Saturday, December 15, 2018

To be Joyful

Well suddenly we're halfway through December, and I think it's safe to say that Christmas is really soon! Whatever way you choose to celebrate the season, (or not), it's hard to deny that it's a busy time of year for most people. The hustle-bustle of the city is even more pronounced by festive music, lights, and decorations. Messages seem to abound to "be merry", and to "be jolly"! But amidst all the busyness, are you taking the time to slow down enough to actually enjoy yourself?

Catherine Bagnell-Styles, Spring Poppies (framed), 10" x 13", Acrylic on Board

We recently recently received a new body of work by artist Catherine Bagnell-Styles , and her use of color and expressive brushwork seem to almost radiate joyfulness. Last Saturday, she was at the gallery with us for the afternoon to chat about her work and process. The pleasure Catherine takes in her painting practice is immediately obvious from the moment she begins to speak about her work, and it definitely translates through her paintings as well.

Catherine Bagnell-Styles, Juicy, Too, 10" x 10", Acrylic on Board

Catherine Bagnell Styles, "Profusion" 10" x 10" Acrylic on Paper, Mounted

The bright color palette used in Catherine's work gives them a playful and magnetic energy. From her plein-air paintings done in France, to familiar Halifax neighborhoods, floral still lives, and vibrant dancers, Catherine's work has a distinct style that she has made her own.

Catherine Bagnell-Styles, Blue and Green Dancers, 12" x 12", Acrylic and Mixed Media on Board

Catherine Bagnell-Styles, Field of Dreams, 12" x 16" , Acrylic on Board

Catherine Bagnell Styles, Farm Summer, 11" x 14", Acrylic on Canvas Board

Another one of our gallery artists who takes great pride and pleasure in sharing her creative practice is Kim Danio. Kim is known for her whimsical works made of re-purposed shoes, purses, and boots. It's really amazing to see how Kim is able to envision the potential of discarded items to take on a second life as charming works of art. With the addition of paint and a myriad of odds and ends, Kim transforms the mundane into creatures, little houses, fishing shacks, cars, and more!

Kim Danio, Barn, Reclaimed Purse and Mixed Media

Kim Danio, Light Up Turquoise Camper, Reclaimed Purse and Mixed Media

Kim Danio, Reindeer, Reclaimed Shoe and Mixed Media

It's so inspiring to see how artists who are really passionate about their work are able to share their joy through the inherently joyful quality of their work. At this time of year, it's worth reflecting on how what we do with a good heart and good intentions always comes through clearly to those around us. Throughout this season, consider whether you are giving from a true place of joy,  rather than for the sake of giving into the pressures of Christmas "merriment". As these two artist demonstrate, what is done with good spirit, spreads good spirit! Stop by the gallery to see the many wonderful new works that have recently arrived. You can also view a good selection of new work online here and smaller works from our Postcards from Home show here.

Kim Danio, White Ice Fishing Shack, Reclaimed Purse and Mixed Media

Kim Danio, VW Bug with Christmas Tree, Reclaimed Shoe and Mixed Media