Friday, August 31, 2018

Art Scavenger Hunt Days continue- TAKE A PICTURE

Yesterday we started a fun Art Scavenger Hunt game, to encourage folks to get exploring this fine city and of course, our art gallery and our wonderfully talented local artists! Until September 8th, each day at NOON we'll be releasing a HINT of where a special something is hidden in Halifax for one lucky person to find or a TASK or mission for many people to participate in. We'll call those ALL-PLAYS!

Today, your task is to be an artist!  Share a picture you have taken that represents what SUMMER is for you! It could be a trip to the beach ,at the cottage or in the garden! You can email us,  or TAG us on Facebook, Tweet or Insta us with your picture using the hashtag #argylefineart . We'll post the pictures tomorrow on our blog (unless you ask us not to)  and add your names to WIN the $100 Gift Certificate which will be drawn for on September 8th.

If you were playing yesterday, you may remember that the question was: What is the subject matter of the drawing in our Under the Influence show, that was influenced by artist CJ Hendry?  The answer was: pepper, red pepper or hot pepper. Here's the coloured pencil drawing by artist Michelle St-Onge that was inspired by CJ Hendry!  Drop by to see this work in person or maybe add it to this year's harvest of art? :-) 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Happy Halifax Art Hunting- Find Hidden Treasures and Earn Chances to WIN $100 in art!

It's back to school time in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The other day on the radio, someone stated that our population increases by 80,000! Wow! Not sure if that's correct or not, but either way you can definitely tell that people are getting back to it or beginning their journey in our fine city.

We thought...let's have some FUN and encourage others to do the same while exploring, so from now until September 8th, each day at NOON we'll be releasing a HINT of where a special something is hidden in Halifax for one lucky person to find or a TASK or mission for many people to participate in. We'll call those ALL-PLAYS!

So, we begin today with an ALL-PLAY!  Today, your task is to find out the answer to the following question below...and if you email us, Facebook, Tweet or Insta us your answer, that earns you ONE entry to WIN the $100 Gift Certificate which will be drawn for on September 8th. This hint can be answered by visiting the gallery in person OR by visiting our most recent show online HERE

What is the subject matter of the drawing in our Under the Influence show, that was influenced by artist CJ Hendry?

Check back tomorrow for HINT #2 at NOON!  Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Halifax: No Place Like Home!

With the ending of August and a new school year fast approaching, there is evidence of transition all around the city. U-hauls are loaded and unloaded as students eagerly unpack to settle into their new Halifax pad, or pack up to leave for studies and adventures elsewhere. Neighborhoods all around town see the arrival of fresh-faced individuals ready to explore and take on new beginnings.

Whether you are new to Halifax, a seasoned Haligonian, or about to depart our beloved city, there are some pieces in our current show "Under the Influence" that will likely pull on your heartstrings!

Artist Carlos Carillo has three watercolor paintings in the show that depict some of Halifax's iconic watering holes: "Gus' Pub", "Halifax Alehouse", and "Old Triangle". He carefully captures the minute details that are characteristic of each building, making them easy to quickly recognize. There is a familiarity Carlos' work that makes it approachable and nostalgia-inducing.
"Gus' Pub" Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

"Halifax Alehouse", Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

"Old Triangle", Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

Carlos' work for our current show "Under the Influence" is inspired by Mateusz Urbanowicz, an artist from Poland who has been living and studying in Tokyo, Japan. Urbanowicz began sketching some of the old traditional buildings that remained amidst the rapid surge of building development in Tokyo. His sketches led to a series, the Tokyo Storefront series that documents some of these remaining buildings in a style that is charming and full of character. Urbanowicz's work seeks to preserve memory of tradition and history that will likely be lost someday to development.

"Kobayashi Hair Salon from the Sanbanchyo District", Mateusz Urbanowicz
Watercolor and Pen.

"Houbiou Chinese Restaurant from around Takadanobaba District"
"Miyake Bicycle Shop based on Shops from Kagaruzaka and Kichiyouji"
Mateusz Urbanowicz, Watercolor and Pen.

Like Urbanowicz, Carlos' documents some of the city's iconic buildings with attention to the tiniest details that truly capture the character and history of the spaces. We'll keep our fingers crossed though that we won't loose any of these Halifax gems to development anytime soon!

Catherine Bagnell Styles is another artist in the exhibition who chose Halifax buildings as the subject for her work. Citing Henri Matisse and Andre Derain as influences, Catherine depicts a row of historic homes on Morris street in a vibrant acrylic painting titled "Morris St."

"Morris St." Acrylic on Board, 16" x 20", Catherine Bagnell Styles

Matisse and Derain, both painters from France, are well-known for their  use of vivid colors and expressive application of paint. While Catherine's painting accurately depicts Morris St., her influences are apparent in the expressive nature of her brush strokes and the warm tones that transform Morris St. into a romantic and glowing scene.

"Notre Dame" by Henri Matisse
"Charing Cross Bridge" by Andre Derain, 1906.

If you haven't been by the gallery to check out the show, now is the time! There's only one week left to see it! If you're not able to make it, you can see the show here.

Image Sources:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Outside Looking In: Life Drawing with a Twist

We tried something new- our first life drawing night! We set out to make our evening a bit more unique than your usual life-drawing gathering. An otherwise private experience became more public and engaging.

It's always a bit terrifying to try new things and we honestly didn't know what we were doing exactly or if anyone would show up, but between 8pm-9pm the sidewalk outside our modest gallery began to fill up with artists sketching and chatting with one another. Enjoying the evening with art. Horray! It was working!

We invited anyone to drop by and sketch while being seated outside our gallery windows while we had our fabulous live model, Carol Dill,  animate each window of the gallery for 10 minute increments , with different poses and costumes to compliment our ongoing group show, "Under the Influence" that celebrates inspiration from artists all over the world.

Each "theme" of each window was revealed from behind the blinds and screens- we had a Renaissance window, a window called "Lend me your Ear" (we think Vincent van Gogh would have approved) , a Picasso inspired window and finally a bit of pop art inspiration with bold colours, graphic lines and soup cans, of course.

Sketch by Kerry Hodgson

We're hooked and hope to offer more evenings like this, with different themes, inside and outside of the gallery. We hope you'll join us next time and we're open to hearing your ideas too!

Sketch by Kerry Hodgson

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Artists Inspired by Artists!

The title of our current show at the gallery, “Under the Influence”, is likely to elicit some sort of curiosity and interest. The phrase may carry some connotations, but in the case of this show, “influence” could ultimately be replaced by “inspiration”. When faced with a blank canvas, where does one start? The artists in this show all share a similar starting point: the permission to overtly draw inspiration another artist.

In seeking inspiration from the particular style, subject matter, and/or technique of another artist, the artists in this show have each created unique works of art that combine personal style with an undercurrent of homage. In order to fully appreciate all the works in this show, it's worthwhile to take a look at the influences that inspired the works. 

Kim Floyd's three paintings in this show, "Popcorn", "Moon Mist", and "Creamsicles" are bright with vivid, saturated candy-like colors that depicting treats that look ready to eat. 

"Popcorn" by Kim Floyd, Acrylic on board 6"x 8"

"Moon Mist" by Kim Floyd
"Creamsicles" by Kim Floyd, Acrylic on board 10" x 12"

The artist Kim looked to for inspiration was Wayne Thiebaud, an American painter who is best known for his colorful depictions of tasty confections and everyday objects. Thiebaud is often mistakenly associated with the Pop Art Movement, but many of his works actually predate the movement, and do not focus of mass culture iconography. 

"Confections" Wayne Thiebaud, 1962
"Four Cupcakes" Wayne Thiebaud, 1971

Kim's work incorporates the bold use of color and well-defined, almost graphic shadows typical of Thiebaud's work. While Thibaud's subject matter often include diner-style comfort food like homemade pies, cakes, and ice-cream sundaes, Kim's paintings feature more modern and ready-made treats typical of a trip to the local convenience store or supermarket. A fun fact, Moon Mist ice cream (the subject of one of Kim's painting's) is a flavour of ice-cream that originated some 40 years ago, and is currently exclusive to Nova Scotia!  

"Pies, Pies, Pies" Wayne Thiebaud, 1961.
Anne Marie MacEachen is another artist in the show who also drew inspiration from Thiebaud. Aside from food, Thiebaud is also known for his figure and still life paintings depicting everyday objects. Anne Marie's painting, "Always a Bridesmaid" features a crimson-colored gown. It hangs against a clean background, with a defined shadow cast just below the hem of the dress. 

"Always a Bridesmaid" Anne Marie MacEachen, Oil on Canvas, 16" x 20".

The piece truly pays homage to Thiebaud's use of highly pigmented colors and study of shadow that gives his pieces an almost graphic look. 

"Yellow Dress" by Wayne Thiebaud, 1974

Being able to catch a glimpse into what inspires the creation of a work of art can often help us gain a greater understanding and appreciation for it. If you haven't yet made it to see "Under the Influence", add it to your to-do list - the fun and quirky selection of works will surely inspire!

Image sources:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Under the Influence Opens, PIG in the gallery this Saturday,LIFE DRAWING next Friday!

From Alex Colville to Claude Monet to Sean Starwars

We're getting SO excited to share the latest Summer show, "Under the Influence" opening Friday, August 17th, 6:30-8:30pm and on display until September 1st! For this juried show, artists were asked to create new works that take inspiration from their favourite artists. The results are amazing and there are so many unique in styles, mediums and approach! A feast for the eyes!  All works will be online here on our blog, after the show has officially opened, but visit the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE for sneak peeks! 


You may ask yourself "WHY?" And we answer with "Why Not!"  Sketchers of all ages are encouraged to bring your drawing utensils, paper and capture Erik at the gallery. Or simply just drop by to pat the little fellow! We can hardly wait...squeeeeel!


Don't forget that until August 18th, if you buy one print for $25, you can choose another and take it home for FREE. There are still lots of works to choose from and they make great gifts for any occasion or just because!

NEXT FRIDAY, August 24th, 8pm-9pm- Drop by the gallery windows of ARGYLE FINE ART street-view  (and inside if rainy) bring your sketchbooks and draw at our first LIFE DRAWING NIGHT with a LIVE  MODEL ! Free for all to attend but suggested donation of $5. Even if you aren't comfortable drawing, drop by and see what's up! Bring whatever materials you want but prepare to be standing or bring a stool or chair.  There will be 4 different set-ups in our window with model Carol Dill playing parts of influential artists from history to you to sketch. Each one of our gallery windows will be reveled with Carol posting and ready for sketching for approximately 10 min each.
There will be an Andy Warhol window, Vincent van Gogh window, and two others to be revealed the night of!

Friday, August 10, 2018

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

Adieu, adieu, to you, and you, and you!

Hi everyone, Caitlin here; as many of you know my time at the gallery is wrapping up. This September I'll be starting my MFA at Concordia University in Montreal. I'm truly going to miss this place and all of you so much, so I thought I'd get a little sentimental for a second about what the gallery and it's community have meant to me.

Caitlin with several of her pieces.

I remember the first time I came into the gallery. It was before I started at NSCAD and when I was first getting to know the city. After graduating from StFX I was sort of wandering, unsure of my next steps, and had just moved to Halifax after living in Ottawa for several months. I remember walking in to Argyle and being comfortable right away. The women behind the counter, who I would later come to know as Adriana and Crystal, were warm and welcoming. I didn't feel uncomfortable like I had at a few other galleries I'd popped into. Argyle wasn't sterile; it had life! It was also a really inspiring place and was a contributing factor that spurred me to go back to school and pursue a career in the arts, that until that point felt like more of a dream than a possibility. I'd also had the great fortune of meeting artists Gordon MacDonald and George Spencer at a restaurant I served at and they both became two of my favourite customers. They were both warm and kind and made me feel welcome in the Halifax art community.

Caitlin McGuire, "Halifax Central", 4'x5', Oil on Canvas

I had my first piece accepted at Argyle in January 2014 when they took one of my submissions as part of their Pre-Shrunk show. I'd submitted the year before and wasn't accepted, and they took one of my five submissions in 2014 - so if you've submitted and weren't accepted, don't give up! If you really want something, keep pursuing it. Adriana then brought me in to the gallery for an event to draw the Pre-Shrunk show, as interiors and tiny details are some of my favourite things to draw and she picked up on that. Adriana is really gifted at figuring out what it is that makes an artist tick. That was my true introduction to the Argyle community. I've been so fortunate to get to know so many wonderful people who have helped support my career because of Argyle. When I refer to the Argyle community I truly mean it, it's a real community here of people who support and care about one another. It's special.

Caitlin McGuire, "Three Men Reading on the Bus", 4"x5", Oil on Canvas - PreShrunk 2014

Drawing PreShrunk

A few months later Adriana asked if they could use one of my paintings for a new print subscription service, Creative Editions, they were starting. Not too long after Adriana asked if I'd be interested in having a show alongside one of my favourite artists, Mary Garoutte. I was getting ready to start my last year at NSCAD and jumped at the chance to exhibit my work. I spent the whole summer painting, and my first show at the gallery, "Port City" was born.

"Port City" opening 2014

The following year after I graduated I got to become part of the gallery in a different capacity. Crystal was going on maternity leave and I came on board to fill in for a year. Well, we all know how that turned out, as this is my third year behind the counter...I've always said I'm a terrible sales person, because I don't like to push people into buying things, but Argyle has always been different. Instead of selling I get to have conversations and connect with people. I have never felt like I'm trying to sell something, because I'm not. Instead I'm connecting with people through art - and I think that's another piece of what makes Argyle so special, this shared connection.

Crystal and Caitlin

Getting to see the gallery from both sides, as an artist and the assistant gallerist, has been an invaluable experience. I've gotten to take part in countless group shows and several exhibits of my own collections, including "Hiraeth" this year with Megan LeForte. From Nocturne to PreShrunk, getting to be part of so many amazing events and shows has been such a joy. Getting to know all of you has been the most fulfilling part. Having these conversations about art, materials and artists daily has kept me in the world I want to work in.

Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire at the Hiraeth opening.

To everyone who has come to one of my shows, who has purchased my work, shared kind words about my work, encouraged me, or just come in to chat - thank you. I wouldn't be here without your support, and I wouldn't be moving forward without it either. Thank you for giving me a place to grow and learn.

Normal gallery shenanigans.

To Adriana, thank you for everything. I can't put it into words what you've done for me or how working here has changed me and helped me develop as an artist, and a person. I'm moving forward with everything you've given and taught me. I am lucky to know you, to work with you, and to have you in my life.

Adriana and Caitlin

So Halifax, this isn't really goodbye, but just, see ya later... and thank you! You can see my body of work at the gallery HERE. My last day will be August 17th, so pop by! Until the next time, Halipeeps!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer Special Gift Certificate just for you!

Hello there folks! Just a reminder that until August 15th if you spend $300 before tax we'll give you a $50 gift certificate to use towards future purchases! See below for the "fine print"*.

We thought we'd entice you with a few pieces around the $300 mark that you might want to scoop up before the 15th...

Deb Bromley, Sand, 12"x12", Acrylic on Canvas

 Extend your fun in the sun with a piece by Deb Bromley! This sweet piece is $325 and measures 12"x12".

Michelle St Onge, Micro Loft: Ideal Location, 6"x8", Watercolour on Paper Mounted 

Pick up an elegant piece by Michelle St Onge, like this watercolour that measures 6"x8" and is priced at $350.

Briana Corr Scott, Jar and Pot in Soft Light, 8"x8", Oil on Board

This beautifully lit piece by Briana Corr Scott captures the warm glow she is known for in her work perfectly. It measures 8"x8" and comes in at $325.

Catherine Brown, It Tastes Better in a China Cup, 12"x9", Oil on Canvas

"It Tastes Better in a China Cup" by Catherine Brown is right on the money at $300, and measures 12"x9".

If you've been eyeing a piece for a while now is the time to go for it! See you soon!

* Summer Special Gift Certificates cannot be used on already reduced items, to purchase other gift certificates, shipping costs or payment plans.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Dog Days of Summer

 Last Saturday, the gallery was particularly abuzz with a flurry of activity. For an afternoon, we opened our doors to welcome some new friends into our space (four-legged friends, that is!) for GREYHOUND DAY at Argyle Fine Art!

Throughout the afternoon, over twenty greyhounds and their owners came to visit the gallery for a lively meet and greet, to enjoy some treats, and of course, to check out some art!

  Graphic Designer Jodie Hansen created some wonderful greyhound-themed cards, stickers, and bookmarks, that were a really huge hit with all the greyhound owners and dog-lovers alike. We also had artist Dave Johnston (Chalkmaster Dave) with us at the gallery for the afternoon to draw greyhound portraits. He put so much care into capturing the likeness and personality of each greyhound he drew!

We were also really fortunate to have Rhonda Martins and Sandra Walsh from GPAC (Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada) spend the afternoon with us to answer any questions about greyhound adoption, and about the breed in general. They're both so knowledgeable about greyhounds, and contributed greatly to our fun afternoon!

The greyhounds seemed to really enjoy themselves. We made sure each dog was thoroughly spoiled with a delectable selection of treats, comfortable resting places, and a wide array of costumes for playing dress-up....okay, that part was maybe more for our enjoyment! ;)

It was great to have the gallery filled with so many sweet dogs. We're always happy to have you visit the gallery with your pets, as long as they promise to be on their best behavior!

Happy Long Weekend everyone!