Saturday, September 24, 2016


Last year we began a series of blog posts, each Saturday, that took you into the studios of our artists. It's always so interesting to get a glimpse of the work space of artists and how much they vary from one another. We firmly believe that when we take the time to learn more about the artists process and who they are as people too, we can break down barriers that may be there for some people and expose art to everyone.

Today we're starting our Studio Saturdays series back up with one of the newer artists at the gallery, Kimberley Eddy.

Waterdance #13, 10"x8", Resin, Acrylic and Ink on Board

Currently Eddy works out of her home studio in Bedford, and was gracious enough to share a few shots of her working in the studio with us.

Eddy  works with resin on board or canvas, creating thin layers and applying ink washes and acrylic paint between them.

Waterdance #11, 10"x8", Resin, Acrylic and Ink on Board

Her pieces are inspired by aerial views of flying over water.

"The water is a constant source of inspiration for me. In these abstract pieces, fluidity and depth are shown from an aerial perspective in a watery palette. This work has a depth and detail to it that begs the onlook to stay awhile and look deeper."

See more of Eddy's work online HERE.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet Our Flock!

You may well know we are big fans of our fine feathered friends here at the gallery, and today we'd love to introduce you to our flock...

Folkart birds by Basil Doucette charm everyone who happens upon them.

Basil Doucette Folkart Bird

Dorothyanne Brown's felted animals are all so wonderful, but her birds, like Olivia the Oriel, really take flight!

Dorothyanne Brown Olivia the Oriel

Even Shelley Mitchell, whose most recent show, "Craft", opened on Friday, can't shy away from the birds with this cormorant.

Shelley Mitchell "Comorant"

Artist Michelle St Onge's most recent series of watercolour birds are just one of the many mediums she likes to work in.

Michelle St Onge "Go Jays"

Michelle St Onge "Bugs for Dinner"

And now... The chickens! It must be chicken season because we've got lots roosting here in the gallery this month! Like these wonderful textile chickens by Maryia Tsehtik.

Maryia Tsehtik "The Flock Chickens"

These wonderful oil paintings of chickens by Sharon Cave have just arrived and are bursting with personality!

Sharon Cave "Dixie"

Sharon Cave "Wallace"

Sharon Cave "Boris"

Lastly one of our newest artists, Miyoshi Kondo, has a series titled "The Chickens Come Home to Roost", featuring chickens setting up house in all different kinds of homes.

Miyoshi Kondo "Yurt"

Miyoshi Kondo "Log Cabin"

Miyoshi Kondo "Apartment Complex"

So don't coop yourself up at home, come on down the hen house... I mean, gallery, to see more of these works! Until then, keep on clucking!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Magical World of Miyoshi Kondo

Friends and art lovers! We are so excited to be introducing you to Miyoshi Kondo, a new artist at the gallery. Originally from Toronto, Kondo studied at NSCAD University graduating in 2004, after which she returned to Toronto for a few years before making her way back to the east coast.

Take Off, Gouache on Paper Framed, 26"x36"

Kondo's primary medium is gouache, an opaque water-based paint similar to watercolour, that has a flatter matte finish. Using gouache Kondo is able to achieve clean lines and flat areas of colour. Here is a nice little introduction to gouache if you'd like to know more about the medium: What is gouache paint?

The Lights Are On But No One's Home, Gouache on Paper Framed, 10"x10"

Kondo fell for the medium when she was studying textiles at NSCAD, initially using it to create samples of repeat patterns that would be turned into textiles.

Take Me Home, Gouache on Paper Framed, 20"x12"

Here Kondo talks about creating those samples patterns and how it shifted into the work she's doing today:

"Gouache was the material of choice for this because of the range of colours that can be mixed and the flat, matte finish. I love the medium but began to stray from repeat patterns. Inspiration came from the decay of flora. I would try to capture the beauty of movement and patterns that emerge as the flora wilt and dry. Colour gives vibrancy in remembrance of the previous life contained within each being." 

Kondo's pieces are both thoughtful, nostalgic, and at times humorous, as evident in her series "The Chickens Come Home to Roost".

The Chickens Come Home to Roost... Yurt, Gouache on Paper Framed, 4"x4"

Come see these works in person, you won't believe their precision was done by hand. See more of Kondo's wonderful work at Argyle Fine Art here: Miyoshi Kondo

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

...Chasing the clouds away.

Oh those sunny days. It's September in Nova Scotia which means it's the last beautiful month of summer and time to get those last few beach days in while you can. If you can't make it all the way to the beach to chase those clouds away, we've got some pieces that will transport you there...

Katharine Burns, Clouds Over a Sandy Beach, Oil on Board, 24"x30"

Dawn or dusk, the beach is a sweet escape any time of day. The sky lights up and fills with colour, and no one captures those last bits of light better than Gordon MacDonald.

Gordon MacDonald, No Wind, Oil on Copper, 8"x10"
 Even overcast days at the beach can take your breath away, as Katharine Burns shows in Reflecting Beach.

Katharine Burns, Reflecting Beach, 8"x8", Oil on Board

Or just lay down and look up to get lost in those beautiful coastal clouds, like in this lovely grouping by MacDonald:

Cloud Memory Grouping by Gordon MacDonald

Can't make it all the way to the beach? Why not go for a dip in one of our many wonderful lakes? Danny Abriel captured the blue skies and secluded feeling of sitting along the shoreline, listening to nothing but the wind in the trees and the water gently moving.

Danny Abriel, Pond at Midday, 24"x36", Acrylic on Canvas

Take advantage of these lovely September days and pop into the gallery to prolong them all year round!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Craft - New work by Shelley Mitchell

Attention Shelley Mitchell lovers this one is for you! Opening Friday, September 16th from 7-9pm is Mitchell's latest solo show - Craft. As always with Mitchell the work does not disappoint. We've given you a few sneak peaks of the work and are happy to tantalize you with a few more...

Shelley Mitchell, Mahogany, Oil on Canvas, 36"x24"
Here Mitchell talks about her work in her own words:

"I spend a great part of my time on and near water and am still amazed by the ingenuity and beauty of small craft and their relationship to the ocean in all its’ moods. Their shapes, colors and relationship to the water are endlessly diverse and each one has a character and history that is the element I’m trying to portray in my paintings."

Shelley Mitchell, Deep Blue, Oil on Canvas, 30"x40"
"A boat’s relationship with the water is critical, especially that line where “wood” meets “water”. The water itself in its’ endless movement is a miracle of design and such a challenge to capture! I want the sound and fury of a huge Atlantic roller and the rippling calm of the harbour and the way late sun reflects blindingly in a calm evening. I can't imagine ever being tired of the subject and the attempt to share it with others who love and understand the ocean."

Mitchell's dog, Bow, helps out in the studio. Bow was named after the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, and is Mitchell's BFF.

Mitchell was kind enough to share some shots of her studio as well, so you can go behind the scenes and catch a glimpse into her process.

Finished and in-process pieces go up on the wall.
Don't miss your chance to come and chat with Mitchell at her opening. If you're not able to make it to the opening the show will be up from Septemeber 16th until October 4th.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ART Not Posters! Back to School sales for Students in September

Well hello STUDENT art collectors, this one is for you! During the month of September at the gallery we're offering 10% OFF your purchase with a valid student ID! Instead of stocking up on posters this year, why not start or add to your art collection with work by Nova Scotia artists? We have some great pieces for you at every price point! From limited edition prints, to folk art, to original paintings, to ceramics... well, we've got something for everyone. And don't forget we do payment plans and would be happy to chat about them!

Now students, I know you've got a lot of reading ahead of you so instead of droning on, and on, and on... I'm just going to leave you with some fun visuals...

Yo Rodeo, Looseleaf Paper, 22.5"x30, Sketchbook Screenprint

Kimberley Eddy, Water Dance 2, Acrylic Paint, Ink and Resin on Canvas, 8"x8"

Stress Relief Voodoo Doll to let out a little pressure?

Cards like this Carlton Card by Jodie Hansen are great to frame!
Nick Brunt, Bell Jar #2, 8"x10", Acrylic on Board
Karolina Anna Hajna makes the dreamiest ceramics that are perfect for low maintenance air plants.
Michelle St Onge captures your downtown memories in this print!

Michelle St Onge, Geo Cat Birdie, 8"x10", Glow-in-the-Dark Screenprint

Okay, maybe a few words because the piece above GLOWS IN THE DARK!! Have a good semester, we look forward to seeing you at the gallery!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back to COOL

Ah, late August. You can just feel it in the air. The weather slowly starts to shift and back-to-school preparations begin. While neither of us at the gallery are going back-to-school per-say, we are in the spirit of back to school preparations to help the awesome folks at the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank with their Back to School Supplies Program. Parker Street provides 800 backpacks with school supplies to families in need, and currently they only have 200 backpacks ready for September.

We know our gallery community is filled with people like you who like to help out, and we'd like to thank you for doing so! Right now at the gallery if you donate $20+ or bring in $20 worth of school supplies you'll receive **15% off your art purchase (**some exceptions apply). OR bring in lightly used or new backpack and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for the gallery. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

Now back to art business. This week we've received some great new work, like these pieces from George Spencer. These two paintings from George are a great way to extend the local strawberry season indefinitely!

George Spence, Study for Strawberries and Cream, 8"x10", Oil on Board

Or for kicking back after you've dropped the kids off at school for the semester with a chilled glass of wine:

George Spencer, Bowl with Wine and Berries, 11"x14", Oil on Board

You can see more of George's work online here.

This new painting by Caitlin McGuire (yes, I am writing about myself in the third person) might be a familiar scene to those who have loved ones studying across Canada and abroad...

Caitlin McGuire, And Then I Saw Her Standing There, 12"x24", Oil on Board

Can you place it? Or how about this one for folks who commute across the harbour for work and school?

Caitlin McGuire, Ferry Now Boarding, 5"x7", Oil on Board

Caitlin (yes, me) will have more pieces arriving later in the week, but in the meantime you can see more of her (my) work online here.

We also have a special 30% off work by Stuart Melanson, including these beautiful pieces that seem to beckon Fall and Spring at the same time...

Stuart Melanson, Smooth Sailing, Acrylic on Board, 10"x5.75"

Stuart Melanson, Spring Fever, Acrylic on Board, 8"x10"

Stuart Melanson, Leaf Study, Acrylic on Board, 8"x10"

Whether you're just getting back to town or are getting ready to head out again, we'd love to see you, so pop in and say, "Hi!", soon, would ya?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Exploring the Canadian Landscape with Mark Brennan

If there's anything you can say about artist Mark Brennan's connection to the rugged Canadian landscape it's that it's is a pure one. A naturalist in the truest sense, Mark's love and respect for Canada's deep woods and waterways comes through in every one of his paintings. His work doesn't just represent the wilderness he's engaging with but also embodies his experience with nature.

Mark on a trip to Northern Ontario.

In addition to his paintings Mark also records sound when he's in the woods, creating a multi-sensory experience. And don't think that weather is a deterrent to Mark - he camps all year round, even setting up a special winter tent with a heater where he can submerge himself in nature and paint all year round.

Snow at First Light, Drysden Lake, Pictou Co, Oil on Board, 10"x12"

Here Mark talks about his painting, Snow at First Light, which is a scene from Drysden Lake here in Pictou Co, Nova Scotia:

In the late winter I mostly stay close to home to paint on location. I had gone out to work one morning at a lake about 10km from my studio. The lake seems to run as part of a rough line where the topography changes and becomes mostly Boreal forest. This was what drew me, the Black Spruce swamp, the frozen lake and of course the first light of dawn.

Painting Snow At First Light was about capturing the most fleeting moment that morning, one that lasted perhaps a few minutes and then was gone forever. When I am alone in a place like this, at dawn, about to paint, I try to give myself to the work. I try to bring everything felt, heard or seen to this one focal point, this one birch panel to express a level of truth I had felt. I want to let the landscape flow into me and then out again in the form of a painting. 

 Mark also made his way to the Georgian Bay in Northern Ontario this past year:

Out on the Georgian Bay.

In 2015 I decided on a late fall trip to Killarney Provincial Park on Georgian Bay, made famous by members of the Group Of Seven nearly a century ago. The park actually became protected because of the efforts of several of these iconic landscape painters.

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Oil on Canvas, 30"x40"
 The painting, Georgian Bay Shoreline, was inspired just after arriving at the edge of Georgian Bay on my last day; I was soon to be heading East towards Muskoka. I had only ever seen glimpses of the Great Lakes before, mostly from highways or while on a train trip across Canada in the 1990’s. Georgian Bay reminded me of my insignificance, everything about this place was vast, the lake, sky, the granite shoreline. I remember climbing down over the worn rocks peering into the depths of this great lake listening to the waves breaking with a deep sigh . The light at the forest edge pulled the fall colours from the shore Maples; they shone with an intensity I was to see later in places like Algonquin and Killbear Provincial Parks. This place deserved to be painted. 

Both Georgian Bay Shoreline and Snow at First Light are up at the gallery right now along with other new work by Mark, like this stunning painting March Sunrise:

March Sunrise, Piper Lake, Pictou County, NS, Oil on Board, 16"x18"

See more of Mark's work online here and the rest of the show at the gallery until August 31st.