Painting in watercolour has inspired me to stop and enjoy all things bathed in light and casting interesting shadows. Red poppies in my garden, I have never had as many, and moments from a special trip to Nova Scotia, are among the subjects of my work for our group show at Grace Westminster Church auditorium, April 13 to 15. Look foreword to seeing you in the spring!
What inspires me to paint is usually something nearby, whose shape or colour interests me. Highlighting those bottles or shells or flowers with focussed light brings out the elements of those items that intrigue me. As a result, I collect things – old bottles, old silver, shells, glass floats, leaves, seeds, everyday things – and find interesting fruits and vegetables, and raid my garden for inspiration. Then I assemble them to play with colours, shapes, reflections and textures. Some end up in my paintings, which I hope you will come by and see, along with all of our group’s new works, at our upcoming April show, April 13 – 15 at Grace Westminster Auditorium (details coming soon; watch our Facebook page too).
‘Peaches and Copper Pot’, Oil on linen panel
You can see more of my work at Redberry Art.
I am a professional fibre artist specializing in freestyle embroidery. My creations are expressions of my love for the prairie and originate from my own photographs and personal experiences of Saskatchewan. I am constantly amazed at the texture and intricate beauty that can be achieved by working with thread and yarn. When I head out with my camera, I am looking for things to stitch. Big open skies are translated to hand dyed fabrics. When I see fields and ditches full of flora, I imagine them as threads and yarn. Each stitch represents a brush stroke of colour and I find great joy in recreating scenes I love in this medium.
In 2010, I was juried with the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Since then, my work has found homes locally, nationally, and internationally. As a self taught artist, I am very grateful to be a part of the Artists’ Workshop. I enjoy this circle of supportive artists and bask in the opportunity to expand my creativity every Monday with them. Having the dedicated time and space to become more expressive with my sketchbook phase of creating is planting the seeds for some wonderful new works in the future.
‘Winter at Jackfish Lake’
Inspiration comes from close up or far away. In the last year my close up inspirations have been found in backyard gardens and beautiful planters in cities we have visited. The distant inspirations are the old elevators, barns and houses that we all see as we drive around our province. I’m not usually driving so I bring my camera and it is amazing what I can catch in these “drive-by-pictures”. I wonder about our ancestors, what lives were really like when these structures were built. So, flowers to bring cheer into my studio and old architecture to make me reflect on our history.
“Shirley’s Poppies” – Watercolour Batik
“Apple Blossom Amarylis” – Watercolour Batik
“Gull Lake Pool Elevator” – Watercolour Batik
One of my favourite things to do is set out on a road trip just as the sun is coming up and photograph the ever changing landscape as the sunlight spills over it. Then I can’t wait to honour that beauty in a painting back in the studio. My photos are snapshots used as a reference point to start the artwork from rather than something to copy directly. In my lifetime, it will be impossible for me to use all of my paint-worthy images. There are thousands. Each time I choose a scene to paint from, I relive the feeling I had standing in that spot or driving through that countryside. I hope that my paintings will remind people of a time when they enjoyed something similar.
Our group is working away, getting ready for our 28th annual Show and Sale, which will happen this April 13 – 15, so you can mark your calendars now! The paints, brushes, pastels, pencils, paper, canvases, threads are all being put to use as we all get busy making wonderful new pieces to show everyone this spring.
And threads you might ask? Well, we have the great pleasure to welcome a new member to our group. Monika Kinner-Whalen is a well-known fibre artist here in Saskatoon, and she has joined us to expand our happy collective and to add even more diverse creativity to our group.
So mark your calendars, and we will soon have more specific show details. Also, watch our Facebook page and our blog here for our weekly Spotlights, highlighting the work and inspirations of each member of our group as we work our way to April.
Reds and magentas – these are the colours that underpin much of Marilyn’s art works. You will see hints in a boreal forest scene or the sky above a Nutana alley, or front and centre in one of her well-known poppy paintings. Marilyn takes regular sketching trips and painting trips to northern Saskatchewan and other wilderness locations, especially in the fall and spring, her favourite times of the year. The sketches she makes on site serve as a foundation for new works completed in her studio.