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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Spotlight on ~ Kathryn Green

“How do you decide what to paint?” That question fascinates me. I paint ‘intuitively,’ meaning that when I begin a work, I don’t have a set idea of what I am going to produce; I start painting and see what happens, making choices as the work develops. (I used to say, “I don’t really know what I’m doing, I just begin to paint and trust it will work out somehow,” but I think “painting intuitively” sounds better!)

This first painting is an example of what I’ve ended up with using this process. I certainly didn’t have an image of this in my mind when I began to paint . . . so where did it come from? It looks a bit to me like an aerial view of land masses, oceans and clouds, but others might see something completely different. My best guess is that everything I’ve ever taken in visually is stored somewhere in my brain and when I make art, bits and pieces come out, mixed together in a new form.

from-above

‘Map of the Heart’, 24 x 36 inches, Acrylic on TerraSkin

Then last summer, I was introduced to photographs of thin sections of rocks, as seen through a polarized-light microscope. I was astounded by the variety of colours, shapes, and textures and immediately thought, “These look like abstract art!” So I decided to try going back to the way I used to paint, except instead of working from a photo of a landscape, I took my inspiration from these images of rocks. Doing so has introduced some new shapes and colours into my work, but the process of working from a reference photo rather than simply my imagination feels quite strange—I can almost sense different parts of my brain firing!

 

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‘The Secret Lives of Rocks 1’, 18 x 24 inches, Acrylic on TerraSkin

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Kathryn in her studio

Spotlight On ~ Paige Mortensen

It is all about the texture. It is the texture in an object or scene that entices me. Creating a piece of art gives me the opportunity to spend more time with it, really getting to know the details.
 
One beautiful afternoon in the fall, after a day of painting with our Artists Workshop group I walked downtown and the light shining under the Broadway bridge was one of those moments to be thankful for.
 
My watercolour batik process is ideal for creating the illusion of texture and I am always excited to find new ways of expressing what I see. I work with wax and watercolour on paper building up layers as I go. I can only work from light to dark so the wax is used to preserve the colour that currently exists and more paint is applied to make it darker.  This layering process culminates in the darkest colours being added. At that point I use layers of newspaper to iron the wax off the piece and I can finally see the finished piece.
 Paige Mortensen - Light Under Broadway
Light Under Broadway 20 x 10” Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen
 Paige Mortensen - Changing
Changing 18 x 24” Watercolour Batik  ©Paige Mortensen
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‘Stories Inside’ – a current show

With winter in full swing, and the holiday season winding down, we can take time to check out other things going on in our community.

Paige Mortensen, a member of our group, currently has a show entitled ‘Stories Inside’ at the Royal Gallery, The Centre Mall Saskatoon, from now until January 8, 2016. The series was inspired by Paige’s trip to Europe, all the fascinating doors, and wondering about the stories behind them.

Here are a few of the pieces you can see at the show. Just until January 8th!

Watercolour Batik on Ginwashi paper12x18"

Watercolour Batik on Ginwashi paper 12×18″

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Watercolour Batik on Ginwashi paper 12×18″

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Watercolour Batik on Ginwashi paper 18×24″ wrapped on canvas

Seasons change and so do we…..

We have gathered back together at Grace Westminster Auditorium to begin our 26th year. Last April, we celebrated our 25th anniversary at our annual show. Here are a couple of photos of the group taken then.

April 2015

This was taken with all of us, except Eva, who wasn’t able to be there, a few days before our show.

dress up for show 2015

Just before our show opening, all dressed up. After the show, we all headed off to our summer break.

On May 30, our dear Lou passed away. One of Saskatoon’s best known artists, Lou was one of the original group members and was happily part of our anniversary show. Even though over the years she had faced a number of health challenges, she faced them with her usual grace, gentleness and humour.

Lou in garden 2013

Lou sketching in the garden

Then, unexpectedly on August 27, our dear Valerie Borycki passed away after a very brief illness. We are still finding it hard that she won’t come bursting through the door, with stories to endlessly entertain us. Eleanore Romanow wrote a limerick that was read at Val’s memorial:

A Limerick for Val Borycki

There once was a lady named Val,
She was an extraordinary gal,
With dazzling red hair
And a wardrobe with flair,
She was a loving and generous pal.

Now our Val had an interesting life,
Not free from the occasional strife,
Believing ‘Come what may’
She enjoyed every day,
Colours bursting, from both brush and knife.

Some people just light up a room,
And wash away otherwise gloom,
We could count on our girl
With a swish and a swirl
To deliver her own va-va-voom.

Our beautiful spirit has fled,
And all cares of the world are shed.
She just slipped away,
On a late August day,
Not a good-bye word to be said.

We are here to honour our friend,
Who sparkled right to the end!
Although we have wept,
Your memory we’ve kept
With all of the love that we send.

So farewell dear Valerie – we will all miss you very much.
Your gal pals at Artists’ Workshop.

valborycki2015

We will miss both of these talented, generous bright spirits so much.

And we have had one more of our group decide to move to new ventures, after 25 years with the group. Karen Maguire is joining the Studio on 20th. We will miss Karen’s great style, humour and enthusiasm and wish her the best in her new studio.

We reflect back on our lovely friends, and now look forward to the year of art to come.

We welcome two new members at this time, Bobbi Clackson-Walker and Paige Mortensen. Bobbi is an exciting mixed media artist, and Paige is expanding our horizons with her unique watercolour batik work.

We have some new plans for the fall, and we will keep you posted with some news very shortly. This includes a new Facebook page, and a special November pre-Christmas sale at a gallery location in Saskatoon. Check back soon for details.

See you soon!

25th Art Show and Sale – 2015

It gives us great pleasure to announce our 25th Annual Art Show and Sale! We hope to see you there to help us celebrate this special year for us.

This year’s event will take place Friday, April 17, 2015, 7 – 10 pm, Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday noon – 4 pm, at Grace Westminster Church Auditorium, Saskatoon.

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