The Ladysmith Gallery is a place for visitors to come and enjoy art but it also offers a place where conversations can be created. And what better theme to get those conversations going than our January show, "Food for Thought", where local artists replied to the theme through brushstrokes, color and imagery but also through text and the titles of their work. Let us introduce you to three artists who join another thirty that are currently show at the gallery for the month of January.
"Abundance" was created using acrylic markers on watercolour paper by Nanaimo, BC artist Marie Heath.
Marie started drawing at a young age, but it wasn't until she took a watercolor class in mid-life that she took art making seriously. After several years of watercolour, she ventured into acrylic painting . This work was created rather spontaneously using a new set of acrylic markers she had just acquired. Having never used these before she was amazed at the intensity of colour.
Although we all recognize from time to time how fortunate we are to live in a place of "Peace and Plenty", when fall descends upon us, we are once again dramatically reminded of our abundance and good fortune.
"My sister in law, who regularly presents me with bouquets in season from her home on Gabriola, arrived this fall with a beautiful arrangement of vegetables and flowers. I was captivated by the rich colours and bold design and immediately wanted to record the bounty before me. It was my inspiration for our challenge of "Food for Thought". I truly believe that the making of art is, in a way, a celebration of our own personal abundance, our way of giving thanks."
Award winning and active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Bonnie Stebbings, interpreted the theme "Food for Thought" not so much the nourishment for our bodies but rather the nourishment for our minds.
"In reading the titles of my paintings, I hope people will understand the urgency to take action to save what we are destroying."
The warning signs of the destruction of our Mother Earth are all around us. Undeniable climate change threatens the survival of all species on our planet and humans are responsible for allowing this to happen.
Both paintings are acrylic on paper. The background is laid in with a silicone shaper using various colours, layer upon layer until I get the desired effect. The main subject matter is then painted with various sized brushes and marking tools. Bonnie's work straddles the genres of abstract impressionism combined with a loose form of realism. Essential to her work is the layering of textures, marks and color to create a history of surface.
Susan Merritt is fairly new to the world of painting and spends time playing, experimenting and finding her style as she embarks on this journey. Working with both acrylic and oils, she enjoys painting still life's, landscapes and semi-abstracts. In her work she hopes to present something that is calming, comfortable or delightful.
When I paint a still life, I want it to be in some way delightful. I have been inspired by Grant Leier to paint colourful birds because they bring such a sense of delight into a painting. I also love to bring an element of the outside world into the inside. As a fairly new painter, I am always experimenting with style and my colour palette. In "The Visitor" I used a limited number of colours, I played with some bolder and more intentional brushstrokes in some areas, and tried to create a sense of direction for the eye to travel through the painting.
These works are part of our January 2024 'Food for Thought' exhibition that runs from January 17 - February 3 at the Ladysmith Gallery, 32 High St., Ladysmith BC. This exhibition was sponsored by Little Valley Collision and Glass.