Friday, May 27, 2016

Kitty Camping with Michelle St Onge

It may be apparent to some that we at the gallery are fans of our feline friends. It turns out many of our artists are as well, including Michelle St Onge. You probably know Michelle from her awesome graphic prints of Halifax scenes or colourful animals, but with this project she took a little more of a 3D approach... We'll let her tell you about it in her own words:

"Cat obsessed… check
Textile designer… check
Handy with tools… check
Bored on a Friday night… check

I recently got back from a trip to Paris and while visiting my incredibly chic friend Alexia I spotted a cool tent from The Conran Shop for her three year old in her living room. Her son loved spending time in it. Hiding out or chilling’ out."


"Fast forward to a cold night back in Halifax. I had about three meters of my new Cat Eyes print on crisp white cotton sitting on my work table doing nothing. And I realized I knew someone else that loved hiding out and chilling’ out; my cat Birdie."
Birdie St Onge

"Birdie is definitely ‘a caver’ meaning she likes to be under things and in small spaces. With nothing better to do I drew up a pattern for a tiny tent, cut, sewed, ironed, sawed, drilled and sanded. And voila! The Cat tent. You can keep it indoors for a place for your cat to chill or send it outside in the summer to give your cat a place to escape the sun on your patio or lawn."
Birdie St Onge
Kim Danio's reclaimed shoe kitties are also really loving their "glamping" adventure in the gallery.

Kim Danio Reclaimed Shoe Kitties & Michelle St Onge Cat Tent
Pop in today to see more cat related works by Michelle, like these GLOW-IN-THE-DARK Geo kitties...
Michelle St Onge, Geo Cat Birdie, 8"x10", Glow-in-the-Dark Screenprint

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

...and more from our other feline loving artists! Happy Friday!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Artist Feature: Anna Fiander

Today on the blog we're featuring emerging artist Anna FianderAnna grew up in Queens County, N.S., moving to Halifax for her education. She trained and worked as a professional librarian and researcher, but her heart has always been in the world of art. After retiring she fulfilled her lifelong dream in 2015 when she graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Painting.

Explore, Acrylic on Canvas, 32"x40"

Anna's developed a practice that is very much her own. Her paintings involve the exploration of colour, line and form. She wants the viewer to take pleasure in the multiplicities of the colour relationships while exploring the intricacies of the layers of lines and geometric forms merging and diverging over the surface of her pieces. The play between uniformity and aberration creates an escape and an adventure for the viewer, making each approach fresh and unique.

Bamboo, Acrylic on Canvas, 12"x24"

"I sketch a layout, usually geometric, sometimes parallel lines and then envision a colour scheme. I have my favourites but other colours have to be brought in for contrast or startling effect. Next I sketch a secondary layer which will selectively cover the primary painting. For this step I use various widths, masks and/or other adhesives specifically cut to my specs using rotary cutters. After applying the adhesives I apply a sealer and then another layer of colour - it may be based on theory or what I feel will go well with my intentions overall. This is purely a mental thing based on feelings but not explained by colour charts."

"Then the hardest part - I cover the entire canvas with the colour I have mixed. Usually I have fallen in love with the primary painting, so that is why this step is difficult - painting over the exposed primary painting and the adhesive surfaces. I then let the layer dry and continue the process of applying adhesives and colour, always keeping in mind the orientation and colours of what lies beneath.Then comes the really fun part - carefully peeling off all the various adhesives to reveal parts of the primary original painting covered with layers (sometimes as many as a dozen) to reveal the finished piece. Always a surprise and a discovery of new ways to proceed with the next one."

Terracotta, Acrylic on Canvas, 18"x24" 

Anna is interested in creating more than just a visually appealing picture. “Our visual perception system is the most complex of our senses. The eye provides the mechanism of seeing, but the brain processes colour in two separate parts of the brain - one deals with luminance perception and the other with hue recognition. In addition, other parts of the brain provide memory, experience, emotional response and contextual significance on a personal level. Thus, each person's viewing of a painting is unique."

Linen Lines, Arylic on Canvas, 18"x24"

"My paintings are not about world issues. They are a personal communication with your views of colour. The quest is to flex your perception, illuminate and relax your brain while stimulating your emotional connections to colour.

The ultimate aim is to bring colour enjoyment and exploration pleasures to the viewer in an experience that opens an interactive, fascinating portal to awareness of self.”

Thank you Anna for sharing your process and methods with us. Come see Anna's work in person to appreciate it's full visual effects and textures after you get back from the long weekend! Cheers!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rest and Relaxation and Art for the May Long Weekend

Well, hello there! My name is Sydney the Squirrel, I hear you may be heading out of the city and into the wilderness this May long weekend! I may be a city squirrel now but I have some fun getaway inspired pieces from the gallery I currently call home to share with you!

Sydney the Squirrel, Dorothyanne Brown

Planning on relaxing by the water in an Adirondack chair? How about an Adirondack chair made of recycled cutlery like this piece by Al Hattie? This one is the perfect size for me!

Al Hattie, Adirondack Chair, Reclaimed Cutlery
Al Hattie, Adirondack Chair, Reclaimed Cutlery

Or why not grab some colouring sheets for quieter days at the cottage? I love to colour and there are some great colouring pages by local artists Jodie Hansen, Briana Corr Scott, Susan Black and more at the gallery.

Colouring Pages

There are also grab bags of Odd Bird Designs trinkets and jewellery for just $12! A great little gift for friends, grandkids, your favourite squirrel (hint hint)...

Grab bags of Odd Bird Designs!

If you're like me and will be in the city this weekend do what I do and escape through art! Dreaming of a canoe trip? Transport yourself to the lake with this piece by Mark Brennan!

Canoe at Whitesand Lake, 20"x24", Acrylic on Canvas, Mark Brennan

Or how about placing yourself in one of these fantastic imaginary landscapes by Nick Brunt!

The View from Here, 9"x12", Acrylic on Board, Nick Brunt  

The Stills, 8"x10", Acrylic on Board, Nick Brunt

The View from Cambridge Head, 8"x10", Acrylic on Board, Nick Brunt

Camp at Souls Lake, 9"x12", Acrylic on Board, Nick Brunt

Camp at Third Lake, 9"x12", Acrylic on Board, Nick Brunt

Whether you're in the city or the country  this weekend I hope you get some rest and relaxation and chance to make and enjoy art!

           Signing off, 

           Sydney the Squirrel

Thursday, May 12, 2016

SPRING/LIGHT: Enticing Spring with Briana Corr Scott

Ah May, what a beautiful month. Full of hope and new beginnings, the wind is getting warmer and the trees are budding. The sun is shining and colour is returning to our Maritime landscape. As the colours of nature unfold outside they are in turn unfolding in the gallery within the works of Briana Corr Scott. Spring/Light opened on May 6th and will be up until May 24th. A beautiful celebration of light and nature, Corr Scott's work features flora and other magical treasures, including beautiful ceramic pieces and seashells.

Briana Corr Scott, Peonies and Shell, 30"x40", Oil on Board

The real feature of these works though is their light. The way Corr Scott has handled her subjects makes them glow from within.

Briana Corr Scott, Orchid & Mussel, 12"x12", Oil on Board
Briana Corr Scott, Orchid & Copper, 20"x24", Oil on Board
Not one to limit herself Spring/Light not only features Corr Scott's oil paintings but her delicately rendered watercolour illustrations as well.

Briana Corr Scott, Quince & Nasturtium, 8"x8", Watercolour on Paper

Corr Scott has also managed to awaken the gallery by turning her illustrations into wallpaper. Along with artist Miyako Ballesteros of  The Ikebana Shop's display the gallery is just filled with blooming life and goodness. See all of Spring/Light online here. Make sure to pop in to the gallery though as no photograph can capture the colour, texture and light in these beautiful pieces.

Paintings, Wallpaper and Illustrations by Briana Corr Scott, Ikebana by Miyako Ballesteros

Blog post bonus:

 New works by Gordon MacDonald have floated in to the gallery....

Gordon MacDonald, Cloud Study 73, 7"x7", Oil on Copper

Gordon MacDonald, Cloud Study 74, 7"x7", Oil on Copper

Be sure to stop in to see them soon as his clouds tend to float away as quickly as they arrive! MacDonald will be having a solo show of new work in July at the gallery, but in the meantime you can see more of his work online here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Let's Hear It For The Moms!

It's almost Mother's Day! May 8th for those of you who may need a reminder... How do you properly thank the person who's put up with you for your whole life? You can't really, but we have a few gift ideas that might be a good way to start!

Why not say it with flowers? Flowers that will live on long after Mother's Day is over? We've got a few options for you, like these beautiful flameworked glass pendants (that come with a silver chain) by Jaime Lynn Gardner.

Jamie Lynn Gardner
Jamie Lynn Gardner

There are many more designs and colours of these beautiful pendants to chose from. Or instead of a flower to wear how about one of these Knife Spoon Fork flowers by mixed media artist Al Hattie?

Al Hattie

Al Hattie

They're even more impressive in person! Or if flowers aren't your cup of tea, we have a some new mugs by ceramic artists Jason Desnoyers and Bridget Fairbank that just might be!

Jason Desnoyers

Jason Desnoyers

Bridget Fairbank

Bridget Fairbank

Or if a mug isn't what you're looking for we have lots of other ceramic pieces by Jason and Bridget - planters and platters and teapots, oh my!

Whatever you do for Mother's Day don't forget to pick up a card. We have some great ones in stock from silly to sentimental by Allison Taylor and Jodie Hansen.

Allison Taylor
Jodie Hansen

 And don't forget about Grandma!

Jodie Hansen

Last but not least we want to wish a wonderful first Mother's Day to Crystal Ross, who is currently enjoying her first year of motherhood with baby Velma! We miss you!

Happy Mother's Day Crystal!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

What a beautiful day to celebrate Earth Day! Spring is upon us and the sun is shining!

We're celebrating in the best way we know how, with art! Artist and naturalist Mark Brennan celebrates nature all year round by venturing out into the wilderness across Canada, capturing it's beauty in his paintings and recorded soundscapes.

We've selected a few of  Mark's most recent works as well as some of his thoughts on nature to get you into the spirit of Earth Day. Enjoy!

Waiting For The Moose, Chic Choc Mountains, 11"x14", Acrylic on Board

“I see the landscape as something pure, containing age old rhythms and patterns, and with each painting I seek this ebb and flow of nature that holds us all together, to form our connection to all things wild. I want to light up the eyes of Canadians, to awaken them to this wonderful land, to bring the wilderness home.”

Summer Hunting Lake, Alder Grounds Wilderness, 11"x14", Acrylic on Board

“My work is derived from a philosophy that to truly represent something in an art form we must become totally immersed in our subject.” 

Morning Rain, Kejimkujik National Park, 11"x14", Acrylic on Board
"There are things we must do to ensure the survival of the species we share the Earth with, we all need to develop a deeper understanding of nature, to re-connect ourselves & to tread lightly as we go through life, giving consideration to other living things. We need to develop compassion & come to accept that we don't have the right to reduce the richness of the Earths eco-systems. We need life quality rather than life quantity.”

Through Shoreline Pines, 10"x12", Acrylic on Board

Find more of Mark's work online here and in person at the gallery!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

City of Colour

Hello art lovers and aficionados! We hope you've been enjoying this beautiful, warm and sunny day as much as we have been at the gallery! As the weather gets warmer the city also becomes more colourful, and speaking of colour...

We are so excited that Caitlin McGuire, artist and gallery assistant here at Argyle, has turned one of our favourite paintings, Building a City, into a postcard that YOU can colour! Here is the original painting, which stands at 6'x7'!

Building a City, Oil on Canvas, 6'x7', 2015

Here is Caitlin with the piece to get a sense of it's size:

Caitlin stands at about 5'3" normally, 5'5"-ish with her boots on.

And here is the illustration for the post card, which will be 4"x5"!

Building a City, Caitlin McGuire

 A slight difference in scale from the original. Usually a painting comes after the drawing, but Caitlin reverse engineered her painting so you can add your own colourful spin to the Halifax downtown and waterfront!

The postcards will be arriving tomorrow, and are a great way to share your love of the city and also have some fun and play with colour! And once more, speaking of colour...

How great are these colourful lights on our neigbour down-the-street, the Freak Lunchbox's mural by artist Jason Botkin? We are digging it!