Posts Tagged ‘mixed media’

Daniel St-Amant: Convergence

Monday, August 15th, 2016

We’re very excited to be hosting our artist, former residency-holder, and good friend Daniel St-Amant for his solo-show, Convergence!

You might remember that last October, Daniel spent a week at Algonquin Provincial Park’s Clarke Lake Cabin. He used that time to gather specimen and natural materials like mud and leaf-litter, to take in the inspiration of the park, and to plan large-scale artworks. His days were spent working on his craft, and at night he got to hear the howling Algonquin wolves.

In the past, Daniel used his signature technique—laying canvasses on the road to pick up the impression of passing cars’ tire-tread, the painting wildlife—to signify the way nature is often closed in and crowded out by human intervention. He would place animals within the confines of human encroachment. But since his time in the wild, his style has moved in a different direction…

Works in progress for the show!

Lately, rather than using human elements as structures of confinement, Daniel allows his wildlife to grow out of the mixed environment of urban and natural materials. It’s a hopeful message about the convergence between the human and animal worlds, and the ways that their interaction can be healthy. It’s an evolution and a progression, conjured up from the melding of very tangible materials from the real world, incorporated into artistic creativity. Daniel has perfectly expressed the spirit of this season’s overarching theme, Metamorphosis.

Join us from now untilSeptember 15th to see these completed pieces and reflect on Convergence in person!

Perennial Threshold Artist in Residence!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve selected an artist for our Spring 2016 residency, Perennial Threshold.! Friends of Algonquin Art Centre and lovers of all things art and nature… meet Sarah Carlson!

Sarah’s an artist from the GTA with a BFA from York University and a close relationship with the outdoors. She’s explored the backcountry in every way you can imagine, from cycling and paddling to hiking and scaling rock walls!
Her work straddles a number of different media including painting, printmaking, repurposed objects, and collage, while combining seemingly disparate techniques like representative portraiture and geometric abstraction. Just now she’s fascinated by mystical encounters between the realms of the human and the wild. Her work treats themes of growth, decay, symbiosis, and regeneration. You can see why she’s a perfect fit for Perennial Threshold!
Just take a look at this composite piece, “Canmore Caribou.”

From March 11th to the 21st, our partners at Algonquin Provincial Park have provided Sarah lodgings at their Clarke Lake cabin. She’ll be able to use that as a base of operations for her explorations, art-making, and the much needed time in the wild that every naturist-creator needs.
Sarah will also be leading activities and demonstrations at the Visitor Centre at various points throughout the week and they’re open to the public. So stay posted for exact dates and times.
In the meantime, congratulations to Sarah. We can’t wait to see what you get up to in this beautiful part of Ontario!

 

Golden Encore Residency: The Follow-up

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

You’ll remember that in October, we partnered with Algonquin Provincial Park in hosting Daniel St-Amant for the Golden Encore Artist’s Residency. Since then he’s been working hard on the projects he began there.
We asked Daniel to talk about the experience and update us on his progress. Here’s a look at the amazing work he came up with and his thoughts on his time in the park…

When I was growing up I was raised in the country. I spent as much time as I could in the woods, wandering, exploring, playing, and imagining what it would be like to live in another time, one where survival depended on the way of the land. So naturally when I was approached by Algonquin and the Art Centre with the idea of doing an artistic residency in the park, I jumped at the opportunity.

My plan was to bring as much paint and canvas as possible so that I could maximize my week, to use this precious time allotted to me to catch up on commissions and projects I haven’t been able to work on… basically just become a painting factory. I thought this because my day to day reality is pretty hectic. I live in the city and have a career as a VFX and digital painter. Usually, I can only spend weekends and evenings in my painting studio. On top of all that, I am also a husband and father of 2 beautiful children. As you can imagine, my life is busy, but busy in a fantastic way. So getting a week alone in the woods with no work or any distractions meant I could paint like a hurricane until I unpacked and sat at the little picnic table that was outside my cabin overlooking the lake.

I had this whole thing planned out. It was going to be extremely productive, except the moment I arrived I forgot about all my plans, I forgot about my schedule, I forgot about my timelines and deadlines. I honestly was so at peace with my surroundings. And that’s when my sense of exploration took over, something I hadn’t felt since my childhood. I began by walking in the woods every day, first thing after my cup of coffee. I would walk and collect specimens like a mad scientist, anything that peaked my interest in terms of colour or texture. At that time of year, you can just imagine how alive the woods are with colours, as if you’re walking through a Tom Thomson painting. This, to me, was heaven. I probably collected ten buckets full of leaves and branches and moss, basically anything that I felt I had to have. I gathered my thoughts and came up with a plan of making collage paintings using dirt and objects that I picked up on the way. I sectioned off the cabin. One room was designated for drying out my samples, which I spread out on the floor and flattened under books, and another room was for painting and drawing. I even had a room that I used for my wood shop to make stretchers. It was fantastic. I began experimenting with different media that I could use in addition to my current practice.

a canvas prepared with local materials

My typical work uses dirt and grime collected from the busy city streets. As my canvass are spread over the roadways cars run over them leaving their markings. This is a metaphor that represents humanity’s technologies that are causing harm to the environment.  Typically I create backdrops made out of these markings, which I use to house the animal portraits I paint.  This work is a direct response to city living. I see squirrels and raccoons running around, trying to avoid humans, all the while trying to survive in an urban setting. Being in the woods, I was away from it. Nature seemed more comfortable. Birds chirped with enthusiasm. Little woodland creatures scampered around happy. I felt that my work would change dramatically if I spent a prolonged time at the lake. My vision of my animal portraits changed into more of an evolutionary standpoint, I pictured animals growing out of my samples of sticks, leaves and bark. Instead of creating a portrait of an animal living within the confines of my tire tracks or “a human presence,” I wanted them to bloom out of the bottom of the canvas like a flower or a tree. It was a real eye opener, how one environment could change my visual reactions and my concision.

The 6 days flew by in retrospect, but while I was there, time was much slower. I spent a few days at the Visitor Centre doing a demonstration and one day at the beautiful gallery at Km 20. Some of my most memorable experiences were the people that I encountered and who helped organize the experience. I would like to especially thank Andrea Coulter and the owners of the Art Gallery, Joel Irwin and Matt Coles. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly I will never forget that short week I spent in my little cabin by the lake.

So now that I sit in my studio a few months after my time in Algonquin, my work has taken a bit of a right turn. No longer am I concerned with a negative outlook on the environment, hoping to spark a reaction out of the viewer. Now I am more interested in creating work that is a celebratory vision of nature. I now want the viewer to experience a positive reaction to my work. I want the viewer to look at my compositions and think about how beautiful nature is, how resilient it is. As an artist, you are always growing and moving in new directions.
I am extremely excited to see what’s to come.

another of Daniel’s residency-pieces in progress

We’re so grateful that we can be part of giving artists the opportunity to pursue their craft and communicate their love of creation with Algonquin visitors. We’re committed to continuing these residencies. In fact, our spring residency, Perennial Threshold, has an application open to everyone, so if you want the chance to create… apply!
For now, we want to express our thanks to Algonquin Provincial Park and to Daniel himself for making this an amazing experience for everyone involved.

The Golden Encore Artist’s Residency with Daniel St-Amant

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

We have some exciting news!
This October we’re partnering with Algonquin Provincial Park to provide the Golden Encore Artist’s Residency from October 14th to 21st. We’re proud to announce that we’ve chosen Daniel St-Amant to take part in this fantastic experience during one of autumn’s most beautiful times!

Daniel and his work

Daniel originally hails from Sherbrooke, Quebec, and spent time in Halifax at the esteemed Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He eventually landed in Toronto, where he works as a visual effects artist for the film industry.

“The Noble Messenger”

Daniel’s artistic practice represents a blend of wildlife painting and a medium he describes as “modern surface.” He lays his canvasses on road-surfaces in areas of urban traffic or construction, and lets vehicles leave their impressions. Then, in the midst of those urban imprints, he paints wildlife that often seem poised in watchfulness, almost demanding that the viewer engage with them. You can see Daniel’s process here. It’s amazing to watch!

“Tácehubana”

Daniel’s work explores the the way human encroachment, driven by consumption, leaves its impression on the landscape and wildlife around us. His paintings’ sombre but resolute subjects stand out and confront the human gaze, forcing us to acknowledge our place within nature, not above it, no matter what indelible marks we might leave on the landscape.

There are a lot of exciting things planned for this residency!
The “Golden Encore” takes place after the main flush of autumn colours. Once the reds and oranges of the maples have gone to sleep, the blazing yellows of the birches, the poplars, and the tamaracks flame up amid the deep greens of the pines and make for shockingly beautiful views. You can read all about it here.
During this dramatic time of year, Daniel will be staying at a lodge inside Algonquin’s boundaries, on Clark Lake near the East Gate. He’ll get the chance to take in the peaceful setting around the lake, walk in the woods, reflect on his artistic practice, and spend some time on his own projects, some of which may be hanging in the Algonquin Art Centre next season!
Our friends at the park tell us that there’s often a wolf-pack in the area. Being in such close proximity to one of our most magnificent animals can’t help but inspire a wildlife-artist…

Clark Lake
Imagine getting to look out on this view, flushed with yellow amid the howling of the wolves!

Daniel will also be taking part in art-demonstrations that’ll be free and open to the public. On Friday, October 16th, he’ll be at the Algonquin Art Centre. Then on Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th he’ll be at the Algonquin Visitor Centre at km 43 on Hwy 60. Each of those days you’ll be able to see Daniel at work from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM, ask him any questions you might have, and just hang out with a compelling artist in an inspiring setting.
Again, that’s all free and open to the public. So come in, see the park at its best, and engage with the creator who’s capturing it!

Congratulations Daniel!
We can’t wait to see what you’ll be working on.


Algonquin Art Centre - Gallery in the Heart of Algonquin Park

open June 1 - October 19

10 am to 5:30 pm daily

 

located at km 20 on Hwy #60

in the Heart of Algonquin Park

 

(705) 633-5555 / 1-800-863-0066

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