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."
"I love colours and patterns, but more than decoration there seems to be meaning infused in the lines, shapes and elements adorning these portraits, like secrets hidden in plain sight," Jen explains.
"Sometimes I recognize the things from my own life and experience woven in but I try to let the lines and shapes of the faces become what they will. The slowness of the stitches and the subconscious imagery triggers a deeper memory of our ancient nature while being inspired by graffiti, pop art and psychedelic design.
"This show features local people as well as some that are internationally known. Locally, I have had the pleasure of adorning the faces of Katie Wilhelm, Debbie Jamieson, Felicia Hunter, Jennifer Squires, Rachel Larivee, and Allyson Proulx (otherwise known as Lefty Smudges). A Pair’s Three, which is a local folk/pop band, is also displayed and will be using this work for their new album cover! I’m also hoping Justin Bieber uses my piece on his next album too."
"The women in the hand made white frames are all heroes in my eyes. I call this collection “American Goddess” as I feel they demonstrate all the amazing traits and personalities of strong, intelligent and caring women who tap into the divine feminine."
The American Goddess series includes portraits of Amelia Earhart (pilot), Angela Davis (activist), Buffy Sainte-Marie (musician), Eleanor Roosevelt (socialist), Ella Fitzgerald (singer), Frida Khalo (painter), Georgia O’Keefe (painter), Maya Angelou (poet), and Rosa Parks (activist).
International artist Chris Klein is coming to Westland Gallery for a 3 week exhibition!
Chris is a meticulous and realistic painter. His work draws attention to the exquisite details on the garments and successfully illustrates the weight and texture of the fabric. He uses rich colour to create luscious and decadent paintings.
In the past 2 years, Klein has shown in New York, Art Basel Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Stratford, Romania and Portugal. This year he was invited to be part of a curated show in Houston, participated in a group show in Stratford and Montreal.
Chris Klein’s exhibition runs from October 3rd to October 21st. The opening reception will be Friday, October 6th at 7 pm and an Artist Talk will be held on Sunday October 8th at 1 pm.
This is a painting of one of my friend's spaces with reference to Mattisse's red room. Transforming her space into someone else's; creating my own identity of the person who would live here.
This is a portrait of my mother. My father and her have built a nostalgic getaway in Sault Ste Marie where she grew up as a child. This is a place where she can express her passion for 70's decor, abstract expressionism, and pop art.
Home Sweet Home
This is another portrait of my parents, but in their family farm house just north of London ON. My parents have lived in this house for 30 years and each room shares a narrative of the past, present and how my family has grown.
This is a painting about my friend Atleigh. Atleigh is a performance artist who commonly creates an alter ego named Ashleigh. Ashleigh helps her embody a new social image, and over come fears and stigmas that she holds as Atleigh. I choose to paint her within her bedroom to give more context to the struggle of self image, and the awkward age of early twenties when we are an adult but still perceive ourselves as a teenager.
This is a character study, 6 hour model.
This is another painting of my friend Patrick where I begin to make the figure less, and less important. The disarray of belongings and music gear tell us more about who he is than his face.
This is a plant study of my Money Tree, Veronica.
This is a painting of one of my professors from OCADU. Her and her husband are both recognized artists in the Toronto Community and her walls are filled with artwork she has traded and collected from students and friends.
In anticipation of their upcoming exhibition, 'Reminiscent of a Place' we visited the studios of Jamie Jardine and Carol Finkbeiner Thomas. The exhibition opens August 22nd 2017.
We asked Jamie what inspired this exciting, abstracted new body of work. He told us, "the paintings in this show reflect an honest urge to use my materials of choice... colours... and textures. After years of painting landscapes I discover moments of what appears to be rebellion. Upon further analysis, I realize I am just following my instinct."
"I am often more interested in the marks on the canvas than I am in accurate reflection of a scene, and landscapes have proven to be a perfectly forgiving subject suitable for that kind of exploration. I enjoy using non-traditional tools when painting. I like the change in mark making that occurs when I use a roller, cloth or old bit of plastic to apply or remove the paint. Making sgraffito marks with a sharp tool, applying the paint with the hands or any other random tools provide a variety of effects that can convey a sense of interest, something unexpected or something that reads true.”
Reminiscent of a Place opens August 22nd and continues until September 9th 2017. A reception will be held Thursday August 24th, and an Artist Talk on Wednesday August 30th, both at 7pm.
We are proud to include these pieces in the current exhibition, "Canadian Landscapes", in celebration of Canada 150.
About the Series
The artist, Agneta Dolman's personal journey and experience of being an immigrant from Sweden, to living in Canada as a "landed" resident for three decades and to receiving full citizenship status in 2000 was the inspiration for the work.
The artist had already begun to explore the theme of migration in the 1990 in the solo exhibition "Across the Sea" in 2000 at the at Michael Gibson Gallery.
Moved by the plight of the so called Boat People of Vietnam the artist used the story of the Flood as a metaphor for loss of home, foreshadowing the present migration across the Mediterranean.
This theme was further developed in the "Our Home and Native Land exhibition that followed . The experience of being a hyphenated Canadian, a Swedish- Canadian, a person from another continent with a different cultural and linguistic background thus continued to be theme in many of the paintings through the inclusion of two opposing elements, for example, the Canadian flag painted in the Swedish colours of yellow and blue or the Canadian maple leaf being inserted into the flag of another country.
Related themes such as the definition of "home" , the meaning of "native", the concepts of "borders" and "homeland security" were examined.
Religious, cultural and genders identities were also explored through the the installation of barbed wire and some fifty pieces of clothing from different parts of the world.
The particular painting : "O Canada" exhibited at Westland Gallery for the 150 th celebrations reflects the joy of becoming a Canadian citizen at the same time as it is the first painting in a series that attempts to illustrate each line in the Canadian national anthem.
From The Forks of the Thames, by Alice Gibb. Originally published November 12, 1975.