Posts Tagged ‘artists’

Call for Submissions: “Phases”

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Our Fall residency call for submissions is here!
This year, our theme is “Phases,” and runs from October 15th to the 23rd. We invite artists to explore progress and metamorphosis in nature, and how we understand it.

Applications are due September 23rd. You can find the link to the form right here.
We can’t wait to hear about your projects!

Off-Season Artists: Andrea Ross

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

With the off-season drawing to a close, we’re at the VERY LAST Off-Season Artists post! If you haven’t been reading along, that’s when Alex, the man who considers refreshing his web page as refreshing as the spring breeze after a long winter, interviews our artists and unpacks their process.
In this installment, we speak with impressionist landscape painter Andrea Ross!

Andrea Ross and her piece “Shake It Down to Earth

So first off, where are you from? What was your experience of the Canadian landscape growing up?
I was born in Oakville and growing up my family cottaged on Skeleton Lake. I did many canoe trips in the Georgian Bay, Port Severn, and Algonquin areas, so rocks, water, and trees are fully engrained in my enjoyment of the outdoors.

“Benjamin Shoreline”

I notice that in your work you tend toward auburn and muted pinks and golds, with a quality of light that seems a lot like the evening just a little before sunset. There’s a very peaceful quality to your paintings! What attracts you to that aesthetic?
I love the evening time just before the sun goes down when the air is still, the light’s low and at a right angle to the landscape, and the shadows are long. Colours become deeper and much less bleached out by the light. It’s a time when I like to venture out in my canoe or Kayak.

How about your influences? What artists would you say inspire you most?
I very much admire the work of Ottawa artist Philip Craig. Earlier I studied work by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt as well as the Group of Seven—specifically MacDonald, Thompson, and Jackson).
My mentor, my aunt Eila Ross had a career as a medical artist and I completed a degree in Fine Art at the University of Guelph, concentrating on drawing with the thought that I would go into medical Art. After graduating Guelph, I decided that was enough school for me, so I took a different route and created art for pleasure.

“Hypnotic”

I understand that you’ve done a lot of work in pastels. That seems like a very different medium. How has that influenced the way you paint?
My first love was drawing and with the pastel medium—you can draw with pure colour. I have learned much about colour through my pastel paintings. My goal when switching to oils was to make them look like pastels yet do away with the framing that a pastel requires. I also wanted to work larger, and that’s difficult when you have to frame under glass.

“Sailor’s Rest”

There’s a really neat contrast between your land and trees and your water. There are these bold, broad strokes on the land and a real luminosity in the water. I’d love to hear about how you developed that style!
Generally, I work from drawing with paint to working up the shapes in the design, then creating the form in each major shape and finally working out the details in the focus area. Building the colour from dark to light and intensifying any areas I want the viewer to focus on. There is definitely a process with each painting which I try to follow. Sometimes this process is amazingly fast and in other paintings I slowly work through problem areas.
Sometimes to develop certain feelings I use a specific stroke and change the size and shape of brush.

“Good Footings”

In terms of your subjects, we see a lot of familiar views in your paintings from around Algonquin and the Muskokas. What would you say is your favourite spot in the outdoors?
Without a doubt, my favourite spot is right where I live on Skeleton Lake, but I do love Algonquin Park and am extremely happy to be able to get to the park within an hour and enjoy this fantastic, natural, unspoiled area.

And last but not least, what’s something we might not know about you?
I am a very keen 470 sailor and love to listen to classical music, especially when I paint.

“Hut Hike”

And that’s that for our Off-Season Artists series this year! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as we’ve enjoyed writing.
Now we’re hard at work getting everything ready for the new season, starting June 1st. Stay posted for updates and info about our artists and the activities we’ll be putting on this year. We can’t wait to see you!

Rhiannon Vogl: Landscape, Experience, Memory, Expression

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The creators from our summer residency have had some time to process their experience and now, back in Ottawa and Luskville, Rhiannon Vogl and Manon Labrosse are working toward the project they started at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station. They’ll be keeping us apprised of their progress as the work moves on, so stay tuned!
In this post, Rhiannon tells us about her history with Ontario’s wilderness, her thoughts on landscape, and the beginnings of Manon’s artistic enterprise at the AWRS…

Photo-credit: Rémi Thériault

Thinking about my connection to Northern Ontario, specifically that in and surrounding Algonquin Park, I can’t help but find myself returning to Margaret Atwood’s iconic statement that “all landscapes are psychological.” I’ve referred to her writing in Wilderness Tips several times in relation to other artists work – Zachari Logan, Peter Doig, Sarah Anne Johnson – and of course, with this residency, was looking towards considering it in relation to the paintings of Manon Labrosse. Which, returning now after my time in the Park, I still certainly will…

I have yet, however, to turn that phrase towards myself, my own work as a writer, and my own experiences of the natural world. Exposed, expansive, secluded, sublime, the land seems to present itself to artists as that which can be written upon, consumed, possessed, but also equally possessing, imposing and manipulative. Rarely just about nature, only about the vista, or the world “out there,” landscapes seem always already loaded with that which exists “in here.”

Having spent five days steeping in the wilderness, staying in an incredibly unique and special area of Algonquin, rarely visited by the public, the “in here”-ness of the land began to reveal itself in ways I am only beginning to start to process.

Until I was 19, I lived in Powassan Ontario, just north of the Park’s border. The landscape of the Canadian Shield is one that is simultaneously nostalgic and familiar, a source of current wonder but also tinged with malaise – a place I unabashedly rejected while growing up. I no longer have a family home there, yet it is nearly impossible for me to imagine life disconnected from this part of the country.

Psychologically, and physiologically, this landscape is truly inside me, part of my internal memory-scape, that, while on residency, I was able to access more intensely, to feel again in a more tangible way as I moved through my daily activities there – hiking, observing, meditating, and talking with Manon. This immersion was a chance for me to reconnect with a place in myself too long left unvisited…

Reflecting on what we saw, experienced and discussed while in the Park, it dawns on me how lucky I am, as a writer, to be able to see an artist in the midst of inspirational shifts, watching her growth and excitement for new work on the horizon, and being able to share events and encounters that will in turn shape the future work she creates.

Times and spaces like these are rare – and even more invaluable when shared with another creator. Many thanks should be extended to the Algonquin Art Centre and to the Wildlife Research Station, for welcoming us and for allowing for this creativity to begin unfolding…


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