The Artists' Workshop is a group of visual artists juried for membership to ensure the group's artistic quality as well as diversity of style and media. Group members focus on painting and drawing with forays into collage, paper sculpture and mixed media.
As far back as I can remember I have been making art. My mother used to paint and I still have two paintings that I did with her at around 9 years old, one of Templeton the rat and Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web and one of my Siamese cat. The painting of Templeton was hung in the Mendel Art Gallery to represent Brunskill School. I was always taking some kind of art class as a child, often those offered by the Mendel Art Gallery, which I loved.
In high school I continued to make art. I was a fan of children’s book art and I could spend hours being drawn into the amazing worlds created by the beautiful illustrations in them. I had a large painting of Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire cat hang in the library at Nutana Collegiate for a period of time.
Although I spent three years at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary in the 70’s, it wasn’t until I was the Program Manager at the Community Arts Program at the U of S that I really started to develop my skills and style as an artist by taking classes there. It was a class called Off the Grid that was taught by Miranda Jones that influenced the work that I have been doing for the past seven years. I loved and continue to love the process of working with mixed media, gilding and putting colour and pattern together. I think that my love of children’s book illustrations and storytelling continues to influence my work.
Life is a journey that takes us in unexpected directions. Early in life my focus was on math and science. There were things to discover and clear answers to the questions. At the same time crafts were plentiful, the kind with rules and patterns to follow.
Later I discovered painting and took classes in technique, colour and composition. From this knowledge I gained the courage to let go of rules and expectations. Curiosity took over and I started to find my own artistic expression. When I tried watercolour batik I knew I had found my medium. The process is orderly and structured and at the same time uncontrollable. I can have a plan and then it is like the wax and watercolour do the world.
Colour charts have replaced spreadsheets but math is still calling me. I am discovering the ancient geometers and finding inspiration. The structure of the world we live in is amazing and I am excited to see where this new path leads.
Throughout my lifetime I have done many creative things. I learned how to sew, quilt, cake decorate, and play piano and guitar. I had always wanted to paint but didn’t think I had the talent but when I found out about the USCAD program 10 years ago I decided to enroll. Paintings began to take shape and I immersed myself into the art world.
I am particularly attracted to our beautiful prairie scenes, especially clouds, skies, and open roads. I grew up on a farm so I was surrounded by the vast prairie spaces and fields. From the bright blue skies with ever-changing cloud shapes to the incredible jewel-toned sunsets and sparkling lakes, I have a deep desire to recreate it with paint and canvas. I work with acrylic paint and usually large brushes. I really enjoy painting with deep, bold colours and try to instil my appreciation of the prairie land with my colour choices and depiction of the landscape, whether realistically or impressionistically. When I paint, I get lost in the moment and am always surprised to see that many hours have passed. It’s not all wine and roses, sometimes there are many thorns, but each success and failure adds to the artistic journey. I am grateful to have the means to travel down this road.
Born on the prairie and raised by a landscape artist, I grew up with a deep appreciation for the skies, the fields, and the ditches full of blooms. It was my mother who taught me how to appreciate the transformation of my surroundings through the four distinct seasons.
I spent my childhood observing the patterns of light and shadow throughout the days and the seasons of the year. This gave me my prairie roots, knowing I could always rely on the land and sky to show me their best. By knowing where to look and how to see, I believe it set the spark for my desire to carry forward the need to show off the glory and also the subtle beauties of my homeland.
I do this in my own chosen medium of Textile Art, specifically a meticulous and detailed technique referred to as Threadpainting. I discovered this 11 years ago after joining a local quilt guild. I also began working in Soft Pastels a few years ago, which is the traditional medium of my mother’s. Working with both mediums feels like a very fluid, natural process. Each tends to improve my skills in the other.
Artists’ Workshop wishes to announce that, in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have decided to cancel our Art Show and Sale that was scheduled for May 1 – 3, 2020. We are doing this to protect the health and safety of all our friends and supporters. We hope that you will keep checking in to our Facebook, Instagram and Web sites as we will continue to post our ‘Inside Stories’ about each artist, as well as other art related items. We will keep you updated about our plans for the future of our show. In addition, we plan to have some special items for you on the weekend that would have been our show. So stay tuned and stay safe!
I grew up artistically at Kenderdine Campus and still miss it. I’ve been trying to find ways, forcing myself actually, to paint indoors during the winter but to no avail. Relief printing may satisfy that need to create in the studio during the cold season. I’m only really happy when I paint outside. Painting involves so much more than just looking at the scene and reproducing it. There is the emotional reaction to the scene. Then, there is the wind on your skin, the sun on your face, the smells around you and the sounds of nature interrupting your thoughts. It involves all your senses and creates an experience like no other. I continue to teach which I enjoy immensely. Being able to be part of the process of others’ finding joy in creating is an energy producing experience. It enriches all our lives.
I do not restrict myself to any one subject, colour palette or painting technique. Abstract, realist, mixed media, urban settings, northern lake scenery, prairie grasslands and still life all interest me. I like to switch back and forth as inspiration comes. When I see a subject that inspires me like the quietness of landscapes or the charm of character homes, I want to paint them and recreate the colour, space and light that I see.
The manner in which I perceive the world around me has developed through the various stages of my life. Endless hours spent playing in the small wooded areas near my childhood home, summers spent on a farm, and presently exploring the lakes and boreal forest in northern Saskatchewan have all impacted how I see the world today and in turn how I approach my art. I am convinced that everything I see, even the everyday ordinary things, can be transformed with paint to be extra ordinary.
Growing up, music was the art form in our house. My Dad had a musical background and a wide ranging taste in music. The only art was a book on Van Gogh that I remember on the shelves. For myself, I learned piano, drew and coloured like most kids, and read endlessly.
The first inkling I had about ‘art’ was when I was in my early teens and my aunt married a man who was an artist. I was fascinated by his little studio whenever we visited. My uncle would talk about his work, about colour and light and other artists. This was a totally different world to what I’d ever encountered. In Junior High School we had our first real art class and teacher, so I began tentatively to learn then. At university, the sciences drew me to study. I took art appreciation as an elective and being in a big city, I began to visit galleries.
It wasn’t until many years later that I finally decided to take some art classes. My visits and talks with my uncle continued all that time and he encouraged me, telling me that doing it for the pure enjoyment it gave me was all I needed to do. So I continued, learned, explored, found wonderful teachers, and then was invited to join art groups, which expanded my knowledge and experience to a new level through the learning and sharing we do.
A very meandering stream brought me to where I now paint for the love of it and for what it brings into my life. So I encourage you to dip your toe into that stream too. You never know where it will take you.
“How long does it take you to do one like this?” The technical answer varies. Some works flow and others challenge you to spend more time. People are genuinely curious, and their inquiry sincere, so I hesitate to answer “all my life” for fear of it sounding like a canned, flippant answer. But there is authenticity in the “all my life” response. Making art, trying various media and methods, has always been in my life.
After years of painting with colour I’ve started to make art with graphite. On a cradled panel, the drawings have a rustic modern feel, my favourite style of decor. I’m visually drawn to contrasty black and white images. And inside all of that, I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m intrigued by the concepts of paradox and conundrum, polarity and choice. Is it possible that these contrasty thoughts running in the background influence what goes onto the panels?
I’ve always been drawn to color and design; and my artistic expression took many forms over the years. As a child I hammered together wooden fruit crates and painted ‘furniture’ for my room. Later I began sewing clothing for my self and others. That interest in textiles led me to spinning and dying yarn, and to weaving on looms of all types. As our family put down roots, I landscaped colorful gardens around our home. And eventually, I found my way to watercolor painting.
Whether it’s bolts of fabric, skeins of yarn, acres of tulips, or a palette of paints, brilliant colors are a magnet to my eye. Bright light and lyrical lines lift my spirits and make me smile. Where color and light are absent, I’ll throw some in as an expression of what could be.
Splash and squiggle is how I work. Ink and watercolor is where I live. My best work appears when I’m able to hold a lighthearted, playful spirit.
I aim to be an Appreciative Adventurer – finding joy and beauty everywhere I am and everywhere I go. In art, as in life, I am drawn to express the up side, the sunny side – the inspiring message that life is good. I hope people feel uplifted and heartened in the presence of my work.