Spotlight on ~ Valerie Munch

As I reflect on my art, I realize it colours my life. I view my world, with the play of light and shadow and I want to paint it all! I take photographs to capture those moments, then as I paint I relive the day in my garden with a dear friend, or a walk on Broadway in the city I love.

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‘Captured this Fall’, Watercolour

There’s the special chair from a beloved aunt and uncle, the day on the beach or at the lake with Grandchildren, or a special trip with my husband and children, all paintings evoke memories.

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‘Face to the Sun’, Watercolour

I feel fortunate to have the support of my family and friends, and for time spent with a group of artist friends who freely share their vision and talents.

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Spotlight on ~ Bobbi Clackson-Walker

I feel it a personal challenge as an artist to see and express things in an original way.”

I have been a full-time art-maker for the past 15 years and an art educator for the past 7 years. In reality, art-making and a desire to share those experiences with others has been a constant for most of my life. My art-making history has involved expressing visual ideas in a variety of mediums and processes, most notably: drawing, quilt-making, painting, collage, mono-printing, and paper sculpture. I consider myself a life-long learner and thrill at discovering new processes that I can incorporate into my art-making,

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‘Fence Line Exploration’, Ink on repurposed paper

Fence line exploration: Ink on repurposed paper

Like all artists, my work has evolved through time. Where I once was concerned with replicating what I saw in painterly perfection, I am now engrossed with mixed media applications to plexi-glass assemblages, and in utilizing visual elements of line, shape, form and colour in 2-dimensional explorations of the prairie landscape.

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‘Fence Line Exploration’, Paper and acrylic on wood

My drive to create is sparked in imagining visual outcomes born through observation, word play, and physical objects. I self-describe as a mixed media artist as that descriptor allows me to move the process and the media to suit the material exploration of an idea. As I like to work through ideas in a series of pieces, the mixed media label seemed an appropriate way to let followers of my work know that today you may see an idea expressed in paint, and tomorrow you may see that same idea expressed in paper sculpture. I think at times the mixed media moniker is simply a polite way of stating that I tend toward the behavioural instincts of a pack rat. I am hesitant to discard anything, particularly paper, as I am constantly imagining ways of repurposing objects for an artistic purpose.

I am a prairie girl, born and raised, and there is much of the resilience and resourcefulness of the prairie sensibility that informs my work. I believe that stated “prairieness” is at the root of why I create in the first place, and I feel it a personal challenge as an artist to see and express things in an original way.

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Spotlight on ~ Jean Dudley

My favourite thing to do is paint ‘en plein air. I love being outside (in the summer) looking at the world in front of me and appreciating the beauty and wonder of it all. To look at something to paint is a different way of looking than that of the everyday. The act of painting takes me out of the mundane and into a world rich in colour, shape and texture.

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‘My Muse’ 

This year is a year of transition for me as it is the first time I’ve had to think about what to paint in the winter. I have taken night classes regularly to keep me painting during the colder months and not given much thought to what I want to communicate through painting. I’ve been having a love affair with oil paints for the last decade or so – there is nothing quite so yummy as a good quality oil paint. However, recently I have been doing research and practising with acrylics and am finding them intriguing. As of today I am unsure what direction I will choose, but no doubt it will continue to include nature as a focus.

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‘Paeso’

The closing of Kenderdine Campus has deeply affected me – I grew up there artistically. A week of focused painting with other people doing the same thing always took my work to a new level. To date, I have been unable to replace this experience and my development has suffered for it. I know I will make the necessary choices and decisions to move forward, and in this the support of the members in our Artists’ Workshop group is much appreciated.

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Spotlight on ~ Sharron Schoenfeld

I love art, and feel lucky to have been given the gift of creativity. I have an early memory as a little girl realizing that I could draw and recall the enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment it gave me. Since then, the making of art has been a friend that keeps me company and gives me purpose.

I have experimented in various mediums over the years, my most recent transition being from fiber art to painting in acrylics.

I work intuitively using my imagination, and my own photography of the Saskatchewan prairies, the northern lake country and travel. Landscapes, cityscapes and figures are my favorite subject matter. Rocky shorelines, foliage and water have always interested me and have inspired many of my paintings. A walk in the country can take me a very long time if I have my camera because I get very absorbed taking pictures of all the tiny details on the ground, rocks and trees. My usually patient husband often gets tired of waiting for me to finish and leaves me in the middle of nowhere snapping pictures and having to make my way back alone.

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‘Leaves and Berries’, Acrylic on canvas

A trip to Kenya resulted in over 1000 photos, which inspired a painting series of children and cityscapes from in and around the city of Nairobi.

The red earth and warm colors of Kenya, the yellow canola fields, diverse grasses, foliage and stunning lake country of Saskatchewan are all a good fit for my earthy colour palette of raw sienna, burnt sienna, ochre, greens and purples.

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‘Grandma and Baby’, Acrylic on canvas

I always have the “next” painting waiting in the wings because it seems there is never a shortage of images I want to try to transform and interpret using paint. My only quandary is which one gets to be next! Sometimes I start a painting by getting rid of the white canvas and warm it up with an all over wash of burnt sienna, while other times I just jump right in and start painting. Either way, I never know how a painting will turn out, and that is the exciting part for me.

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Spotlight on ~ Lorraine Khachatourians

Although I have always had an interest in art, and drew a lot when I was young, I didn’t begin to paint and draw seriously until about 15 years ago. I have to credit my uncle George Bates, who was a professional artist, with encouraging me over many years, with conversations about art, painting, and being an painter. One particular thing he told me was that a person might never become famous or a professional artist, but could learn to draw and paint and become proficient enough to enjoy working at it. He was planting seeds for my future.

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Summer Preserved’, Oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches

Through these conversations, I learned the importance of light, and to observe how light interacts with objects and the environment. I am attracted to the way light moves over, through, and behind objects both manmade and in nature. Glassware, metal, leaves, flowers, fruits and water are what I enjoy painting. My collection of family glass and silver, various old bottles, shells, leaves and such, flowers from my garden and everyday objects I come across, provide a source of my favourite things.

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‘Water Lily, Boffins’, Oil on canvas, 16 x 16 inches

The process of observing how the light illuminates and creates shapes of different colours and intensities and then translating those colours and shapes onto the canvas or paper brings me the greatest sense of quiet and peacefulness that I enjoy so much. The magic happens when those colours and shapes suddenly become the object or scene that I am trying to express. With time I have come to the place my uncle said was possible to achieve, enjoyment and contentment in painting and drawing.

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Spotlight on ~ Val Miles

What excites me most when I am painting is colour.  I love how colours work together to create a mood or a feeling. I love working with black gesso and will start a painting by drawing in white on the black.  I developed my style of painting when experimenting with different mediums and combining them with gilding.

I wanted to change the underlying texture to create an interesting surface.  I like when one of my paintings reminds me of a wood block print or a piece of tapestry.

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‘Spring at Butchart Gardens’, Mixed media

My mother used to love birds and in the last few years I have developed a fascination for birds as well.  There are so many different varieties of birds and each has a distinct personality.  I have focused my subject matter on birds because I feel that they provide some additional interest, personality or humour in my paintings.

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‘Lemons at Sechelt’, Mixed Media

Once in awhile a cat or a frog or fish will turn up in one of my paintings. I choose my subject matter by what is interesting to me or is something that I would like to explore with gilding.  I have always loved to paint still lifes and find that adding birds to a still life changes the perspective.

I enjoy the process of layering in each painting and the time that it takes to plan the drawing, mediums, gilding and adding colour.   I am always surprised at the end when the painting reveals itself, which is the biggest payoff and reward.

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Val in her studio

Spotlight on ~ Margaret Bremner

I have never been a painter of local landscapes. While houses and buildings, trees and skies are recurring subjects, they are figments of my imagination, realistic-enough looking, but wonky and whimsical. I hope that my artwork uplifts the spirits, is a source of comfort and tranquility, and reinvigorates a sense of the sacred.

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Playful Planet’, 10.5 inches square, pen-and-ink, pencil, acrylic

 

For many years I focused on mandalas, a wonderful vehicle for colour and detail. Several years ago I returned to an earlier love: pen-and-ink, this time in the meditative Zentangle® style using structured patterns. Currently, my work is moving towards more mixed media.

People sometimes comment on one of the witty titles. I think titles are important and I hope never to call a piece “Blue Square #14”. Usually a title pops to mind quite early in the process, which is fine if that’s a direction I want to go!

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‘Oakenfall’ 8 x 5 inches, pen-and-ink and pencil on eco-dyed paper

Colours, patterns, visual textures and designs thrill me. I love how a line can change from chubby to hairline and back again. Prairie sunsets, fireworks, and night skies full of stars leave me speechless. I am enchanted by small things and details, and fascinated by how the very large and the very small are so very similar. I love translucence and coloured glass and light in water and sparkly things. Perhaps I would have been a good magpie.

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