Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Facet-nating World of Julian Covey Ceramics

Today we'd like to introduce you to ceramic artist Julian Covey. Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and having grown up in Montreal, Julian returned to the East Coast to study at NSCAD University, where he fell in love with clay. His ceramic vessels encompass both traditional and contemporary elements of functional pottery.

You may remember Julian's work from when we had Miyako Ballesteros from the Ikebana Shop create her floral displays using his vessels.

Ceramics by Julian Covey, Wallpaper by Briana Corr-Scott, Ikebana by Miyako Ballesteros

Currently we have a range of Julian's faceted porcelain functional wear including mugs and crystalline canisters with lids.

His colours are spectacular, the view from above one of his crystalline canisters shows off Julian's care and consideration when glazing the facets of his work. For Julian the process of making the works is intuitive, and he uses "the creative process as a tool to delve into the subconscious. Ideas around perception and balance drive the artworks, as does the materiality of the clay itself."

They also pair very nicely with the paintings by Katharine Burns and Gordon MacDonald we currently have on display.

We would have liked to introduce you to Julian's works sooner, but the last time he made a delivery the works left the gallery almost as soon as they arrived!

Pop in soon to enjoy them in person! Cheers from the gallery!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Welcome our NEW STAFF!

We have some NEW STAFF members here at Argyle Fine Art, and they won't mind us saying, they're a bunch of real wild animals! We'd like to introduce you to some of them...

First, our super lax security Ward the Wolf and Ferdinand the Fox will greet you at the door.

Next up you'll meet Neville the Owl, he may appear to be grumpy but really he enjoys greeting everyone and ensuring they sign the guestbook on the way out!

As you know we shuffle around the work in the gallery on a weekly basis. Thanks to Samuel the Lemur and Chubby the Chipmunk we have two sets of extra hands (extra paws?) to assist us with hanging work! Both of these little fellas are great climbers and did a wonderful job hanging this painting by artist Gordon MacDonald!

We also have a new addition to the customer service team, with Priscilla the Skunk answering the phones! They don't get any friendlier than Priscilla, who would be happy to assist you with all of your art inquiries!

We've got Florence the Cow managing our books, you couldn't ask for a better accountant than ol' Flo. Just don't interrupt her in the middle of doing "paperwork"...

And thank heavens for Karl the Kiwi! We're both terrible with plants so he's been giving us a hand ensuring they not only stay alive but thrive in the gallery!

Ekaterina the Cat says she's keeping an eye on the delicate ceramics in the window, but we all know she's really just lounging in the sun. Can't say we blame her, come afternoon the sunshine in the window is divine. Especially if you're prone to sleeping eighteen hours a day.

And we are so grateful to our new packing and shipping team - William the Donkey, Mac the Musox, Gary the Gnu and Ben the Brown Bear. We send work out across the country and beyond every week so the more hands on deck the better!

We hope you've enjoyed getting to know our new staff members! Pop in to say "hi" to them and the rest of the amazing felted animals by artist Dorothyanne Brown! Each has so much personality you won't be able to resist them!

Happy weekend!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Let's Hear It For the DADS!!

Father's Day is about a week away - June 19th for those of you who might need a little reminder - so it's time to celebrate Dad! If you haven't had a chance to pick something up for Dad yet, don't panic, we have you covered!

Let's get started with a few cards from our Father's Day selection...

Allison Taylor

The Regional Assembly of Text

Jodie Hansen
Laura Roy

Once you've picked out the perfect card we'd be happy to help you pick out a gift! 

For your techy Dad, maybe a money clip made out of old watch gears?

Money Clip by Elle Paisley Designs

Or for the fancy Father in your life, how about a set of Lego cufflinks?

Or how about a BRAND NEW BOAT? Whoa whoa who, you might be saying, a new boat might be a bit extravagant... How about a new boat made from a SHOE? That's right, a shoe! 

Shoe Boat by Kim Danio

Or maybe a kayak or canoe is more Dad's speed?

Shoe Kayaks, Canoe and Car by Kim Danio

Or maybe Dad's more of a land lover - how about as some bikes so he and mom can go on some off-road adventures?

Shoe Car and Bikes by Kim Danio

No matter what you route you decide to take we hope everyone has a great weekend and Happy (almost) Father's Day to all your Dad's out there!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sea Level: New Works by Katharine Burns

We'd love to invite you to tomorrow night's opening of SEA LEVEL - Friday June 10th, 7-9PM - a show of new works by artist Katharine Burns that explore and celebrate what it means to live by the ocean. Born in Halifax, Katharine studied at NSCAD University, graduating in 2009 with her BFA.

The subject of Katherine's work has varied but she has a style that is distinctly her own. Inspired by her surroundings she approaches her work in a painterly, yet sophisticated manner. Her work can be found in various private collections across Canada.

Katharine talks about her work in her own words:

Having lived in Nova Scotia most of my life, the ocean has always been a source of inspiration and is deeply personal to me. In creating these works I intend to not simply capture an image with paint; rather, through colour, texture and composition to communicate a sense of a moment in time, an experience, a memory. I have not painted an object in a landscape; instead, I seek to create a sense of space in a landscape by playing with the almost spiritual relationship between sea and sky, to calm those powerful natural forces into a feeling.

Katharine truly captures the ebb and flow of the sea.  SEA LEVEL evokes those powerful feelings of being by the ocean that you can appreciate whether you're a local, or just visiting Nova Scotia and our coastlines.

The show is hung and ready for you to feast your eyes upon it! We look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening to celebrate Katharine and her beautiful work! Here are a couple of sneak peaks to tide you over until then...

Glisten, 18"x23.5", Oil on Canvas

Ridges, 16"x16", Oil on Board

Friday, June 3, 2016

Crustacean Invasion

The crustaceans are coming! The crustaceans are coming! 

Loafer Lobsters by Kim Danio

Actually they're already here...

Lobster Loafers by Kim Danio

We've been over taken by artist Kim Danio's amazing reclaimed shoe crustaceans. Danio is such a clever and considered artist, there isn't anything she can't create out of a previously loved shoe, but these loafer lobsters truly are something else!

Loafer Lobsters by Kim Danio

Lobsters aren't getting all the crustacean love today though, these two adorable hermit crabs have also scuttled into the gallery.

Reclaimed Shoe Hermit Crabs by Kim Danio

These guys are so cute they definitely need some names. Any suggestions?

Reclaimed Shoe Hermit Crabs by Kim Danio

Lastly we can't forget about our most invasive crustacean pal of all, the green crab! While he may not be native to Nova Scotia, he's really enjoying the Maritimes. So much so that in addition to Danio's reclaimed shoe crab, artist Angela Doak has created prints and even an orginial miniature green crab collage.

Reclaimed Shoe Green Crab by Kim Danio, with framed original collage and crab print by Angela Doak

Green Crab Original Collage, Angela Doak Paper, 4"x5"

Thanks for stopping by, softshell and hardshell pals alike!

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