Carol Finkbeiner Thomas is primarily an oil painter whose subjects include landscape, floral and figurative work. Colour, texture and mood play important roles in her works which have been described as evocative and deeply atmospheric. Paintings begin with a loose, freehand drawing, and progress to the building up of the surface of the canvas using brushes, palette knives and a variety of traditional and non traditional methods.
Carol was born in London, Ontario and raised north of Toronto. She returned to London in the early 1990’s after receiving her Honours Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts at York University. She enjoys working in a wide variety of media including drawing, printmaking and pottery.
Born in Holland in 1960, Jeanette discovered the passion to paint after leaving high school while working as a Delft Blue Pottery painter. Working with paint, brushes, and colour felt natural. She obtained a BA in Fine Art and Textiles in 1983 and has since worked as a teacher, graphic designer and art director, but the passion to paint never left.
She left Holland for England in 1989 and then moved to Canada with her young family in 1997.
Jeanette’s work focuses on land- and waterscapes. Having worked with watercolours, acrylics and even the computer as a painting tool, she now works primarily in oils.
Jeanette occasionally teaches art classes and has been involved in various group shows as well as solo exhibitions. Many of her paintings have found their way into private and permanent collections.
“My Backyard” expresses my feelings about London, ON, a city I’ve lived in all but four years of my life. Familiarity breeds contempt, and after living here for so many years, the city often feels dull and uninspired to me. This collection of black and white photographs depicts familiar places with a sense of emptiness I frequently feel about London, but in a way that makes them seem more intriguing.
In the darkroom since the age of eight, Rob Nelson is a second generation photographer. His work has appeared in Saturday Night, The Look, Elm Street, Interview, and the business magazines for both National Post and The Globe & Mail. With subjects such as Prince Andrew, Kirsten Dunst, Karen Kain, and Margaret Atwood, Nelson has not only captured memorable names and faces, but he has also helped introduce notable newcomers such as musician Basia Bulat.
In many respects, a backyard is a space for exploration. The Sifton Bog and the local suburbs were a condensed version of the world that I investigated with my sense of childhood wonder: I could navigate the interface between the plants and the animals, the houses and the humans. Photography enables me to do much the same by expanding and documenting that backyard – that space for exploration and inquiry – to the entirety of London. Here, photography acts as a patron searching through the shop-worn bargain racks of a department store; seeking that diamond in the rough. Its existence may have been disarmed by its surroundings, but when that object is viewed in an alternative context – through photographic composition, rather than the naked eye – It has the power to be just as captivating as any other sight
Jeff Heene was born in Hamilton and has a BFA 1999, in Interdisciplinary Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His focus at NSCAD was on Lithography and Photography. Jeff has worked as a web programmer and freelance graphic designer. For the past nine years Jeff has taught Lithography and Photography and is currently the Head of Visual Art at Bealart.
"For me, My Backyard infers all that is close at hand: the objects and people of my everyday.
Dark corners of the dining room hide the wrinkles in the baseboards that frame the window that allows the trickling sound of the pond in my backyard into the house. The unexpected and out of place encounters of objects I observe in my path cause me to consider my own position in space. The light of the day illuminates banal compositions of colourful parking standards against the beige of ubiquitous neighbourhood buildings. These are the elements of an experience; one that weaves together an understanding of myself as well as those around me and defines an infinitely nuanced grammar of interaction."
Though the photograph functions as a means to record these interactions they cannot offer any analysis. This disfunction is an opportunity to highlight how the record of an experience is contextualized by records previously encountered and results in an interpretation that is unique and special. By creating intentionally disorienting visual interactions of photographic images I hope to explore this disfunction, to weave together randomly encountered objects and scenes of someone that is looking to decipher his place in relation to all that is close at hand.
John Huggins has always brought together modern illustrative characters with serene landscapes in his work. A childhood in Timmins Ontario and a love of nature inspires the peaceful lake scenes and the urban influence of his later years in Toronto can be seen in the quirky illustrations.
For this exhibition, John examines the calming solace of the Ontario wilderness, in contrast with the age of information overload in which news headlines bombard us constantly.
John playfully and provocatively references art history, film and pop culture. His comical cartoon frogs lost in the Renaissance, his callout to Peter Paul Rubens in the title #timesupRubens and his Wizard of Oz characters expressing frustration at today’s political and social situation will make you laugh, but also make you think.
Michael and John’s passion for their art and creative comraderie have made for an exciting, energetic show with a lot to say.
John Huggins studied at Sheridan College, gaining formal training and accreditation in interpretive illustration. Michael Everett attended Bealart and Western for Fine Arts.
The exhibition runs from February 13th – February 24th with an opening reception Saturday February 17th and an Artist Talk on Wednesday February 21st at 7 pm.
"When Jinshan's peasants exhibited their paintings for the first time in the China Art Gallery in Beijing, they were praised in the capital's art circles," writes Cao Zhengfeng. "Their peculiar style showed the rural flavor of Shuixiang County and expressed the painters' love for life. They not only appealed to the aesthetic sense but also revealed the truth of life. The successful exhibition opened up a new type of art, the art of the labouring people, which, for hundreds and thousands of years, had not been acknowledged as a national art. When peasant painting overcame historical prejudice and revealed its charm, people started to look at it with new eyes."
"Another extraordinary phenomenon resulting from peasant painting is that rural women, who have never painted before, paint according to their own free will. Since folk art is different from western painting techniques, instructors in the cultural center taught them to apply their own techniques in designing and colour mixing, which they had learned from embroidery, printing and paper cutting, to painting. When the obstacles between folk art and painting are removed, the peasants' talent and ingenuity for artistic creation are given full play."
Stop by Westland Gallery to see these important works in person and read the book's forward in its entirety.
"Legacy" is on display from January 30th - February 10th 2018.
Denise and Paul are both talented realistic painters, but their chosen subject matter, techniques and palettes set them apart. Denise uses fine, detailed brushwork on small canvases to create intimate landscape paintings. Paul’s kitchen-inspired still lifes are rendered with looser brushstrokes while deep colours maintain a traditional feel.
Denise’s landscape paintings are motivated by the desire to reveal nature’s magic to her audience. Plein air painting plays a significant role in Denise’s artistic practice. Working on location, allows Denise to capture the subtilties of light, weather and time of day. Denise seeks to convey, in her words, “the warmth of the sunshine, the coolness of the shadows, the dancing of the light across the fields… and the heaviness of the air with the impending storm.”
The exhibition will run from January 16th through January 27th. A reception will be held on Saturday January 20th from 1 – 4pm and Artist Talk on Wednesday January 24th at 7pm.
Meghan Dauphinee, currently living and working in BC, was raised here in London Ontario. The paintings in this collection are all happy reminders to the artist of the place where she grew up.
"I think of them as a series of postcards that I would receive from my hometown. The subjects are not necessarily the tourist mainstays that usually grace postcards, but rather they are the places that have left a mark on me."
"I find myself returning to these buildings when I come back to London, or sometimes I even return to them using Google street view. They are a source of inspiration that show up in my sketches and doodles."
"As an artist I feel grateful that such striking sources of interest remain within the context of an ever-changing urban landscape. These places are treasures, unique reminders of what London means, and how it feels to be here. This feeling of my hometown is what I am trying to capture in this body of work. To preserve that feeling, like a postcard from home."