Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Studio Rally Weekend in Nova Scotia

Okay....so i've skipped a few months of blogging....but hey, it's not that i'm lazy...it's just that there are so0o0o0o many amazing things to see and do this time of year. Yes, gardening takes up a good deal of time, creating things for galleries and the Wolfville Farmer's Market does too, and of course spending time with Gleen!!

A couple of weekends ago Gleen & I decided to take some and check out a few artists' studios in the area. Nova Scotia has a wonderful map of artists, photos of their work, directions and studio hours of the many artists who live here and have studios open to the public. I have visited many studios on this very special weekend which happens once a year and this year we decided to visit the studios of artists who also live in the valley area within 25 minutes drive from our own house.

On these travels, we visited the studio of Holly Carr and Alan Bateman. Alan's paintings are illuminated realism. On this day I viewed a piece of work in progress of a pie...it looked so good and so real I felt as though I could smell the freshly baked pie waiting for me to enjoy a piece! Holly paints bold, satirical and botanical images on silk. Her work certainly brings a smile to my face in all of its' whimsy and colour!! And she has a personality to boot!! Actually, they are both very charming and live in a beautiful home at the base of a mountain with 2 very adorable children. You can view their work online at www.studiocanada.com as well as galleries throughout the country.

The second studio we visited was that of Bob Hainstock's. He's a printmaker and painter who lives at the top of the North Mountain and has an amazing view of the Annapolis Valley! It's quite easy to see where Bob's inspiration comes from - with a view like that there's no need to look further! W0W!!!! Bob is such a prolific artist and a very intriguing one as well. You can see that his mind and need for experimentation never really stop. His studio was filled with stunning pieces of woodblocks, monoprints, collagraphs, mixed media, handmade seaweed paper and paintings. I love his sense of colour and bold design. He takes everyday images and turns them into something quite dreamy and abstract. Amazing!! You can view Bob's online gallery at www.theprintmaker.ca and his work is collected internationally.

The third inspiring studio I visited was a beautiful old purple house with large floral paintings hung on the outside. Gudren's studio is a mere hop, skip and jump from my place. I often drive by thinking, hmmmm, I should really visit this gallery. Well, I finally did it...and I was definitely excited about Gudren Mueller-Both's work. She too is a printmaker and painter. Her gallery space was filled with incredible colour, stunning vistas of the valley, particularly the dykelands. Her work consists of woodblocks, etchings, collage and paintings. I loved them all...my head was spinning as I explored each piece with vivid colours and bold images. Her home is also surrounded by stunning gardens which are another source of inspiration for her. She is such a delightful person to speak with!

What can I say? All three studios were abound of creativity, colour, bold images, incredible personalites and a mere glimpse into the world of artists. My visits completely confirmed for me that doing what you are passionate about can only bring joy, happiness and a sense of the world that very few fully open their eyes and minds to. So thank you to all of the artists out there who gave up their weekend to share their homes, galleries, studios, and themselves for others to enjoy!

I would definitely like to fill my home with a piece by each of these artists. I will include this on my list of goals and would love the opportunity to support local artists! If you happen to be in or are visiting Nova Scotia any time of year you can find these artists online with the studio rally at www.studiorally.ca. Happy exploring!!

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