The Inside Story ~ Val Miles

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.

‘Templeton and Charlotte’
‘Taking Time to Smell the Roses’
‘Little Home in the Forest’

The Inside Story ~ Paige Mortensen

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.

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay 24 x 24″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen
Fibonacci Experiment 2 34 x 55 cm Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen

The Inside Story ~ Celeste Delahey

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.

‘Take Me Home’ – Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches
‘Roadside Slough’ – Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

The Inside Story ~ Monika Kinner

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.

‘Flourishing Ditch’ – Soft Pastel
Mini Yarn Painting, Untitled
Mother and daughter

Important Announcement

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!

The Inside Story ~ Jean Dudley

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.

‘A Summer’s Day’ – Acrylic
‘My Mother’s Garden’ – Acrylic

The Inside Story ~ Sharron Schoenfeld

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.

‘Morning Lighthouse’ – Acrylic on canvas
‘Blueberries Taste Like Summer’ – Acrylic on canvas