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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Featured Artist: Ana Wood


This week's featured artist is Ana Wood. She has answered some of our questions about her artistic process.


When I was young I was really interested in arts and crafts. I would spend hours painting by numbers, practicing children's craft kits like weaving, pottery, knitting, sewing. I took many visual art  courses in high school and went on to OCADU for Drawing & Painting and then George Brown College for Digital Art. 



What Inspires you?
Always keenly interested in nature and culture. which emerged from my roots. I am an adopted female Guatemalan raised in Canada. My first home in Canada was surrounded by wondrous trees on mountain like landscapes 15 minutes from the beach of Nanaimo, BC. I moved to the flat farm surrounded town of Newmarket. The contrast of the land and people with my need to find a way to define who I am, culturally, has become an influence on my life. Later it became the basis for my artwork.


Tell us about your chosen medium?
I work mainly in acrylic and watercolour, but am also exploring new mediums and surfaces. For now I work mainly on watercolour paper and canvas, with a few pieces on wood panels. I am also in the midst of perfecting new mediums such as digital painting, stitch work, weaving and pencil. The reason I am practicing various ways of creating imagery is to properly express and explore the world as I know it.  

Can you tell us more about your distinctive style?
What has started to make my work more unique is my exploration into culture, language and nature which has been the stepping stone into my own creation of my own realm. I have over the years tried to develop my own visual language to go with my own narratives of the world based on other mythologies and perspectives of various backgrounds with the incorporation of my surroundings and views. This is a slow process, and I am still at the beginning, as I am planning to make this a life long process to fully explore myself as well as the world. 

Thank you Ana, for sharing so much of yourself and your work. Ana will be participating in this year's studio tour during the weekend of October 15th and 16th.





Thursday, 4 August 2016

Featured Artist: Ona Kingdon

Ona Kingdon is an internationally award winning watercolour artist and will be part of the Studio Tour again this year. We hope you enjoy reading her feature.
Over the last few years people have often said to me "Oh Ona, I wish I could peek inside your creative mind to see how you think of your ideas". Well, be prepared for a wild ride! 
Being an artist is not something I can turn off or walk away from at the end of a work day. Ideas bubble up when I least expect them, usually at the oddest of moments and often in the middle of the night! Events, people, objects, music, the written word, and the natural world around me all inspire me to create. Sometimes one of these things might suddenly connect with another inside my mind and an idea for a painting is born.
I love being able to convey a story, capture feelings or create a sensation of energy with my paintbrush.
 I enjoy tapping into all forms of emotion whether positive or negative. Art has such a wonderful way of encouraging people to challenge their own views, to think about controversial subjects or to remember fun happy times. I want to make people laugh, cry, feel comforted, disturbed, sad, happy, or even angry. It doesn’t have to be the same emotion that I feel when painting the piece either. We each have different experiences in this world and it is these that we tap into when viewing art.
Flight of the Imagination
A good book encourages a young child’s imagination 
to spread its wings and fly free
(Transparent Watercolour)
The idea for a painting begins long before the magical first dab of paint touches the paper. I spend almost as much time planning as I do actually painting; exploring the composition and playing around with different ideas.

Midnight Blues
Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can truly appreciate the light.(Transparent Watercolour)
Colour choice is very important to me and helps me to convey the ‘soul’ of a painting. Every colour, or combination of colours, subconsciously conveys emotion. The strong vibrant reds have such power and energy, blues are more calming. A palette of complimentary colours creates excitement, drama, a more modern contemporary feel and an element of fun in a painting. In contrast an analogous colour palette creates a more loving, calm, inviting, classical feel.
Although I usually have a very clear idea in my mind from the onset what I want to create, the painting journey is full of times when I am unsure of how to proceed, times when I need to stop and think, or times when I make a mistake and have to decide whether to live with it and use it, or to find a way to remove it. Never be afraid of making a mistake. Mistakes are an important part of growth and learning. If you play it safe and stay in your comfort zone you will miss the opportunity to discover and grow as an artist. So take risks and explore. Ask your self questions, Let yourself wonder why, or what if, and enjoy the process.
Watercolour is such a delicate and unforgiving medium but the trials during each painting journey often seem to enhance that feeling of accomplishment at the finish line. It is this journey that I love the most about being an artist.


Accelerando

If you fall behind, don’t give up. Rise up against the odds: Go faster; be stronger and be more determined than ever to succeed.

(Transparent Watercolour)



Ona will be at Covernotes Tea and Coffeee House 10268, Yonge Street in Richmond Hill  (October 15th-16th) for the Studio Tour this year. She hopes to see you there.


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Katie and Sharon: Artists in Residence at Mill Pond Gallery

This week, Studio tour artists, Sharon Kirsh and Katie Argyle are Artists in Residence at the Mill Pond Gallery.  This bright sunny space, located beside the Mill Pond, is one of the featured stops during the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. During the summer, this gallery space is occupied by artists at work. And for the week of July 22nd to July 29th, Katie and Sharon have been hard at work, indulging in their desire to create in a focused manner.

Works in Progress: Sharon's Cold Wax Paintings beside Katie's Wood Cuts

 

Q. Why did you want to be an artist in residence?

Katie Argyle (KA): I was an artist in residence here last year and I knew that I could make good work in this space. So, this year I planned to finish some large projects and continue to add to my series of work about the suburbs. I also, simply value the large space we have available to us. I have a very small studio and I live in an apartment. I can't actually see or display many of the pieces I make. For me, part of being here is the joy to see my own work up on a wall.

Katie's got big plans!


Sharon Kirsh (SK): My studio is at home, and although I am grateful to have this convenience and space, I am to easily distracted by home responsibilities. I am deeply sensitive to my environment, and felt that being somewhere new sharing space with another creative soul, would bring new energy and vitality to my work (and it did!). 

Work in Progress, Looking at the world "Through Rose Coloured Glasses"

 

Q. What did you hope to get accomplished, and what actually happened?

(KA): I hoped to finish carving a large woodblock and to immerse myself in printmaking techniques. In particular I wanted to try some experiments with prints. What has happened is I have talked to more people then I thought I would. I will finish my large woodblock and have made a print a day.

Katie's wall of daily print and larger print from her series on the suburbs.

(SK): My plan was to first complete a few pieces that seem to remain chronically in progress. I am pleased to say, that they have taken on completely new life and energy, (pictured up above) and although still not complete, they now feel interesting and alive. I also wanted to play with an idea that has been simmering for the last few months. Influenced by the musicians and dancers I met during York Region Art Council's Artrepreneur program. I started some small samples of this idea earlier this week, and am eager to continue them on a larger scale in the remaining day here.

New idea, reflections on movement.

(KA & SK): Today is our last day at the gallery as Artists in Residence. There is an Abba Tribute band playing at the Mill Pond Park across the street tonight so the party atmosphere may make it's way into the gallery.... Before then, we have plans to work on a collaborative piece today. Check out tour websites, and Facebook pages, to see more of our progress!

To learn more about Katie and her work please visit, katieargyle.com or  http://plasticmasters.blogspot.ca/2016/07/busier-than-i-thought-id-be-rhga-artist.html. To learn more about Sharon Kirsh and her work, please visit sharonkirsh.com or facebook.com/sharonkirshartist. For details about Artrepreneur program, check out https://www.facebook.com/YorkRegionArtsCouncil/

Please make a point of visiting both of these artists during the studio tour!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Featured Artist: Raya Finkelson, 3D Artist

This week the very talented Raya Finkelson shares her artistic musings with us by answering some questions lovers of art often want to know.


How did you get your start as an artist?

I was not born into an artistic family and was not immersed or exposed to a lot of art and music growing up.  But, I always felt that there was a creative spark inside me that was constantly growing and waiting for the right time to emerge.  I felt inspired by various life experiences, memories and the natural world.  In my teens I began experimenting with drawing, painting and sculpting for a few years, but eventually abandoned those pursuits to focus on school, immigrating to a new country and starting a family.  As is common with most creative personalities, it was only a matter of time before the swelling up of inspiration would come out and reveal itself once again, this time through a more dedicated effort to focus on painting and sculpting.  In 2005, I made my art a priority and haven’t looked back.  it is now my full time endeavor.


What Inspires you and your work?

The beauty and diversity of the natural world is my primary inspiration. The depth and variety of shapes in nature constantly provide endless opportunities for me to re-imagine and reinterpret the world around me into 3D sculptures paintings.


Can you please describe your process?

The entire process is quite time consuming, since it involves more than just putting brush strokes to canvas as I am creating 3 dimensional objects within my paintings.  The steps include sketching, defining the 3D objects, molding them out of clay, baking the clay, then attaching them to the canvas. Only then does the actual painting begin.  You can find some of my art work at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/raya-finkelson www.instagram.com/rayafink

Please visit Raya Finkelson during this year's studio tour, when you certainly will be amazed by her beautiful 3D works. The studio is on during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Sign up for our email list for more details!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Irit Brodsky: Fused Glass Creations

This week we are featuring Irit Brodsky. She is a wonderful fused glass artist.


It is a very exciting moment when the hood of the kiln is opened and the finished glass creation is revealed. Rarely do I look at it and think " yeah, it's what I expected". I am constantly amazed by how the glass changes from the raw 12"x12" squares, bought in the store, to a finished product that has a minimum of two layers of cut, constructed and designed pieces of harmonized glass. Each piece is warmed up to almost 1500 degrees and cooled back to room temperature, which takes about 12 hours. It is then warmed and cooled again over a ceramic mold in order to give the piece a functional purpose.




 I grew up by the Mediterranean Sea, mesmerized by the sunsets. Turquoise and Orange is my favourite combination of colours and I never get tired of them. Glass can be very playful and shiny, allowing the artists to enjoy endless combinations of creative possibilities.




Fused glass has been a hobby for almost 10 years, and I am still learning new things.
My next goal is to in cooperate glass with wood, for the purpose of coffee tables and shelves. And yes, I am still holding on to my day job... for now.

I am honoured to be included among such talented artists and excited to present my work at the Richmond Hill Studio Tour 2016. You can learn about Irit by visiting her website brightglass.weekly.com.  Please visit her during this year's studio tour!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Featuring John Nussbaum and Canada Day Art Exhibition

Art is a Journey

John Nussbaum is a wonderful watercolour artist, and new to the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. He has shared some musings on his artistic process as well as his beautiful works of art.


Art is a journey that travels in several directions, to many destinations & in all kinds of weather.  The important thing is to have fun, make the most of it & enjoy the activity. Successfully realizing one’s creativity generates a great deal of satisfaction, with a fair dollop of frustration on the way. Even greater enjoyment arises when hurdles are overcome & positive feedback springs from appreciation by others.

For many years I have found time to paint & enjoy a variety of media.  Watercolour is, however, my favourite.  The interplay of colours, shapes & transparency fascinate me. They facilitate a great degree of freedom and fun. The wet flowing colours & shapes create happy effects. A free hand characterises my works, emanating from a loose approach and an emphasis on colour as the dominant element, setting the mood.


Multiple layers of masking fluid come into play within my work. This generate a fair amount of dynamism and reveal my distinctive style. Another technique I apply extensively is mounting my finished watercolour paper on a rigid surface (often gallery canvas), then spraying & brushing several layers of fixative & varnish for protection. The result is contemporary and ready-to-hang painting. You will find more of John Nussbaum's work on his website and during this year's studio tour, which will be held on the October 15th and 16th weekend.

Canada Day

The most anticipated event of the year in our community amazes thousands every year with live entertainment, a children's village and teen zone, a beer garden and food pavilion, a family-friendly midway and a marketplace and art exhibition. 

This is an event not to be missed!

Event Details:
Richmond Green Park (located at the northwest corner of Elgin Mills Road East and Leslie Street)
Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fireworks: 10 p.m. (rain or shine)

Visit http://www.RichmondHill.ca/CanadaDay for more event information, including schedules, shuttle bus routes, entertainment and sponsors.

We look forward to celebrating Canada Day with you!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Lori Dreyer Spendiff: The Magic of the Medium


This week's blog post is written by Lori Dreyer Spendiff. Although new to the studio tour, Lori is not new to the making of art. She is a highly skilled watercolourist and beloved fine art educator. 

Orange Dream
Drop Aureolin (yellow) onto wet watercolour paper and watch it spread.  Add a puddle of Permanent Rose and then watch the two colours mingle to make orange.  Repeat with Prussian Blue.  Tilt the paper, letting gravity do its job, and you’ll see purple, green and grey appear in the mix.  It doesn’t matter how often I demonstrate this basic watercolour technique, it never fails to impress me. I love the process and challenge of watercolour.  The endless variations and possibilities are a constant source of inspiration.

Primary Colour Blend
I enjoy working in the traditional watercolour method.  Layers of transparent washes are built up to create intense colour, deep shadows, and inviting textures.  As the only white I use is the white of the paper, the challenge is to build the layers without losing the lights.  Once you lose them, they’re gone.  And too many layers of even the most transparent paint can become muddy, especially in the dark areas and shadows.  Put down the brush and walk away!

Jet Eye
Creating texture can be difficult, but fun, even when it backfires.  Watercolourists are the original faux-finishers, and we use all kinds of items and tools (salt, plastic wrap, sponges, just to name a few) to disturb the paint while it dries, or to apply paint on a dry background.  Many of my texturing experiments have inspired future pieces – I love the results, which are sometimes not what I expected, and look for a way to work them into a painting.

Fall Colour
Translating the images in my mind onto paper is not always easy.  Watercolour can be unforgiving.  There is nowhere to hide, no cover-up, and no turning back.  But it is also exciting – those first few washes are filled with so much possibility.  I never know exactly how the pigment will settle into the pores of the paper until it has dried completely.  Many of my paintings are never finished, but I find the process so satisfying that I am inspired to try again.  And again.  When all the elements do come together, and the painting works – it’s magic!

Fort Myers Pier
I am honoured to be a part of this year’s Richmond Hill Studio Tour.  Drop in and see my work at the Boynton House during the tour, on October 15 & 16, 2016.  For information on my classes and workshops, please visit my website or my Facebook page.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Sue Foerster: Works In Progress

Sue Foerster is giving us a sneak peak into her artists studio this week as she prepares for this year's Studio Tour, which will be taking place during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Sue will be showing her work at the Mill Pond Gallery site.



Sketch of Barbie the ballerina.

Preparing a background in oil and cold wax.

Painted figure work in progress.
If you would like to stay up-to-date on her progress, please follow her on her blog. And subscribe to our email list, and have fresh images from talented artists such as Sue delivered to your email each week!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Yvette Daou-Yacoub: The Beading Artist

When I started beading 13 years ago, all I wanted is to create jewelry and accessories. I love jewellery, I love fashion. To me, no outfit is complete without accessories. What got me started first and foremost was the fact that I could never find the proper pieces of jewellery or accessories when I went shopping for clothes. Yes, the market is flooded with accessories, but never the proper ones for me. And, when I found a piece that I like, either it was very expensive or not in line with current fashions. At that point, I made me decision: I had to start making and designing my own jewellery.



So, this is how my beading journey got started! I signed up for jewellery making courses, beading workshops and taking gemology courses. My first gemology class was the study of pearts at the Canadian Jewellers Institute. Pearls are the most amazing organic gemstones, and with the technology of today, they are produced in so many forms, shapes and colours, sometimes natural and other times cultivated or even artificially made.


The more I educated myself about beads, the more I fell in love with the trade. I started designing jewellery for myself, then for my sisters, then for my friends, then for neighbours and colleagues, and the circle started getting wider and wider…  I started showing my designs by having jewellery parties and open houses.  All the ladies kept admiring my pieces and complimenting me by saying: “Yvette, you are so talented, your work is a piece of art”, “Yvette, you are such an artist, I love your work. I have been receiving so many compliments on that necklace I bought from you last year”. Suddenly, it dawned on me; beading is a form of Art!



Few years later I started receiving orders for Bridal Parties, it was not just to make jewellery, but it was for centre pieces.  One bride needed crystals drops for her tree as a centre piece.  So I started creating and designing beaded items for decorations, and Holiday themes.  My beading journey took a different turn all of a sudden. I cannot call it just beaded jewellery anymore, I am designing and creating more than just that, I had to change the name to Beaded Art items, so I can include all the other decorative items, such as: Holiday items, Key Chains, Book marks, Sunglass holders, napkin rings, purse enhancers, Tiaras, hair combs, window Sun Catchers…

I am called the Beading Artist now, I am creating items with beads, and I am designing jewellery with all sorts of beads.  My horizon have widened so much, the sky is my limit.

The studio tour is during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Please mark your calendar and plan on visiting some of our amazing artists. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Introducing Maya Strelnikova

One of the wonderful aspects of the studio tour, that many visitors have commented on, is the diversity of arts and handiworks that are included in each tour. This year, Maya Strelnikova, a gifted knitter and designer of beautiful knit works is joining the tour.

This is Maya Strelnikova, modelling one of her original sweater designs.




This year, the Studio Tour will be taking place on the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Subscribe to our blog, to learn more about this year's artists!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Haleh Dehlavi: Just Be Present!

Our featured artists this week is Haleh Dehlavi. She kindly shares with us the meaning and inspiration behind her work.

Born in a family of musicians, poets, and visual artists, I’ve been deeply enriched with different forms of art. The most inspiring is my mother's talent in drawing and painting, which was in addition to her career as a professional musician. From a  very young age watching my mother's paintings enticed me toward finding my passion in visual art. Now my goal in creating artwork is exploring endless endless ways of creation, working with colours, motifs, shapes and textures.


My work is expressive and imaginative. By fostering a deep sense of connection to my inner world, I transform the energy of my thoughts and feelings to heartfelt lines of wires, shades of colours and textural surfaces. I consciously immerse in the sensation of "Being" and devote my presence to the momentum of creation. I simply improvise; I don't plan, I let my soul lead me to select materials, shapes, textures and colours until the entire composition unfolds.


As a mixed media contemporary/abstract artist, I enjoy working with different materials and textures; however, wire is my signature element. The idea for working with wire came to me as I visualized interesting shapes in my fallen strands of hair.

My education and work experience in Textile Design and Printing (BA) has enhanced my ability to employ various themes and techniques that create rhythmic and balanced compositions and  are instrumental to designing fabrics.


The title of my collection is “JustBe” and this phrase is imbedded as a hidden message in each piece of this collection. “JustBe” is an indication of “Being” as the essence of living and ascension of mindfulness. My motto is:  Just Be Present!  Pause, Feel, and Embrace the Moment You Are In to truly experience the Life Within!



This year's studio tour is on during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Make sure you subscribe to our email list, on the right side of this post, so that you don't miss any of the featured artists!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Katie Argyle: It's All in Black and White, Prints and Pots

This week's featured artist is Katie Argyle. She is sharing with us her exciting prints and pottery, and some of the thinking and inspiration that leads to her wonderful work.

I love black and white. The challenge of communicating colourful, complicated images using only black and white is an exciting thing to me. For this year's studio tour I will be featuring relief prints as well as my hand built pots.


Self Portrait Wtih Door (woodblock print 11x14)

I am someone who thrives on the process involved in creating an object. I want to know my materials. I strive to master my process: from the tools I use (sharp gougers, ceramic carving loops, metal scribes, rubber rollers) to the materials I need to make the thing (clay, underglazes, glazes, wood blocks, linoleum, printing ink).

Upgrade (woodblock print, 18" x 40")

Kitchen Wizard (ceramic platter with black underglaze, sgraffito, approx 14" diameter)

Mastery takes time. It requires patience and diligence. It's a slow process. Neither of my preferred mediums, ceramics and printmaking, are about instant gratification. At every stage there is work that needs doing, to progress to the next state and then eventually to the end. Sometimes, the work doesn't make it there. Is it a loss? No! For me, the goal is never to hurry or to make something to sell. That does not motivate me at all. I am internally driven to learn something new, to challenge myself, and always to make the thing I have never seen before.

You Are Here (test: You Are Here - linocut - 4" x 6")

And sometimes, I just want to make myself laugh.

Come see my work at The Burr House stop of the studio tour. during the weekend of October 15th and 16th.  Until then, my work can also be found on my website, katieargyle.com and I blog at plasticmasters.blogspot.com. In person I can be found on the weekends at two local markets this summer. Check my website for locations and dates.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Happy Mother's Day from the Richmond Hill Studio Tour

Sharing art and culture with Richmond Hill and surrounding communities, is one of the purposes of the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. In honour of Moms and the special people in our lives who love and nurture us, today we are sharing some inspiring and beautiful artwork and some ideas for art related activities you can enjoy with your mom.

You can see some of Victor Molev's work at Reversion 2016 Superwonder Gallery at 876 Bloor Street Toronto.



Sue Forester is having a lovely exhibition this weekend, called "Strokes of Paint", check out this website for details.


If mom is busy brunching this weekend, then consider sharing art together, by participating in a floral inspired collage workshop on May 28th. This collage workshop is with studio tour artist Sharon Kirsh and is geared to all levels. You can read about it here, The course code is 563066. 

This year's studio tour will be on the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Make sure you are subscribed to this blog to learn more about the amazing artists participating this year.