cat....
Sometime hygge can even be found in those sunbeams that bounce upon your walls of your home, giving it an almost fairy tale feeling. Contentment....

What's your hygge? 

We hope you find your hygge this week with us and all the amazing works of art glowing from our walls.

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. -Henry David Thoreau”

Saturday, February 24, 2018


You could say we are glowing since last night's opening reception for  our second show of 2018, in honour of the Danish verb "hygge"- which translates into English as the feeling of contentment, cozy, togetherness. Thanks to all of the artists, art lookers and buyers and our special guests The Loop, World Tea House,The Old Apothecary and The Birds Nest.
 Nestled by Kelly Morehouse, pastels on wood
 Drop by soon to experience the art and the vibe we have happening here right now! The show is ONLINE HERE now too, if you'd rather check out the show from your home in your own "hygge"state with a hot beverage in hand like this one by Isobel Hamilton featured below.

The variety of mediums used in this show and responses to this concept were astounding! We especially love this little fellow, who may be easy to miss if you aren't looking closely when visiting the gallery....he's just  a teeny-tiny adorable little guy by Erynn Ahern.

Of course, our "shoe-artist" Kim Danio is making people do double takes once again as she has transformed various boots and shoes into comfy scenes of pure relaxation. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

We even have jewellery that glows, made by Lindsay MacDonald- watch for it in our windows next week when we add a black light to intensify the plexi- silver- precious stone gems. Mini works of art for your fingers-yes please!! See you soon?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

HYGGE: Cozy Comforts with Art Opens this Friday!

We're getting excited about the opening reception for HYGGE happening this Friday, February 23rd, 6pm-8pm. We hope many of you can attend and if not that evening, drop by throughout the days to follow, to catch a bit of hygge to aid your winter blues. Let the art warm you! Over 30 artists are participating, working in a variety of mediums including a few artists from Greenland too! 

Shelter, Oil Painting by Mary Garoutte
It won't be your usual gallery opening either! We'll be joined with a few other local businesses too, spreading the" hygge vibes" including a tea tasting station with the World Tea House, nibbles by The Old Apothecary and The Birds Nest (formally known as Ciboulette) and The Loop will be here spinning wool and have some wool related stuff to buy. The lights will be down low, candles will be on our little tables and you can even cozy up and play a board game while you're here. 

Candles and Jars
16" x 12" Acrylic on cradled wood panel, Isobel Hamilton
With this show's theme of hygge (cozy, familiar, comfort) we hope to create a warmth and comfortable feeling with artwork. Let's all embrace WINTER in all it's glory, both outside and inside too.

Drop by Friday but visit again, as the show will continue until early March. THE FULL SHOW WILL BE ONLINE ONCE THE SHOW OPENS at www.argylefineart.blogspot.com

Mum's Socks, Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 12", Kerry Hodgson

Friday, February 16, 2018

Getting Graphic at Pre-Shrunk 2018!

Well the Pre-Shrunk show is coming to a close this Saturday, February 17th,  after another fantastic exhibition of diverse works by many talented artists. Today we're highlighting a few of our favourite graphic pieces in this years show - clean lines, flat colours, solid tones - ou baby there are some tasty pieces in the mix!

Let's start with the master of gouache, Miyoshi Kondo. The colour in this piece is even better in real life, if you can believe it. Not only is Miyoshi's technique incredible (ask anyone who's worked with gouache), but her colour mixing is divine.

Miyoshi Kondo, Not My Business, Gouache on Paper Mounted

Next we have the master of the surreal, Wayne Leal. He really knows how to create a narrative that lets your imagination wander, even in a piece that's only 4"x5".

Wayne Leal, Taking Flight, Acrylic

Mary Ledger's use of pattern carries through the buildings in her piece and extends into the numbers. That pop of orange - delicious!

Mary Ledger, Bright Lights, Big City, Ink, Watercolour, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas Board

This piece from Victoria Brumwell's series on houseplants just sings and the colour is sublime! Look at that red and green leaf just vibrating against the pink tiles!

Victoria Brumwell, Pink Tiles, Oil on Board

Cody Pendleton is inviting us along on a roadtrip in his pieces that use clean lines and transparent colour washes that let the woodgrain shine through.

Cody Pendleton, Surfs Up, Acrylic and Stain on Wood

Artist Danny Abriel is venturing into twilight in this piece. Danny is known for his illustrative approach to Canadian, and more specifically Nova Scotian, landscapes and this piece just shimmers.

Danny Abriel, Night Seeker, Acrylic on Canvas

Kelsey Pearson's practice focuses primarily on print making and her work is emphasized by strong black lines and pops of colour. This linoblock she carved is no exception. It even includes a bit of iridescence which can't be captured in a photograph. Guess you'll just have to see it in person...

Kelsey Pearson, Hyalophora Cecropia, Carved Linoleum and Acrylic

Shelagh Duffet is a popular Halifax based artist who is known for her graphic paintings and prints that incorporate colourful patterns. This piece from her series exemplifies those qualities.

Shelagh Duffet, Untitled 2, Acrylic on Board

Jana Wicha rounds out our graphic pieces by bringing local flavour to her carved pieces that showcase some of the Maritimes' favourite brews.

Jana Wicha, Schooner, Carved MDF and Acrylic

For more fabulous Pre-Shrunk pieces you can see the show in it's entirety online HERE or by popping into the gallery to catch the end of the show!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Love is in the Air and Pre-Shrunk is here to help!

Give someone you love or admire the gift of art! Our Pre-Shrunk show has been extended until February 17th, so there's still time to pick up an original work of art for Valentine's Day giving, or just because you care. We are certainly in love with this show and so are many of you! This year we had the largest response yet to the show from artists and visitors alike. It's very heartwarming to see people enjoying art so much! Thank you for visiting and to those that haven't, treat yourself to a look-see this week or ONLINE HERE.

James Janssen is a new artist to Argyle Fine Art. We began working with him this past summer on a special project. This was James' first time being part of Pre-Shrunk, and he created a series of paintings that tell the story of a woman in love at different stages of her life. The works are simply called First Life, Second Life, Third Life. It's such a wonderful narrative series that can be interpreted in many different ways. What's your story?

Of course, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without some flowers, like these Yellow Roses by George Spencer. These roses won't wilt or die, but live on like all great works of art, big or small. Long lasting!

One style of art and subject matter that isn't as common at the gallery are abstracts and nudes, but with artist Vanessa Cornelle, we can enjoy both together. This is just one of two Pre-Shrunk works still available by her in the show.This work is called Champagne Diaries XVII. 

What a dashing young man this is....although he seems to have an Iris as a head, but no matter! Lovely just the same! This wonderful paper collage is by artist Zanahoy and is called Portrait of Iris Barere.

And just in case your Valentine may be more on the cute side of things and maybe even a Star Wars fan, we just had to include these painted PORG-traits by Dylan Wells that make quite a couple!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

With every fibre of our being....we love Pre-Shrunk

Pre-Shrunk is still going strong until the middle of this month, and we're excited to report that new works of art are finding new homes each day! We are so delighted that we had a number of textile works included in the show this year. If you haven't seen the show yet, make time to visit this week,Saturday or online HERE

A returning artist to the show this year is Andrea  Tsang Jackson. This work is made up of cotton, paper and ink. It's beauty is in it's minimalism- it's called "Moon Rising".

Another artist we always look forward to including in the show, is the fine embroidery works by Yoko White. There are a number of them in the show! Yoko is a regular artist at our gallery- you can always expect to see something new from her including embroidered jewellery.

"Brown Hair Lady", Hand Embroidered by Yoko White

Tacha Reed has created a series of needle felted works for this year's show that are for both the wall and for wearing. Yes- the animal (in this case, a fox) is actually a brooch that you can wear and then return to your wall to enjoy anytime.  So innovative!

A new comer to the show this year is Catherine Vardy. She created a series of mini-quilts for the occasion. The one show below is called "Bring Me Joy", which is sure to do just that for it's new owner.
MEOW!  No show would be complete without a few cats, right? Emerging artist Jody Trainor made a whimsical series of cats. We loved this little guy....his name is "Disco Cat", made with repurposed fabric and thread.

Another new artist to the show this year, is Tamsin Sloots. Tamsin took up-cycling to another level with her abstract fibre paintings, using up-cycled jeans, gel medium and pearl cotton thread. The work below is called "Blue Dot".  Come into the gallery and put a red dot on this one (that means it's sold. :)

And one of the stars of the show, were the embroidery works by Mindy Harris, however there are still two remaining! This is from a series of embroidery paintings called "Women's Work" This is a portrait of Jane Austen.
Drop by in person or online soon! Pre-Shrunk works make great gifts for all year round...especially the upcoming Valentine's Day celebrations. See you soon!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pre-Shrunk is "WAVING" at you....come SEA!

We're feeling a bit punny today, so please excuse our silly title for our blog post today. :-)  Being situated near the ocean, artists can't help but paint what inspires them and the crash of waves on our Nova Scotian beaches is just the best! Here's a few more examples of the great works still available from our PRE-SHRUNK show inspired by the ocean. See the entire show online HERE to see even more works!

This air-brushed painting by Andrew Burgess is quite a delight! It's air-brushed on metal too, so in person very luminous, as waves tend to be. Especially a wave like this one, when you can look right through it.

These paintings by Briana Corr-Scott were inspired by a recent trip to Sable Island (note the Sable Island seals bobbing up and down in the waves in the lower painting) Expect to see more LARGER paintings from this series in her upcoming solo show in late Spring!
This is a painting by a new artist to us for this show- Sarah Fletcher. We love this one...really captures the East Coast shoreline!
Carey Bray is a returning artist to Pre-Shrunk. This year the sea was his inspiration again, and he really captured the splashing and sploshing of the waves

Friday, February 2, 2018

Local Love at Pre-Shrunk 2018

There's lots of LOVE for many local businesses this year in our Pre-Shrunk 2018.  Local neighborhoods are represented in the art too. All of these works are just 4" x 5" and are the same price of $175. Remember to check out the entire show HERE

Mills Brothers is one such business that is part of Halifax's heritage and sadly closed a few years ago now. But the memory of it lives on with many Haligonians and visitors to the city, especially because of their wonderful Christmas window displays each season. Here's a more recent version of what Mill's looked like, by Kathy Richards.

This work by Craig Baltzer was a late arrival to the show, but so beautiful!  This church was renovated into apartments, located on Queen Street across from another popular local business, Atlantic News.

Watercolour and illustrated works by Isobel Hamilton are another fine example of the cityscapes celebrated in this show. We especially love the one of the bridge!

This simple looking ink on wood drawing by Wenxiu Ji  makes us think of warm summer days in a Halifax neighbourhood.

Of course, no one does local as well as Jan Davison!  She lives and breathes to support local and make it part of her daily ritual. Here are two popular scenes if you are local. The above one is a building on Gottingen Street and the one below that is the World Tea House on the newly renovated Argyle Street in Downtown Halifax. Perfect place to get  spot of tea from the very tea passionate people there!

We encourage you to visit these spaces and places  and more, whenever you can. Go for a walk and discover lots of local businesses  first hand! You never know what you'll discover!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

We've gone to the BIRDS again....Pre-Shrunk 2018

Another favourite subject matter for many artists seems to be BIRDS of all colours and feathers! We love birds! In fact this year, we had so many bird submissions we had to turn some of them away regretably, as we just couldn't have too much more of the similar subject matter this year. It's never easy curating this show but here are a few of the birds that made it to the gallery walls. Maybe they will fly to your walls soon? There are many more you can view online at the show HERE or in person too.

We'll start with the chickadee! You know how each year an animal emerges as the most popular animal in popular culture? Well we predict ,at least in these parts, it could easily be the chickadee! We had the most chickadee submissions this year than ever before. The one below is especially exquisite and by artist Twila Robar-DeCoste. Her gentle touch with this work especially represents the personality of this resilient favourite bird of all seasons here in Nova Scotia.
Chickadee by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Watercolour
These birds are painted by emerging artist Annik Gaudet! Love the brilliant colours of these beloved backyard birds!

This perky one is by Heidi Holloway and it's called Nuthatch Strut! 
"On Approach" by Dawn Kempster celebrates the little birds that buzz around- the Hummingbird
Another exciting newcomer to the Pre-Shrunk show this year is Carlos Carrillo. Here is one of the few pieces left by him. It's called "Purple Finch: and is graphite on paper. So striking.
And finally, although chickens may not be as fancy as these woodland birds, we just had to include this beloved bird by Miyoshi Kondo. This work is painted using gouche! It's stunning in person, along with her other works in the show. Most people mistake them as lithographs or printed matter. They are hand painted! This one below is called "Not my Clutch"

So make sure to drop by and see the show in person if you are able or visit online to experience all the variety from all the creative artists included in the show this year. Such a stellar year...it just gets better and better.