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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, or To learn more about Sharon Kirsh and her work, please visit or For details about Artrepreneur program, check out

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

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  Please visit her during this year's studio tour!