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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Featured Artist: Chris Kingdon

 We asked Chris to tell us 3 interesting or unusual facts about Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography is perhaps most different to other forms of photography due to the uncontrollability of your subject. You quickly discover that no matter how hard you try you will always have the wrong lens on, no, that heron isn't going to catch a fish when your looking (that only happens after 2 hours of crouching in a really uncomfortable position when you've finally put your camera down because you just HAVE to stretch), and yes, you are going to have to get dirty....very very dirty.

So here are 3 things that I think are a 'must do' to be a wildlife photographer

1. You have to be ready for anything.
So sometimes I go outside with my Camera with a plan. I'm going to take photos of some frogs and toads today. I grab the best lens for the job, making sure to put on bug spray so I don't get bitten. This time I've got it all planed out. I'm edging my way through the grass and I can hear the frogs splashing into the water as they spot me just seconds before I spot them. My eyes are peeled, scanning the floor in front of me in this game of senses. Suddenly I hear a noise coming from my left. Must be a toad I determine since it is coming from further away from the water. I smile as I creep forwards; I don't recognise the call, perhaps it's a toad I've never seen before. My eyes were glued once again to the ground in front of me, when suddenly the 'ground' leapt up in front of me, and started clucking madly at me and fanning it's tail."oh my! It's a dinosaur! It's a giant man eating bird! It's some deadly zoo animal escaped!"  I thought to myself, but determined to record my find I grabbed a few shots before making a bee line out of there. (Of course I totally had the wrong lens on - grin). It wasn't until I was on my street that I stopped running and had a quick look at the photos I'd taken. And suddenly I realised what it was. It's a turkey. A wild Turkey. So In the end I got zero shots of frogs or toads that day, but I did discover that turkeys are a lot bigger than frogs, and that sometimes you have to be ready for anything.

2. You have to be willing to get dirty.
I'm walking home from school one day and I hear toads calling (and yes for those of you who are laughing still, these were REAL toads - not Turkey-toads - grin). Odd, I think to myself - why are so many toads calling in the middle of the day? Suddenly I realise why; it's early may - they're mating! Pulling my camera excitedly out of my backpack, I plunge into the long grass heading towards the sound. It rained earlier that day, so by the time I reach the pond edge my pants are soaked right through from the grass. Still, I'm determined to get some good photos this time, so I creep up to the waters edge. They're not hard to spot - the water is quite literally packed with thousands of American toads doing...well you know; their business. I watch amused for a while, but these guys aren't really who I came for; I want to find one of the males who is still calling. He calls again and I spot him, hiding under a bush, calling for a mate to come. Without a thought ditch my backpack in the mud and lie down flat on my stomach, so I look as small as possible to him. Now I only have a small lens on from photography class (did I mention you always have the wrong lens on?) so I slide my way closer and closer, right up to the waters edge and wait. He watches me for a while, as if trying to decide whether to continue calling or swim away. I hold my breath, camera poised. Finally he turns away and calls again. My finger touches the shutter. Click.

I notice the light is getting quite golden and check my watch - 5:30!! Where did all the time go! Without a thought I wriggle backwards (so as not to scare the toads) grab my backpack and race home, with the biggest smile on my face. Well, let's just say my family may of been slightly alarmed when I came home about an hour late from "school" covered from head to toe in a thick layer of mud....grin.

3. You have to be persistent
Sometimes nature will test you. Push you to your limit. One of my favourite times to take photographs is what I call the 'golden hour' - you know the time, late in the summer evening when the light becomes all golden? I love how it makes everything look just that little bit more magical, even the blades of grass in the garden glow. I wanted to capture this in a photo. So I line my self up with the sun a lie down in the warm evening grass. I have to get right down flat because I want to try to get the sun shining down through the grass at me. I get my settings just right, squish down that little bit more and start taking photos. 

Suddenly there is this burning pain on my chest, then another one just above my ankle. I yelp in pain and shoot up just in time to notice that I was absolutely COVERED in red ants! The expression 'got ants in your pants?' comes to mind, only it really was not funny.

Tell us what you are most looking forward to about this years Studio Tour 
I'm looking forward to getting to know the other artists in the area better, as well as meeting the public and hopefully changing how they think of the wildlife on our doorstep through my photography. Come visit me at the Studio Tour and I'll have even more stories and photos to see, after all, who knows what I'll get up to this summer! 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Featured Artist: Yvette Daou-Yacoub

Yvette Daou-Yacoub was born into a family with five uncles who were fine high end jewellers and Goldsmiths. She inherited her passion for jewellery from her uncles. Yvette is now designing jewellery using gem stones, pearls, and crystals just like she used to dream as a little girl. Her commitment to her one-of-kind designs and meeting her customer’s needs are foremost in her approach to every piece. You can see her passion for her work in every piece.

Tell us about your most memorable moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour

4 years ago when I first participated in Studio Tour, I did not know what to expect and how the town and the community will receive the Beaded Art/Jewellery designs in the  world of Art  in general. I remember when the doors opened on the first day of the Studio Tour, and the people started coming in, the look on their faces when they saw me standing behind my table full of beaded jewellery and accessories, they were surprised and bit confused. I remember one lady in particular, approaching my table and saying out loud: “I did not know beading is part of Art isn’t that a crafty thing?!” I did not know whether to laugh or to cry. I decided to keep quiet, smiled  and let her admire my collection as she kept looking at my creations with admirations…I knew then that I have added a new flavour to the Art world and I have created more awareness about the beading and the beaded art in general…I will never forget it.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Featured Artist: Valerie Kent

VALERIE KENT B.Ed., B.F.A., M.F.A.,O.C.T. presents workshops to art societies and colleges. Member of IAOCA International Association of Contemporary Artists (Japan), winning an Award at the Kyoto Art Museum Annex, juried into the Seoul International Open Art Fair in Korea and will exhibit in Korea in 2014. Certified Golden Educator.

Tell us about your most memorable/ or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour
I have been party to many a remarkable and memorable moments in the Studio Tour.  I have had the
privilege of being in it since its inception.  When someone loves my work and then wants to adopt it
there is a wonderful bond that is set up.  I find it heartwarming when those who have purchased pieces return year after year, and even if a particular year they do not purchase a piece, they stop by to say hello and see what is being offered this year.  I cannot mention persons by name, but they do become my patrons and art family.  I think they know who they are.  I just want to take this opportunity to thank those who care enough to visit and to purchase my work.

Also give us 3 interesting/ unusual facts about your chosen medium/ art form or the materials you use or the way in which you work
I do paint in several mediums and sometimes in a combination as in mixed media.  I always use the best quality materials.  There are no ifs, ands, or buts in that.  I will never compromise the quality of an artwork. Some of my mixed media pieces had everything from egg shells from my sister Kate's farm, to dried foliage and flower petals, to sand, (before the companies came out with pumice) and glass beads, wool, string and so very much more.  I create the archival quality by covering it all with Golden gels and pastes.  I enjoy doing mono printing painting in soap on plexiglas plates and then printing the image.  The newest way to do that is slightly different in that we now can buy a Gelli plate and print using Golden open acrylics.  This is such fun to do and creates  a very interesting image.  My newest work is both outdoor plein air painting and I take the time to get out into the countryside to paint and also my new Marketplace Series which will be shown in Amsterdam in a solo show on Oct. 10th.  I am so  excited. 647 223 5531 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Featured Artist: Cesan d'Ornellas Levine

 Césan is a self trained painter with over 20 years of studio practice and meditation. Formal study has focused on development of from the wrist up artistic intuition and includes a BA in Religious Studies and Art History from McMaster University, and a diploma from the Anna Wise Institute, San Francisco in Biofeedback Meditation.  Extensive travel, from prehistoric sacred sites of the East, to contemporary museums of the West, is an ongoing foundational pedagogy.
 Lens and Light: Sun Series #73  9ft by 12ft  acrylic on panel   2012

Her work is currently in corporate and private collections in Canada, US, UK, Holland, France, Italy, Iceland and Israel. Césan’s studio/residence overlooks Pioneer Park Conservation Area in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Tell us 3 interesting or unusual facts about the way in which you work 

I  have painted abstract expressive works: 1. Hanging from a harness above the canvas 2. Throwing paint from a bucket standing 15 feet above the canvas 3. Doing a live performance in front of 500 people...the painting was started and finished while the audience watched and then it was auctioned off to the highest bidder... what a night!!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Featured Artist: Victor Molev

Victor Molev was born in Nizhniy Novgorod (Russia) in 1955. He graduated from architecture faculty in 1976 and worked as an architect and theatre set painter. He immigrated to Israel in 1990. Victor was a member of the association of artists and sculptors in Israel.

He is a painter and graphic artist. He participated in numerous exhibitions (both solo and general) in Russia, Israel and Europe. His works can be found in private collections throughout Europe, United States, Canada and Israel. In August 2006 he moved to Canada. Now he lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Victor says "I am very happy to be part of Richmond Hill Studio Tour again, to meet people and to exhibit my new work. You can see my studio by this link Visit the Studio of Viktor Molev .wmv