Sky and Water

Over the last year or so, I have been working on a body of work about being by the beach. Last summer, I went camping in Cape Breton with my family and a handbound book filled with watercolour paper. I brought a book for my daughter and she had her own set too. We were camping in Dunvegan at Macleod’s Beach and Campsite and this wonderful spot is where I had access to Dunvegan beach.

It had not been the first time taking a set of watercolour to the beach but I can say that this was a longer stretch of time where I could paint early in the day and then again in the evening if I wished. The longer stretch of time at Dunvegan made me realize how making art about nature and the beach meant something to me. Over time, I found myself collecting my own photographs, drawings and little watercolours that could source some larger works.

The idea was that I could use my drawings and watercolours as a starting point but the larger work would become its own piece as I continued to work out colour and shape in a creative way. Some of the patterning and rhythms in the sketches find themselves in the larger compositions. They are not however exact matches of the source material because that would take out some of the fun.

Peering Over the Cliff acrylic on canvas 2021
On the Edge of Lawrencetown watercolour on paper 2021

In the Fall 2020, I was approached by the curator Brandt Eisner of the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche if I would be interested in showing my work in a group show about Sky and Water. I was very happy to have the opportunity and decided that it was a great way to share the work with the public.

I decided that the work could not be fully understood without seeing some of the watercolours I had made. So I included some matted watercolours in the show.

The “Sky and Water” group show also features the work of Eleni Manolakos, RJ Marchand, Ian McKinnon and Jennifer Marlow.
Also featured in the show is potter Iris Naessens-Patterson of Seastar Pottery and guest jewellers Chris Rogers and Lorna Winsor of Strata Art Studios. Now that some restrictions have been lifted we are thrilled to be open to the public! The opening of “Sky and Water” was June 5th between 1:00-2:30pm. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend because of personal family matters but the work of all the artists participating looks amazing!

If you live in Nova Scotia, going to Tatamagouche is a great day trip. Especially since a major lockdown ended! We often go to the beaches near Tatamagouche and I have heard soemthing about an amazing ice cream shop. You could see art and go to the beach OR you could go the beach and then see some art….and get ice cream too!

The Show Must Go On

Sometimes bigger world events can lead to big decisions in life. Sometimes you think about them for quite a while before you actually do something about it. It took me this pandemic to know just how much I wanted to sell work on my own and show in more venues than I had been. I had no idea that this change would also lead to such a dramatic change in style and subject matter.

Some of you might know that I used to paint nostalgic paintings of food and toys. I was fully on board and was genuinely interested in making the work at the time. I learned so much about colour theory and had a lot of fun trying to come up with ideas. Yet, something was pulling me in another direction. I found myself longing to work on more complex and varied compositions and to work with the landscape as a subject matter.

For me, having a pretty good grasp on colour theory, composition and drawing is rather important. I think you can do anything you want to after working through those elements of art making. But I also believe, artists often use their knowledge and ability to explore a new way of creating and seeing. I have always been drawn to exploring in art. In art school, after my foundation semester, I took more than just painting classes. I took many drawing classes, intaglio, lithography, screenprinting on fabric, woodblock printing, bookbinding, jewelery making, and art history. If time and money had not been an issue I may have taken some textile and ceramics too. That was a long time ago! All I can say is, all experience makes us do the art we want to do.

All my rambling on leads me to what I actually wanted to say. Though we are once again in a second wave of covid-19 in Nova Scotia and I cannot attend, I am in my first group show in over a year entitled “Yuletide”. It is taking place in Tatamagouche at The Ice House Gallery part of the Grace Jollymore Centre and curated by Brandt Eisner. There will be a lot of gift type items and it is a seasonal show. The opening was today and due to travel restrictions, I am missing it. It runs until December 24th so fingers crossed things get better and we can all go, check out all the beautiful things and support art and craft during the holidays.

(titles of paitings- left to right- Imagining Snowfall in Inverness 10″x10″, Imagining Snowfall at Crystal Crescent 10″x11″ and “Blushing Sky, Winter Lake” 15″x30″)

Also, I thought I would share The Ice House Gallery website though it is still in its working stages.