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2014 Featured Artist Archive

Sharon Kirsh
  What I am most looking forward too...

I am so excited to be able to share such a rich cultural experience, with family friends and neighbours right here in Richmond Hill. As an artist, it is truly amazing to live in Richmond Hill, a culturally rich and diverse town that recognizes the value of the arts and supports the arts community. I feel honoured to be part of this amazing event and look forward to meeting more of my community!

 How I got started in the world art and who inspires me.

I was a really lucky kid, as my mom let me paint on the walls of our house. As a kid, I always thought that I wanted to be an artist, but as I got older didn’t feel that art was a practical career. It wasn't until, during my maternity leave, from a very practical job I did not enjoy, that I decided to take some art classes right here in Richmond Hill. After taking classes with the town, and feeling both inspired and encouraged I enrolled at the Toronto School of Art and then the Academy of Art & Design. I am very much inspired by Marc Chagall, whose work conveys such joy, so much so, that standing in the presence of his work the viewer experiences joy as well. To be able to create feelings of joy and happiness in the viewer is, in my opinion, the ultimate in artistic achievement!

Andrea End

Memorable Moment at a past Studio Tour,

Seeing my grade 6 teacher.
Although Gloria is on my contact list I had not seen her in over 20 years. I was speaking with some studio tours guests when I turned around and there she was in front of me. It was lovely to catch up and be able to show her what I have been up to!

Three Facts about my work.

1. Why Landscapes? I love to be outside in the forest or by water. (Mountains would work too, there just aren’t any in southern Ontario) Its restful, calming, simplifying.
2. Why gouache? I love colour, shapes, shadow and light. Gouache allows me to paint these shapes in the landscape clearly. No washes, no moving paint around on the board.
3. Why 3 colours? I keep things simple. I paint using the 3 primary colours, and white, mixing whatever colours I need in my paintings. Each colour I use is a combination of those 3 primaries, it feels like one colour that I can pull into various directions.

It feels like the Studio Tours is just around the corner. I am looking forward to meeting with people and seeing and hearing their reactions to my work.

Kate Liubansky

 Tell us what you are most looking forward to about this years Studio Tour

I look forward to meeting people with different artistic backgrounds and experience. I'm excited to get feedback from visitors about my photos and frames, as well as my theme and overall concept. I also look forward to hearing other people's interpretation of my images and the connections they make based on their personal experience.

Photo by Kate Liubansky, Taken afar - Shot in Borer's Falls Conservation Area, Hamilton, 2014

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you.

I began exploring my artistic side in 2012 after many years of wanting to start. I have always been inspired by nature and the environment for its beauty and detail, for its life and inhabitants, for its strength and wisdom. Photographing wildlife and landscapes came very naturally to me, as well as discovering the photography of architecture and the people that are part of the environment. Using natural wood when building frames for my photos is also inspired by nature and allows me to highlight it even further.

My art is about telling stories through photos, framing these photos in natural ways and ensuring that these stories live on forever.

 Photo by Kate Liubansky, Tree Swallows - Shot in Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto, 2014

Born Laurel Douglas....known for years in York Region as “Dr. Shugarman” still using both names, Laurel Douglas Shugarman. (sorry, it’s a big mouthful) Almost 20 years ago, I decided that I had always been defined by one external or another, geography, profession, marriage, parental status, decided it was time to become a kite without a string....and see where the wind would blow me. I ended up in Austin Texas at a wonderful spot called Laguna Gloria. An old mansion, converted to museum and art school, where peacocks ambled along the banks of the river. I took my first art classes there....and knew that this was what I wanted to do.

The practice of medicine is a very extroverted pastime and the practice of art is just the opposite....solitary, introverted and contemplative. How blessed am I to have this balance in my life. I used to be a doctor who did a little art, now I am an artist who does a little medicine. I have been a student of art for the past 20 years and will be a student of art for the rest of my life. The path has led to the Haliburton School for the Arts, The Toronto School of Art, the Academy of Realist Art, the studios of some wonderful painters in San Miguel de Allende, Jonathon Williams, Donna and Tom Dickson, Britt Zeist, and most recently mixed media with Jane Dill. 

My first mentor and inspiration was a wonderful Canadian painter named Jean Townsend. Jean died in 2006, but had always encouraged me to go to San Miguel de Allende and join the art community there. I finally took her advice and have been wintering there for about 10 years now. Many of my paintings reflect my Mexican experience.

My work is varied. My oils and watercolours are largely impressionist realism, and I have started producing giclee prints of some of the pieces that have proved more popular. I have been doing ink on ricepaper for several years and have recently incorporated that technique into the mixed media pieces, which combine calligraphy into the mix as well. Always, always, the goal is to find beauty in the ordinary. I look forward to sharing what I do with you at the Studio Tour. I am very excited as this is my first year participating. I am trying to finish several new pieces for the Tour. With art cards, photo prints along with the originals, there will be something for every price range.

Ona Kingdon

Hi Everyone. Here are three fun facts about how I work:

1. Many people say people’s dreams are a way of ordering, processing and filing away events that happen in their daily lives. I do dream a lot, I guess because I have such a vivid imagination, but painting is my method of ‘filing away’ things that I have seen or done or that happen to me or those around me. 
The idea for ‘Spinning a Tale’ began one hot summer’s day when I visited our local pioneer village. My subject was a volunteer who was an excellent storyteller. She told us a tale of how the wool would have been shorn, collected, washed, spun and turned into blankets or clothing in days gone by. Later, as I painted, I wanted to incorporate not only her actually spinning the wool but also include at least part of her story.  

The painting not only won an award earlier this year in an International Exhibition but also sold to a woman in California who got in touch with me. I loved hearing her tale as she excitedly told me about her father the spinning wheel that she remembered them having when she was young.
“As a child we had an antique spinning wheel in our home in New England, and my father told us a "tale" about it. There was some deep red staining on the wheel, and the story he told was of a pioneer woman spinning at her wheel as an Indian approached shooting her with an arrow. The staining was her blood as she lay across the wheel, dying (as the tale goes). Of course I believed every word, and that spinning wheel held such mystery and romance for me. I have been looking for a spinning wheel ever since, and finally have found it. I believe I was meant to find your beautiful painting. She now hangs in the perfect spot where I can see her all day long as I move about my house.”

2. I do not use white paint at all when I paint. All the whites that you see in my paintings are the white of the paper so I have to plan where I want my highlights to be and keep those areas clean of any paint or lift the colour back off the paper by gently using a magic eraser, a brush or by scratching out the highlights.   I often use several of these methods in each painting I do.
‘Mind the Step’ Transparent Watercolour by Ona Kingdon.  I am often amused by the Ducks the visit the ponds in our area. They seem to forget that they can fly sometimes, especially when they encounter tricky things like steps.  This painting sold just before the Studio Tour last year when someone saw my publicity for it.  
3. Mosquitoes and all things small and flying seem to have a magnetic attraction to my paintings as I am working on them. I often work in watercolour using a technique called ‘wet on wet’.  Basically I wet the paper first with clear water, and then the wet paint is applied to this. For a while after each layer of paint is applied the few centimetres just above the painting is just the sort of damp microclimate that tiny insects like. This isn’t a problem until one of them decides to rest on the painting itself. The surface tension of the water on the paper is very strong for a small insect. In fact usually it is too strong for them to escape so they are trapped there until the paper dries. I can’t swot them or I get an added gruesome tail tale splodge on my painting so I end up picking them off oh so carefully with tweezers and then, if needed, rewetting the whole area again and smoothing out the pigment unless I think I can get away with it. Now I will have you all looking really closely at the smooth background washes on many of my paintings to see if you can spot any insect signature footprints as well as my own signature.

You are the Sunshine of my Life’. Transparent Watercolour. This was a commission that I did for 2 very special people to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
Tell us about your most memorable moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour
When I had a Ted themed exhibition last year, I asked each of my visitors to choose the Ted painting that they could most relate to.  There was much laughter in the room as they each selected and compared their choices with friends and family. It was lovely seeing people of all ages finding a personal connection to the paintings. Many enjoyed sharing their connection with me too.
This year my theme for the tour is going to be based on our senses. My section of the tour will be designed to encourage visitors to discover the art through many senses not just our sight.  So come and visit me at Boynton House on Richmond Green on the 17th 18th or 19th of October and see how many of your 5 senses you end up using or see being used in the paintings or drawings. There will even be nibbles to tempt your sense of taste and music to listen to as you look around.  I often use music as an inspiration for my paintings or to help me set the mood as I paint. Maybe you can identify which music I listened to for some of the pieces on display.


Masha Toosi

Mahsa Toosi always had a passion about drawing and painting. She achieved a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design. Being interested in drawing and painting from early on, she draws from her imagination to express her feelings. Karim Nasr, a famous Iranian artist, is her most important influence.


Mahsa is taking part in Studio Tour for the first time and is looking forward to connect with new people in order to promote her artworks.


Daniela Anzil

Tell us about your most memorable or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour.
The tour is such an enjoyable experience because of the interesting people I meet.  My most memorable moments are working on specific pieces of jewellery for people I have met on the tour.  For example, one lady loved my work and asked me to design a necklace and bracelet set for a vintage dress she had just purchased.  She brought me the dress, together we chose a colour scheme and I sketched a design.  She was thrilled with the end result and I loved the experience from beginning to end.  Another time, a lady brought me a watch that belonged to her father and asked me to "reinvent" it.  The watch was a gift her mother gave to her father before they were married.  On the back of the watch face was an inscription and date, 1918.  I was so honoured to work on such a sentimental piece.  I included a picture of it.
Also give us 3 interesting or unusual facts about your chosen art form or the materials you use or the way in which you work.
People are usually surprised that my work is done by crocheting wire.  The process itself is interesting.  I simply use a crochet hook and jewellery wire, then I crochet.  It is similar to knitting.
I approach each piece as though I am creating artwork.  I have a background in fine arts so its instinctual to consider complimentary colours, contrasting textures and tones, the symmetry of the piece and other factors that make the jewellery I create so visually pleasing.
My work is international!  A lady who had purchased a unique silver crochet sphere necklace was wearing her piece at a market in Croatia.  A couple of people stopped her and asked where she got it.  She gave them my contact information and they contacted me to purchase some of my pieces!   I was very excited.  It validated the uniqueness of my work.
Irena Zaratchnev

Tell us what you are most looking forward to about this year Studio Tour

I’m always looking for the feedback about my creations. It’s exciting to see how my pieces of jewellery look when tried on – after all, it’s wearable art, as my fans say. Of course, I like compliments, but when it comes to the critiques – it’s even more inspiring because of the challenge and opportunity to make my jewellery even better.

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you.
I am the younger partner in the mother-daughter team behind Alira Treasures. My mom was creating jewellery for over a decade, and about 4 years ago I joined her. I tried it, liked it, and stuck with it up to this day. With every piece I make I get the thrill of working with natural stones and of bringing something beautiful to this world. I am a self-taught artisan who loves to experiment with different styles and techniques, though wire wrapping and wire crochet have always been my favorite. 

Don Downer

What is your most memorable/ or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour:

Parking to unload in front of the Heritage House in Richmond Hill last year was a bit precarious. The trees in front of the house were loaded with huge butternuts that kept raining down all around us in the wind as we moved pictures inside. We moved our cars out of "danger zone" as soon as we could. The next morning, the sidewalk was laden with fallen nuts which we had to sweep up to clear a safe way for our guests!

Can you give us 3 interesting facts about your chosen medium or the materials you use or the way in which you work:

I enjoy taking pictures of flowers almost more than anything else because they don't fly away before you can take their picture and they don't turn and walk away showing only their backside.

I enjoy taking pictures in nature because it gets me outside all the time and you never know what you're going to see next.

I always take at least two, and sometimes three, cameras with me wherever I go - you just can't have too many cameras.

Wendy Cho

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

Last year a young art lover came by specifically looking for me. He picked a couple of pieces and asked if I would take a picture with him:)

His mom took the photo of his purchases with me, it was such a special moment !! To see such a young person interested in art, reminds me why I started down this journey.

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

At first glance, most people think I paint with acrylic or oil paints to achieve the grainy effect in my work. At closer view, one can see that stippling effect is actually the texture of the paper I use. It's one of the unique properties of using this medium. It gives a tactile visual to each piece. It invites you to look closer.

My subject matter is mostly my animal babies at home. AKA all my pets! From frogs, cats, dogs, an albino hedgehog and even an "alligator" in my basement...or maybe that was just a dream? :)



 Karen Pasieka

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

I can't think of any particular moment, but two or three years ago we had about 100 people come through our doors, it was amazing!

Tell us 3 interesting/ unusual facts about your chosen medium/ art form or the materials you use or the way in which you work

I sculpt my clay with my hands, only using rudimentary tools like toothpicks or pins for fine detailing. I've even used my finger nails for breaking off pieces of clay that were of no use to my design!

The brands of clay are very different, and perform differently. My favorite pretty much only allows me to sculpt in an additive process, because it doesn't blend well. It does, however, hold it's shape really well, which allows me to shape my forms without worry of it sagging or misshaping while continuing work and baking. Contrary to this, my second favorite brand of polymer clay holds it shape very poorly, but I can work with the medium very freely with tools and even my finger to blend and carve! So I decide before I sit down what type of design I want to create and then take my lead from the techniques I'll want to use.

When all is going well and I have good blocks of time to sit down and work, I accumulate large groupings of my colours, colours that I have taken the time to create from blending the original packaged colours together. My inspiration usually comes from those. I look at my stores of clay and will pick out the colours that I see pairing together. When there is an abundance of colours ready to choose from, the ideas come to me. It's really exciting when one design, sometimes one colour, inspires another, and another, and another.


Joanna Dabrowski

 Tell us about your most memorable/ or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour.

I find it interesting when people first come by studio and are quite startled by what they see. Its nice to see my work evoking a reaction; I can really see their mental gears grinding. It becomes most striking and pleasing once my visitors find themselves comfortable with my work and begin noticing likenesses in my sculptures to their friends or family. I always hope for my sculptures to be relatable. 

Tell us 3 interesting/ unusual facts about your chosen medium/ art form or the materials you use or the way in which you work

It is difficult to describe only three interesting things as I work with many mediums in many unconventional ways. I experiment with different ideas and effects- so I'm constantly trying out new combinations to see what they can give me. I generally have something malleable on hand ( epoxies, polymers etc.) because it allows me the freedom to really work the medium in the exact way I want. Much of the work I make sees the light of varying techniques and materials, but it always comes from the heart.



Maryam Sadrolhefazi

1. Tell us about your most memorable/ or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour
Apart from making mosaics and stained glass pieces, I also have lunch time mosaic program in elementary schools. The kids are always interested in seeing my art and learning more about mosaics, so I always invite them to come to studio tour to not only learn more about my art, but also other mediums. During last year’s studio tour a little girl that took my class showed up at the heritage center (the site I was situated at) with her mom. After browsing my work, the little girl looked up to her mom and asked her if she could be an artist when she grew up and be a part of studio tour. It was really touching to see that we as artists could actually have an impact in a little girls’ future. 
2. Give us interesting/ unusual facts about your chosen medium/ art form or the materials you use or the way in which you work 
Most mosaic artists use 4 generalized mosaic art techniques to arrange the tesserae (the mosaic pieces) in different ways. I usually use 2 of these techniques; Opus tesselatum- tesserae pieces are arranged in a geometric patterns, and opus vermiculatum – the tesserae form pictures and objects with curved line designs. 
To make a stained glass  piece come to life, one of the most important aspects that you need to consider is how the colors and light play together. To make sure that my final product has that lively feel, I bought a light box and put it on my work table. This way, while I'm working I know exactly how the glass will look like in the light and I can easily mix and match things before the piece is complete.

Momim Wasim Khan
Momim Wasim Khan is taking part in the Richmond Hill Studio Tour for the first time this year. He is a member of the Richmond Hill Group of Artists

Michelle Tourikian

Michelle Tourikian earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University in 2011 majoring in Drawing and Painting. Post-graduation she gained valuable experience and insight as a participant in OCAD University’s 2012 Florence program. Her current body of work is heavily influenced by the experience of living in Florence, Italy and focuses on representing the emotional distress involved in change, displacement and mortality. Figure, landscape, and abstract elements meld into a whole through oil and acrylic paint on canvas and board. Paint brushes and palette knives are used as tools to reflect what it means to be confronted by an exponentially evolving world.

 Tell us what you are most looking forward to about this years Studio Tour

 While I am very active in the Toronto art world, I am less familiar with local artists and would love to connect with the talent that resides in Richmond Hill. I always love receiving input on my work as well, and it will be great to see what some locals think of my experiments!

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you.

I have always been artistically inclined, and pursuing art as a career just seemed with the natural path I should take. While I enjoy partaking in many facets of the arts, nothing satisfies me more than painting and going to OCAD University for Drawing and Painting was right down my alley. My family has always been extremely supportive of nurturing my growth as an artist and wants me to do what I love, and that has helped me enormously. My mother and father deserve much recognition for guiding me toward fulfilling employment as a professional artist. In terms of artistic influences, they have changed a lot throughout the years and still are, but the work of Salvador Dali still influences me greatly to this day. He is a fantastic technical painter with a very rich imagination.


Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you.

I  started drawing from a very early age and earned my first award at age 12. I haven't stopped drawing and painting since then. In  1978   I joined the Richmond Hill Group of Artist and been an active member since then. 

My prefered medium is watercolours and Zoltan Szabo watercolour artist inspired me very much. My architectural education at Leonardo Da Vinci Italian schools help me teach drawing perspective besides watercolour and acrylic at Mill Pond Gallery,  Town of Richmond Hill and Aurora Cultural centre. Drawing and painting is my passion and I will persue it as long as I am healthy and alive.

I am looking forward to show my latest paintings in this years studio tour.

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! 

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.

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 

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!!

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
Sue Sun

Sue Sun is an artist in love with the colors of the natural world. She paints landscapes, still—life work and most importantly, elegant, richly colored floral. She works in oils, acrylics watercolors and soft pastels, and is equally adept at all of them. This is unusual for many artists who use only one or two types of media, but Sue chooses her medium based on the demands of the subject matter.

Today, Sue would be best described as an emerging artist. Her work of acrylic paintings is available to be exhibited.

Title: After the Rain
Size: 18" X 18"
Medium: Acrylic Painting

 Through the years she has developed a style that is loose, colorful and boldly unique...all of Sue's original work is now done on acrylic painting on canvas...she loves the effect that helps her creativity and she enjoys the freedom it provides.

You will not find it optional to have matting, glass or even framing. The presentation is amazing, simple and natural.

Title: Secret Dating
Size: 16" X 16"
Medium: Acrylic Painting

Inga Rozina
Inga creates handmade jewelry designs with gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, Sterling Silver and Gold. She creates necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and other accessories.
What are you most looking forward to
I am looking forward to show my works and to gain more knowledge by hearing other people's opinions and comments, and this is going to be my first time, so I am very excited to participate and meet other artists.

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you
I have always wanted to create beautiful things. For a long time, I've tried to find myself in different art styles. In 2011, I immigrated to Canada, and the colorful beauty of the Canadian fall triggered my desire to try my hand at creating jewelry. I experiment with different textures and colors - plastic bottles, beads, pearls, shells, silver and a lot of other materials. I also like to make crochet jewelry and various different accessories. The biggest reward for me is to see that people are not only using, but enjoying my craft…

Ben Lee
Ben Lee is the founder and President of Dynasty Watercolour Association (DWA).  It's a young but vibrant self funded voluntary organization in Richmond Hill which is committed to promoting watercolour particularly among artists of different cultures and ethnicities. DWA opens its membership to all watercolour medium artists, amateurs and professionals.

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you

Much of my inspiration comes from my late father, an OCAD alumnus in 1930.  I started to paint at an early age.  I often tacked along with his colleagues to plein air painting during weekends.  Later, I furthered my studies at Vancouver School of Fine Art.  Since then I hardly had a chance to pick up my  brushes and palette until I took my retirement and immersed myself into the world of art, sharing my love and passion with my peers.  
I am an impressionist watercolour painter with its fluidity techniques expressed in my paintings.  A style offered me as it dances in the rhythm of my desired images and creativities.  Landscape is amongst my favourite subject matter.  I tried to capture the ever changing mood of the outdoors, capturing the magic of nature in dramatic colours with bold strokes.  Orange is my favourite colour.  I am forever exploring in different mediums and techniques much like working on canvas and particle wood-board with regular watercolour, thoroughly enjoying the painting process.
Tell us about your most memorable or funniest moment that has happened in a previous studio Tour

Nothing really funny ever happened during my many years at Richmond Hill Studio Tour show but there were many happy moments when friends came to see my show as well as having the opportunity to get acquainted with other artists.

Give us an interesting or unusual fact about your chosen medium or the materials you use or the way in which you work

I considered myself as a fast painter.  I often turned out two paintings during plein air in a day.  I
remembered one colleague said to me that he has constipation; cause he can hardly finish one painting in an entire day!  And now, I think this is a good Joke!!

For more information please visit Ben's website

Tiffany Folmeg
 This is Tiffany's first year as an artist in the studio tour.

Tell us what you are most looking forward to about this years Studio Tour.

This show encourages a connection between the artist and public granting direct exposure and interaction with the community.  I look forward to talking to individuals engaged in supporting the local art scene.  There is much to learn and experience within such an event in hopes to heighten my practice.  

Tell us how you got started in the world of art and who inspired you.
Being creative was encouraged at a very young age, and as I continued into secondary school I had great support from my visual arts teacher.   He was a great mentor which paved way to post-secondary art and now as an instructor of the arts.  It is honest to say that all art inspires me, I love to learn about the historical attributes woven in rich pieces of artwork and the various means that drive humanity to create.  It will always be a goal of mine to engage individuals and myself for the sake of creative and tactile learning.  Art is the evident connection between the soul and the world around us.

Long Yun-Xu

Long  Yun-Xu was born in Nanjing, China.  A renowned artist in watercolour medium.  His works often published in art-books and magazines.  His works were shown many times in the National Watercolour Painting Exhibition, a most prestigious art institution in China.  A lot of his works have been collected all over the world including National Art Museum of China.

Long is the member of several top rated watercolour artist including the International Watercolour League and the consultant of Nanjing Artist' Association.  He is also an honorable member of the "Dynasty Watercolour Association" in Richmond Hill.  He can be contacted via DWA's President Ben Lee at (416) 903-4830
This is Long Yun-Xu's first time participating in the Studio Tour. he is looking forward to the experience very much

Alexandra Conrad

Alexandra likes to create paintings that evoke emotions in the viewer. The conception of one of her works of art begins with a subject, idea, inspirational view, a set of colours that grab her attention or the particular light of that moment. This then gets expressed through her brushstrokes.

What is your most memorable moment from your previous Richmond Hill Studio Tour experiences?

I did a portrait in oil on canvas of our friends’ daughter Michelle, and I had this for the first time displayed at the 2013 Richmond Hill Studio Tour. Michelle and her parents came to see the painting for the first time. The reaction of Michelle and her mother was the most memorable for me. Michelle said: It is me and I love it. They both had tears in their eyes form happiness. Michelle wrote in my Guests Book: “I love the painting of me! Thank you! “This was very emotional and memorable moment for me.

Artist: Alexandra K Conrad
Title: “Michelle” Medium: oil on gallery canvas
 Size: 28 x 22 inches

Can you tell us 3 interesting facts about the medium you use?
Lately I paint mainly in oil and acrylic. Both mediums allow me to

1. Apply paint thin or thick

2. To have brush strokes visible

3. Acrylic dries fast, so if I need to have painting finished fast I use acrylic.

Other time I might use acrylic because I feel that for certain subject and my interpretation it will be a better medium.

Alexandra K Conrad and her paintings at the exhibition 2013 Richmond Hill Studio Tour at the Burr House (Pottery by Elena Fumagalli)

For more information please visit Alexandra's Website:
 or Contact:
905 883 5539

Jette Cott

Jette Knudsen Cott came to Canada from Denmark with her parents and siblings in the 1950s.  All her life, she has been passionate about the beauty of the world around her and what she could do to make it more so.

Jette draws much of her inspiration from everyday visions such as nature’s scenery, children at play, florals and still life.  Her craft brings her incredible joy and the she enjoys the enthusiasm for her work of those who collect it.

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

During last year's Studio Tour, I had old friends come by whom I had not seen for over 10 years. We had a great visit and they purchased a painting. I also had a wall designated to commissions I had done of children and dogs. Conversations and interest in this resulted in more commissions.

Tell us a little about your chosen medium you use and the way in which you work

My favorite paintings are watercolours, but I can't call it my only medium for painting. I love using acrylics too and always stride to create more blended, flowing images, even with some transparency to them.

 It's a very forgiving, fast medium which suits my impatient personality.

 If you would like to see more of Jette's work please visit her website:

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