Saturday, June 29, 2019

ARTIST PROFILE: George Spencer

For those of you familiar with Argyle Fine Art's roster of exhibiting artists, George Spencer needs no introduction.  His 2018 exhibition included a series of citrus fruit still life paintings in the "Baroque style" we've grown to love in George's work.  

In recent months, we've received some new paintings from George showcasing his chiaroscuro lighting technique.  George sites the "Dutch Golden Age" of the 17th century as an influence of his work.  A major characteristic of this genre of painting are its dramatic use of rich, deep colours coupled with intense light and dark shadows.     

George Spencer, "Fresh Bread", 9 x 12 inches, oil on board

A predominantly self taught painter, George has always admired the artistic talents of others.  After dabbling in art for many years, he began studying drawing more seriously in 2004.  Of his studio practice George says "(I) was immediately captivated by the magic of transforming a blank surface into a realistic image."

It was during this period that George devoted himself to developing his artistic skills.  In 2005, he began learning watercolour painting techniques, and by 2008 he was already working with oils, and it quickly became his preferred medium of choice.  
George Spencer, "Apple & Book", 5 x 7 inches, oil on board

"I currently focus almost exclusively on the still-life genre. My strongest influence is the painters of the seventeenth century Dutch Golden Age, and, in particular, their mastery of the depiction of light and shadow. In my own work I combine everyday objects -  food, pottery, fabric  -  in interesting combinations of shapes and textures. I try to depict light moving across the objects in the composition, reflecting colour and creating shadows. All of this is in service to my main goal, which is to depict the beauty in the ordinary."

George Spencer, 2019 

George Spencer, "Onions, Bowl & Knife", 8 x 10 inches, oil on board

George attributes much of his painting knowledge from the advice and encouragement he received from other artists.

In 2012, after almost a decade of practice and study, George began exhibiting his work publicly, and is currently a full-time painter.


George Spencer was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and has lived in Halifax since graduating from Acadia University in 1980. 

George Spencer's work is available for purchase through Argyle Fine Art.  For inquiries contact the gallery:
(902) 425-9456, or via email at this address

Thursday, June 27, 2019


A predominately self-taught painter, Danny Abriel is a professional photographer by trade.  An emerging artist, he has maintained a serious studio practice for the last 10 years.  Danny has been exhibiting with Argyle Fine Art since 2015, debuting as part the Pre-Shrunk exhibition.  His follow up (and first solo) exhibition “Luminous Ways” opened early that summer. Danny has had 2 additional exhibitions since; “Radient Days”, and “Painted Poems” which is currently showing at the gallery until July 9.


Originally from the Musquodobit Valley, Danny embraced art making at an early age, drawing and sketching throughout his youth. He has always been inspired by Nature, and the Scenic Landscapes of Nova Scotia.  As a landscape painter, Danny is drawn to organic shapes, colours, and the natural elements that surround him; Wood, Water, Stone, and Sky are all carefully arranged, the building blocks for each new composition.
Living in the Halifax, Danny makes time to be in Nature.  Access to walking trails and parks are all within reach, and Danny often revisits areas that are familiar to him, and draws his inspiration from the surrounding area.

Danny’s use of bold and flat forms separated by dark outlines is reminiscent of Cloisonnism, a style of early post-impressionistic paintings.  Danny sites Matisse and Gauguin (among others) as early inspirations for his work.

Danny describes his painting practice as having developed out of “catharsis and self-preservation.”  He paints out an urge or compulsion, a longing for a creative form of expression.  His personal philosophy is often influenced by his Martial Arts training, and carries this discipline into his works through highly methodical brushwork, harnessing the conflicting energies of a scene, bringing them into balance and unifying the composition.

Danny is a professional photographer by trade, and often incorporates his formal training into his painting practice.  Danny describes his approach as “Bringing his painting aesthetic into photography, and his photography practice into painting.”  Much of the work is derived from photo based references taken on site while hiking through Nature.  Danny uses photography to document the formal elements of a paintings composition, and uses this process to inspire the works later produced in the studio. 

Referencing the original source material, Danny turns his attention to capturing the “emotional impact” of a scene.  Occasionally working from a study or preparatory drawing, Danny uses the studio to explore how a painting should “feel”.  The colour palette is carefully chosen as part of an emotional response.  Painting serves as a creative outlet, both cathartic in its application and ritualistic in its approach.            
Each painting is built up over many layers, starting with the Sky.  The sky (as Danny points out), determines the tone for the rest of the painting.  Warmer colour combinations are introduced into this new body of work. Saturating the landscape’s color scheme, forces organic forms in the foreground to “pop”, while maintaining the calming fluidity of the sky and water, which Danny describes as a “leniency in (its) interpretation.”  

“Painted Poems” continues to July 9th


Danny Abriel was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up in the Musquodoboit Valley.  Danny attended NSCAD and studied Photography at NSCC.  The Works are informed by the native scenery he was raised in - reflective waters, wind-swept tress, contoured landscapes and seasonal colours.   The paintings are inspired by connection to the gentle beauty and drama of tress and their surroundings.


FOR PURCHASE INQUIRIES contact the gallery at (902) 425-9456 or via email at

Thursday, June 20, 2019

ARTIST PROFILE: Catherine Bagnell-Styles, "New World Meets Old World" to July 9

Catherine Bagnell Styles brings a vibrant new exhibition of colorful landscapes to Argyle Fine Art.   "New World Meets Old World"   showcases seven new paintings for your viewing pleasure.  

This new body of work transports us back to an earlier time when impressionistic sensibilities took center stage.

You can view the exhibition online HERE

Catherine Bagnell Styles, "Headed To Salty Rose", acrylic on canvas board, 11 x 14 inches

"My paintings are impressionistic. I try to give enough information to suggest what’s happening with the story on the canvas but invite the viewer to fill in the blanks and add their own story to my story. It’s one of the reasons I paint often with palette knife. It keeps me from getting into the detail too much and I love the texture it creates." 

Catherine Bagnell Styles, from the Artist Statement, 2019

Catherine Bagnell Styles "North Park", acrylic on canvas board, 10 x 6 inches

Catherine explores her love of plein air painting with thick applications of paint, building textures over the painting's surface with a palette knife.  Colour combinations are carefully chosen and bring each work to life, capturing both the light and warmth of summer.  Catherine takes us a trip to some of her favorite places, both local and abroad.  Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, and Serres (France) are all depicted in this series.  "New World Meets Old World" has something to offer everyone, and continues to July 9.  Don't miss it!   


Catherine Bagnell Styles is a Halifax-based artist who loves colour, texture, character and light in and places. Her influences include impressionism, fauvism and a number of Canadian artists, including David Lacey, Rod Charlesworth and Mike Svob.  

Her creative career has been in marketing, communications and advertising and has focused on story-telling and engagement. Catherine's Artistic endeavours have always played an important part in her life.

Her work can be found in private collections throughout Canada and the US. 

Artwork available for purchase through Argyle Fine Art.  For inquiries contact the gallery,
 (902) 425-945, or via email at

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Let there be LIGHT!

A few weeks ago, many members of the business community in downtown Halifax took to the streets for the 16th Annual Clean Sweep! It's a great event hosted by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission that not only cleans up the area but brings people together.

This year a few of our re-purposer artists were there to accept any neat findings the teams brought back that could be upcycled into art. One team headed up by Cambridge Suites and lead by "Mr. Clean" and his Magic Erasers-  found an abandoned firehouse connector from the city. Of course, all the artists were excited by this find, especially artist William Rudolph- who often uses pieces of metal in his artwork.

"Mr. Clean" handing over the found metal from his CLEAN SWEEP finds, to artist Ed Beals.
"Rudy" as we call Bill, brought the metal piece back to life and thought it would make a fine lamp base and we couldn't agree more!

Just look at this beauty! It's pretty remarkable what can happen when we re-use things all around us and add them back,  opposed to sending them to the landfill. Thanks to everyone that participated in Clean Sweep and to the DHBC for having our artists take part. See you again next year!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

ARTIST PROFILE: Jan Davison "Halifax Haunts", JUNE 14 - JULY 9

Jan Davison has been been exhibiting with Argyle Fine Art for almost 20 years.  A graduate of NSCAD, Jan's fascination with the city's local architecture has dominated her recent art practice, often showcasing the local businesses that breath life into our communities.  

Jan's current exhibition "Halifax Haunts" continues this tradition with nine new paintings direct from the Artists' studio.   Her bold use of colour and high contrast renders our streetscapes as a warm and inviting experience.  The businesses featured in this exhibition will be familiar to Haligonians and Visitors alike.

You can view the exhibition online HERE

Jan Davison, "Julien's Bakery" acrylic on board, 24 x 20 inches

“In my paintings I like to gather our weathered landscapes and our region's varied architecture and sculpt them in bold colour for the viewer. I so appreciate our local community and all it has to offer and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it.”

-Jan Davison, from the Artist Statement, 2019

Jan Davison, "The Old Apothecary" acrylic on board, 20 x 24 inches

The work captures the energy that local small businesses bring to the city.  It also provides us with a glimpse of the local haunts frequented by the Artist, and the everyday places that connect us to our city.  Jan reminds us that embracing our local businesses and making them part of our everyday routines, can prove fun and rewarding.  

Jan Davison's "Halifax Haunts" continues to July 9th. 

Jan Davison, "Rousseau Chocolatier", acrylic on board, 24 x 20 inches


Jan Davison is a painter, and a graduate of NSCAD currently living in Halifax.  Davison has worked as Artist in residence at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and as Editorial Illustrator for the Chronicle Herald.  Davison is now the Creative Arts Coordinator for the non-profit organization, Laing House.

Davison's main focus is supporting local businesses in her work.  She does this by choosing places to paint that evoke a spirit of pride in our region and whose owner and employees also embrace locally made products and goods.  Davison has shown her work in establishments and galleries in Nova Scotia as well as those in England, France, and Morocco.  Davison explains that it is through traveling and living abroad that has made her appreciate our local community and all it has to offer.

 (902) 425-9456,

Thursday, June 6, 2019

"It's All About Colour", HFX Talks ART, June 12th, 6 - 7:30 pm

Argyle Fine Art will be hosting the final installment of HFX Talks Art on Wednesday, June 12, 6 - 7:30 pm.

HFX Talks Art is a lecture series developed in partnership with other commercial galleries in the city to engage the public with information sessions on a wide range of topics, from restoration practices in Fine Art to defining "what a painting is".

Argyle's Theme "It's All About Colour" will explore the colour choices artists make in their work.  The Gallery has invited Artists, Danny Abriel, Catherine Bagnell Styles, Mary Garoutte, and Gordon MacDonald to speak about the colours that influences their painting practice.  

Artists are often known for their color palettes.  Colour can affect the mood, temperature, and tonal values of a painting.  Colour combinations can denote time of day, seasonal changes, and can create the illusion of depth on a flat surface.

What motivates an artists' choice of colour? How are those colours being manipulated, what is its intended purpose? Are artists making conscious decisions about its application or leaving it up to chance?    

As the viewer,how do we experience colour? Why are we drawn to certain colours and not others?  Why do colours affect the way we feel, and how we see the world around us?

What is your favourite colour?  

Join us on Wednesday, June 12th, 6pm-7:30pm as we explore our relationship with colour and it's influence on Art and painting.  See you there!



Gordon MacDonald was born and raised in Atlantic Canada, spending most of his childhood in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. He studied Art at the Toronto School of Art (1981), the Ontario College of Art and Design, and the Art Students’ League in New York City.  Gord works and lives in Halifax and exhibits regularly at Argyle fine art. MacDonald’s work can be found in permanent corporate and private collections across Canada, the US and internationally.


Catherine Bagnell Styles is a Halifax-based artist who loves colour, texture, character and light in places, people and, in her paintings. Her work is colourful, optimistic and highly textured. Her influences include impressionism, fauvism.  Catherine has studied at NSCAD. Her work can be found in private collections throughout Canada and the US.


Born in Mesa, Arizona, Mary has spent most of her artistic career travelling between the US and Canada. She holds her degree from NSCAD (BFA 2004) and is also an arts instructor, lecturer, mentor and active facilitator in art education though the public and private sphere. She has exhibited both in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally.


Danny Abriel is a photographer and fine art painter. Originally from Musquodoboit Valley, he moved to Halifax in the 80s to study at NSCAD.  Danny has been been exhibiting at Argyle Fine Art since 2015.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, over 100 volunteers from local businesses and organization will come together to sweep the streets of Downtown Halifax. Presented by Downtown Halifax Business Commission, the 25th Anniversary Clean Sweep will take place in Grand Parade, where volunteer teams gather before heading to their designated cleaning zones.

Argyle Fine Art and Gallery Artists Ed Beals, Susan Slade and William Rudolph will be setting up a booth in Grand Parade during the event to showcase their work, and to talk about their art practice which involves creating original artwork by re-purposing and up-cycling discarded everyday items.

The Artists will be accepting donations of used and discarded items that will be used to create new art projects. Suggested donations may include broken jewelry, metal objects from small appliances, and power tools, bike parts, old cameras, and miniature items from all sources!

Ed Beals (b.1964) spent his childhood in Middleton, Nova Scotia.  Early interests included experimenting with audio collage on magnetic tape, and stop motion animation on 8mm film. In more recent years Ed has focused on more whimsical found object assemblages depicting retro-futuristic ray guns, robots, and creatures, which have been featured in several group shows at Argyle Fine Art.

Susan Slade creates surreal and abstract dioramas from re-purposed, up-cycled materials.  Her creations are encased in shadow boxes creating imagined environments, which could be interpreted as interiors or exterior spaces, from the "rococo-inspired" walls of an 18th century French Chateau, to cities on a retro sci-fi lunar landscape.

William Rudolph is an artist and sculpture of re-purposed and up-cycled materials.  His creations range from static sculptural designs, to more functional works, such as table lamps.  Bike parts, old cameras, and other metal objects are often assembled and incorporated into unique forms, from the representational to the abstract.  The items William uses in his work are not concealed or disguised within the sculpture, but are clearly visible.  Each component to be appreciated in its entirely by the viewer.