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.

Friday, February 15, 2019

In Celebration of Maud: Happy Heritage Day

 This Monday, February 18th is a province-wide holiday known as Heritage day- a day to reflect upon and celebrate prominent people and events who have left a significant mark on the province's unique history. This year's Heritage Day honoree in Nova Scotia is folk artist Maud Lewis. 
Mini Maud Lewis made by Kim Danio- Repurposed Materials and Clay, Stands just 2.5" tall, $45

In celebration of Maud, one of our gallery artists, Kim Danio (known for her fun and whimsical works made of re-purposed shoes, boots, and purses) describes how Maud has inspired her artistic practice:

"I grew up spending summers in a small fishing village on the Bay of Fundy. It was a drastic difference from my life in Massachusetts. My summer memories are rich with colourful characters, milk deliveries, fishing weirs, and peaceful settings. It seemed everywhere you turned there were patchwork quilts drying on the line, painted driftwood art pieces on the roofs of outbuildings, someone whittling something in the corner of everyone’s kitchen.

I think that is one of the reasons I am so crazy about the art of Maud Lewis. The bright colours, tranquil scenes, adorable cats – her work is so inspiring to me and reminds me of something I remember from my childhood. When I began creating my shoe art pieces I drew from her use of simple maritime themes and bright colours and desired to create a folk arty feel in my work.

I absolutely adore her sweet painted home and must admit that I have attempted to create my own painted cottage in the Annapolis valley Nova Scotia, not too far from where she was born and lived."

Kim Danio's painted cottage, inspired by Maud Lewis, in Annapolis Valley, NS

 Hope you all have a great Heritage Day! Be sure to take some time to reflect upon some of the important people, places, and events that have inspired or influenced you in whatever place you call home.

You can meet Kim, and learn more about her work next Saturday, February 23rd, 1-3pm at the opening of our next show, "The Re-Purposers". This show will feature works by a number of artists who utilize reclaimed or recycled objects as materials for art-making. See you then! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Flower Power!

It's Valentine's Day Eve and it's a full fledged snowstorm here in Nova Scotia, so most of the province is covered in snow and ice. But never fear- art is here to the rescue with some flower power!
Below we've put together a few examples of some of the flower inspired artworks from our on-going PRE-SHRUNK show which you can view entirely online HERE.

Any of these would make wonderful Valentine Day gifts or just a gift to yourself for making it through the winter so far!


Vanessa Cornell, Joe Pye Weed, Digital Drawing Mounted on Panel with Acrylic Paint

Let's get started with these three gorgeous paintings by Debra Judge. These are a combination of alcohol inks and resin that are filled with colour and texture galore. Truly amazing in person and would brighten up any place needing some extra happiness.

We've noticed over the past year an increased interest in the art of embroidery, and we were delighted that this year's show was filled with so many different examples of this medium of painting with thread. The work of Lisa Hulbert is the perfect blend of something old and something new. Very swoon worthy!

Not all flowers have to be fancy to be beautiful. In fact some of the most common flowers like the daisy are just the perfect pick-me-up!  The lush oil painting of Emily Baron and the beautiful composition called  "In a  Moment" by Jessica Martin illustrate this so well. 

 Of course there are always some classics that are true stand-bys for Valentine's Day like Lilies- such as these masterfully painted ones by George Spencer.

 And one can't forget orchids...these flowers are really so magical and Carlos Carillo paints them with such delicate brush strokes and attention to detail with his watercolour on paper.

Of course, the favourite flower for Valentine's remains the rose, like this painting by Brad Sutton which will never wilt or die.  Art is forever afterall! 

However you celebrate Valentine's or your snow day, we hope it's a great one!  Make sure to visit the gallery soon, and on a today like to today, visit us virtually.

If you'd like to purchase any of the pieces available in the Pre-Shrunk show, remember they are TAX FREE today only and you can purchase by sending us an email at  We can even pack them especially for you to pick up tomorrow for Valentine's Day or ship out just as soon as the storm clears!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

We heART Valentine's Day!

Well we made it through January, one of the longest, coldest months of the year! We hope you've been keeping warm, and finding ways to embrace the season, whether that means curling up with a few good books, or hitting the snowy trails for a midwinter hike.

With February comes Valentines Day -a day that is celebrated by some, and dreaded some. While love and friendship should without a doubt be celebrated everyday of the year, it can be fun to have one day to break from the daily grind to reach out to a pal or lover just to say "hey, you're awesome!".

Card by the Assembly of Text

If you're someone who likes to celebrate valentine's day, we have a few little cute ideas to help you spread your cheer.

 Basil Doucette is the creator of these very sweet love birds. Basil is known for his whimsical and sometimes humorous folk-art that he hand carves and carefully paints by hand. We have a little menagerie of feathered friends that would be happy to find a new place to perch!

Basil is also known to create the most charming seasonally-appropriate ornaments. We've had wreathes, Christmas trees, snowmen, and now these: wooden valentines! We think these are a great valentine card alternative, and they are set to a wooden base so they can easily be displayed.

If you're looking for a tiny trinket to gift your pal (or to treat yourself), these domino pendants are a fun and unique choice!

If you're not-so-into Valentine's Day, fret not! We have something for you too. Love sucks. We've all said it at least once before (and if you haven't, well...congratulations..?) If you're sad and want no part of Valentine's day, wear one of these pins, and you'll likely find comfort in knowing you're not alone. Share your pins, and bond over your anti-Vaentine's day sentiments!

Brad Sutton, Rose, Oil on Board, 4" x 5"

We think this rose painting is a fantastic alternative to a real rose that will only last a few days. This one can light up any corner of a room forever.

Keep warm out there, and be sure to stop by soon to say hello! :)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Art of Mixing Media

As we mentioned in a previous post, the works in our annual Pre-Shrunk show are not limited exclusively to painting. Many artists in this show have incorporated a variety of different materials in order to explore a range of techniques. Working in mixed media can be challenging. Being able to combine different materials in a way that's harmonious and well-considered instead of looking like a hodge-poodge mess is difficult to achieve.

We wanted to highlight a few artists in our current Pre-Shrunk show who demonstrate the fine art of mixed media work.

We've been getting a lot of interest and questions about the work of Jen Worden. Jen's mixed media pieces combine old photographs with plaster, wax, and paint. The resulting pieces are so rich in texture, and full of complex layers that really enhance the intrigue of the old photos. She also carves into some of the material as a way to add lines and shapes to the compositions.

Jen Worden, Those Were the Days 01, Plaster, Acrylic, Wax

Jen Worden, Those Were the Days 02, Plaster, Acrylic, Wax

Jen Worden, Those Were the Days 03, Plaster, Acrylic, Wax

Damien Webb is a mixed media artist who is well-known for his charming and inventive miniatures (if you didn't see his show Teenseyland here at the gallery last September, you can take a peek HERE). He cuts and paints paper, cardboard, and sometimes reclaimed materials, to create teeny tiny objects and scenes that are such a delight.

Damien Webb, ROY'S, Paper and Acrylic

Damien Webb, Prime Time Cafe, Paper and Acrylic

Damien Webb, Motel 66, Paper and Acrylic

Jana Wicha is an artist with a background in printmaking whose works in this show are made using carving techniques that may be used in linocut or block printing. Jana carves her image into MDF, and then paints the carving itself rather than using it to make prints. Although these aren't typical "mixed media" pieces, we think Jana's method is an innovative alternative to painting on a flat surface. The resulting works are colorful, and have subtle dimension from the carving.

Jana Wicha, Old Milwaukee, MDF Carving With Oil & Acrylic Paint

Jana Wicha, Miller High Life, MDF Carving With Oil & Acrylic Paint

Kirsti Smith is an artist who has chosen to bring together her love of both painting and ceramics. She paints cheerful patterns to serve as backdrops to various domestic scenes, which she brings to life in three-dimensions with little ceramic objects.

Kirsti Smith, Momma's Room, Oil Paint and Ceramic

Kirsti Smith, Grandma's House, Oil Paint and Ceramic

Kirsti Smith, Olivia's Room, Oil Paint and Ceramic

Kimberley Eddy is an artist who creates stunning works with ink, resin, and sand, that transport us right to the ocean's edge. The vibrant colors, patterns, and textures she achieves by combining these materials is really mesmerizing. There's so much detail in each piece!

Kimberley Eddy, PS7, Ink, Resin, and Sand on Wood Panel

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

Kimberley Eddy, PS3, Ink, Resin, and Sand on Wood Panel

If you haven't made it down to the gallery yet to see the show, you still have  a bit of time! In the meantime, you can view all the works online HERE. We're trying our best to keep the album updated with what has sold...and as you can see, pieces are selling fast. Take a browse!:)