Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all our lives and the economy. As our city starts trying to regain some type of normalcy I hope that we make the effort to support  small independent business. I’m sure you’ve seen all the posts telling you how the big box stores and chains will survive, but it’s the small businesses that need our help. This holds true for local artists as well. Art galleries, studios, spring and summer studio tours and shows have all been cancelled. This has been a hard blow for our local artists.

Inukshuks by Uwe Foehring

Inukshuks by Uwe Foehring. Various stones and colours $15. each

Many galleries are offering online services. Even though many in the art world say an online viewing  cannot replace the firsthand experience of encountering a painting or a sculpture in person, more and more collectors are getting comfortable with the online gallery experience. When you visit an online gallery people don’t have to know you’re looking. You don’t even have to buy art to look at the Online Gallery, but if something interests you then it’s the first step in making contact with the artists and arranging a private viewing.

Birthdays, Father’s Day, weddings and anniversaries are still happening, even while we are social distancing. If you are shopping for unique gifts of art, then we encourage you to support our local artists. With the National Capital Network of Sculptors Online Gallery, you can select from over 50 original works that start as low as $15. The artists are listed in alphabetical order so it’s easy to find your favourite artist or just scroll through the photos. If there is something that you are interested in, you contact the artist directly and the work is either shipped or delivered, or you can make arrangements for a private and safe viewing. No commissions, no fees, 100% of the sale goes to the artist.

Stay safe and support our local artists

https://sculptureottawa.ca/online-gallery-2/

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Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

Some artists are using this social distancing time to replenish their stock, catch up on commissions or simply keep working as usual. For others it’s created a disturbance in the creative process, particularly a kink in their medium of choice. These three artists have stepped away from sculpture, at least temporarily while they regroup and re-energize their creative spirits.

IMG_1710Glass Artist – Miriam Silburt

“Although uninspired to do glass these days I just finished this three foot by two foot punch needle rug for the cottage. It is a technique called punch needle Hooking which uses a ball of wool rather than small pieces of material that traditional rug hookers use.”

Clay Artist – Sandra Marshall

“I have been doing a new sketch every day in pastels – a virtual African safari, along with a daily letter to my mother who is isolated in a retirement home here in Ottawa. I have attached several examples of the sketches. (I was intending to go on a trip to South Africa before the shut down.)  I have also been visiting the Arboretum on the run and watching the seasonal changes.”

Polymer Artist – Maria Saracino

5A31B999-CBAC-4E7C-9E63-D36D6EF26568“With the galleries being closed I’m not particularly motivated to create new works. I’m trying to work on some online workshops and tutorials but needed a little boost. In my trade show days as a graphic designer, 25+ years ago, I used to do stage design and some contract work with an interior decorator. I would do colour coordinated oversized paintings for large walls –  very loose abstracts or florals. We recently moved so I decided to do a colour schemed texturized acrylic painting for my new bedroom to coordinate with my bedspread. It works . . . and the creative juices are starting to stir again.”

Don’t forget to check out our Online Gallery https://sculptureottawa.ca/online-gallery-2/

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Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

01_Rocky_Bivens_Emergence_Stoneware_2019_7x8.5x8.5Rocky Bivens – Clay Artist

“I have had a difficult time since the isolation began. I share my studio with 3 other artists, so we have agreed that only one person at a time can be there. This makes for significantly less time in the studio. Of course going to the studio would be considered “non-essential” travel, but since I don’t have a studio at home, I have no choice if I want to do any sculpture. I work in clay and the pieces must be fired in a kiln. Once they have been fired, I have a choice of glazing them and firing them again or using acrylic paint. The work that I prefer to paint I bring home and complete them there. I am working on a new series of pieces that I am quite excited about. The concept is essentially that of different sized spheres erupting out of biomorphic, abstract forms. The colours I’m using with this work are warm earth tones.”

You can see more of Rocky’s work in our Online Gallery at https://sculptureottawa.ca/online-gallery-2/

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Artists Speak

James W. Cook  – Multimedia Artist

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the cancellation of one of my most important ice-carving gigs as well as left my upcoming summer sand-sculpting season in a state of uncertainty. Some jurisdictions plan to remain closed to outsiders through the summer and others are expecting a summer without tourists. The pandemic has also seen the closure of all the art schools and AllNaturalstudios I model for as a Life-Drawing model.

Meanwhile I have taken a break from social media during this time of “being on pause”. I have modified my own lifestyle accordingly by staying confined to my home and immediate neighbourhood, by not taking public transit, and ordering my specialty supplies online instead of physically visiting my usual suppliers.

My operations as a roaming artist have shifted more to working from my home and setting up a pop-up studio outside in the yard in fair weather conditions. Projects this year include hand-crafting fishing rods with the hopes of adding the same to my repertoire in the Visual Arts.

With the warming days of spring and the greening there has been the harvest of edible wild plants and mushrooms.”

You can see more of James’ work at  https://www.facebook.com/jameswcookbeauxarts/

You will also find James taking part in the Canadian Stone Carving Festival, July 17, 18, 19 and their virtual auction raising money for local charities.

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Artist of the Month

by Sandra Marshall

Studio shot2Laughter is Sheree Bradford-Lea’s antidote for what ails us as she tries to engage us through her humorous cartoons, sculptures, mixed media/fibre art and puppetry. Her background in behavioural psychology, theatre and family travel set the scene for her explorations of these media.

A creator from a young age, she drew, wrote, and sang everything that struck her fancy. During high school she was attracted to theatre for a lifelong passion. Sheree continued her theatre interests, as she began a psychology degree in visual perception at Guelph University and later continued her graduate studies at Laurier and Queen’s Universities. Her experimental psychology studies in gender, empathy and moral reasoning later served as more fodder for her love of the absurd.

artbreadssmallIt was in Kingston that Sheree married and the couple decamped to Berkeley California, a career opportunity for her husband.  Sheree continued to create—writing plays and short stories, having some produced and published. The couple returned to Canada with a one year old in tow, and made Ottawa their home, in time for the arrival of their second baby. Sheree began cartooning when the children were toddlers as she couldn’t devote full-time to writing, but she found that creating single and multi-panel cartoon strips fit her needs. At the suggestion of a teacher Sheree sent her artworks to a publisher, where they were well received. That encouraged her to keep her creative juice flowing, and she Keep an eye on your mother, from tabletfound ways to improve at her art form.  She also began teaching cartooning and other art, when not creating and selling her own work to publications.

To expand from creating cartoons for publications of various types, Sheree applied her artworks to solid objects and sold them at craft shows. But she yearned for more artful ways to use her humorous ideas and embraced 3D mixed media. She expanded her boundaries to incorporate ideas that didn’t suit cartooning, but which tickled her fancy.

Cartoon humour influences everything Sheree makes. It embodies message, visual perception and personal connection with the viewer. She challenges the observer to stand back and be amused, while pondering the issue raised. Effective cartoons and humorous art attract people, who feel that they have a soul-mate. We are not alone in our opinions when we share a moment of laughter.

Sheree carving in yard pic 1The National Capital Network of Sculptors was a natural fit for Sheree. Her passion for the curiosities of human and animal behaviour and visual perception was applied to her three dimensional art. In 2010, at the behest of stone carvers Danny Barber and Phil Smith, and to benefit a charitable cause, Sheree joined in the first annual Canadian Stone Carving Festival. For the first time, she sculpted a limestone block using only Super Steampunk Sheep, 2019, in sunhand tools. Although she had only carved wood and clay before, she bravely attacked the stone over the festival weekend. She has been carving stone since then – mainly animals with added mixed media elements.  Sheree is particularly fond of creating stone sheep with wooden legs, each one a unique personality. Carving stone sheep started at the Stone Carving Festival too!

First DateSheree once attended a puppet workshop with one of her daughters and became hooked on puppetry. As a result, she received a grant to build large scale puppets and perform at The Happening in Ottawa. Fabricating and performing with these ‘characters’ brings her special delight. Sheree is considering stop motion film for her puppetry as another way to tell engaging stories. But she promises that she will never give up cartooning and mixed media art. She always weaves in new ideas and themes to keep her work fresh.

Travel has shown the artist-psychologist that people’s perspectives are influenced by their locale. What flies in a city might be scorned by a small town crowd. Even her country upbringing and later moves made Sheree keenly aware of these contrasting sensory feelings. Being with theatre people and artists, academics and feminist at-home moms has been a form of travel too and given her a unique perspective.

Sometimes people do not like her perception. But a humourist is by definition someone with a clear, strong vision, who observes behaviour, sometimes predicting societal trends too—looking to the future. Her creative process can be ignited by something odd or interesting, ridiculous or annoying.  Her mind noodles with the idea to find a way to turn it on its ear and point out the issue with humour. The fun continues in the building, carving, drawing, painting, sewing, or whatever she needs to spark the idea to life. It comes together as she works, without elaborate plans. Sheree says that her favourite time in the creation is at the inception of an idea, and she inevitably gets a good chortle out of it. Her least favourite part is having to slow down before she can continue—like allowing paint to dry. ‘’I’m not great at that kind of patience.’’

She sees good natured humour having enormous power to relieve our worries for a while. “That’s one reason good cartoon and visual humour lights up so many areas of the brain.  When a person ‘gets it’, the gentle problem-solving exercise pays off with fireworks!” Sheree’s art twists our minds a little out of focus, giving us time to relax, think, smile. We leave a little lighter than when we came by.

WhoWasYourMotherInstallation pic11The interactive artwork ‘Keep an Eye on Your Mother’ asked people to recall the maiden names of their great-grandmothers. The question puzzled many and they were determined to find out the answer, even to call distant relatives. Like herself, they didn’t realize that they didn’t know their own history. This cartoon-enlivened work sported a felted bird in a playing card bird house and is stillbird one of her favourites.

Sheree has advice for others who may wish to take up her sculptural direction. “Stay true to your unique roots and passions.” As a youngster she spent time observing animals, especially her house cats and nearby farm animals. The colours and shapes of childhood return in her work repeatedly. “Observation is good, but don’t forget to experience life too, and laugh along the way.” Sheree sees herself as lucky to have her husband and children as inspiration.”Humour doesn’t laugh at other people, it laughs at human nature in general, and we are always part of that.” When we laugh at her cartoon animals we are laughing at our own human frailties.

“At the end of the day, make sure your pieces say something with humour, something that allows the observer to think and to feel.”

More of Sheree’s delightful work can be found at http://shereebradfordlea.com/

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Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

Eiko Emori – Glass sculptor

My pâte de verre technique results in a translucency that shows how colours change with light. The shifting light and unique colours bring movement to otherwise static objects. The vibrancy of “Fall Colours” reflects the beauty and energy of fall leaves and bonfires.

I feel lucky that our work as sculptors is largely solitary. I have been working on trying to present my work with the video method. I hope you can see what I mean.

Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Artist of the Month, Canadian Stone Carving Festival, Ceramic Sculpture, clay artists, clay sculpture, Exhibition Opportunities, glass sculpture, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Metal Art, Miscellaneous, Network Show, Online Art Gallery, sculpting workshops, Sculpture Atelier, Sculpture events, sculpture show, Stone Carver, stone carving, stone sculpture, The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, The national capital network of sculptors, wood sculpture, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

Joie--Janet K. MacKay – Sculptor/Painter

“In some ways, I feel very fortunate to be an artist during this time of isolation. My art gives purpose and structure to my day. I love the hours of solitude as I work in the studio and now there is a further sense of calmness as deadlines disappear. The downside, is not being able to show my work to clients and customers face to face – nothing is more satisfying than experiencing that moment with another when your art makes a connection – it feels like a connection at the Faith 2soul level.  This time of isolation has thrown artists into the digital era – the internet is now our primary platform for connecting our art with others. Although grateful for the internet, this time of isolation instills in me how much I treasure the human connection my art provides.”

To see more of Janet’s work: http://www.worldviewstudio.ca

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Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 2.27.01 PMTerry Schaub – Stone Carver

” I’ve been working for 3M Canada for over 26 years now and this pandemic has certainly put them in the spotlight recently.  My passion, however is sculpture. During my down time and weekends you’ll find me in my studio working on some new projects. I enjoy people but I’m a rather quiet person and I get my creative energy in solitude. Other than a few personal distractions, my work hasn’t been affected too much by this pandemic. I work with stone and these are a few photos of a current project I’m working on. Hopefully this Covid-19 crisis will be over soon and we can all get back to our normal routines. In the meantime stay home and stay safe.”

You can see more of Terry’s work at http://www.twschaub.com

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 2.27.21 PM

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Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

How do you continue to appreciate art and support artists during this pandemic? Our Online Gallery gives you a visual on over 40 sculptures available by our artists in every price range. You deal directly with the artist which means there are no commissions, but most importantly you are Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 11.00.45 AMhelping to support local artists through this very difficult time. Even if you are not buying, we would love to hear from you – it can be the motivation to continue creating.

Sometimes it takes a while for a sale to come through for our artists. Mary S. saw the Sesquicentennial Forest by glass artist, France Grice back in 2017. Recently she contacted her to purchase one of the trees and France was happy to deliver it. The client warned her that she was celebrating adding this to her art collection and she went all out to accept her tree, as you can see from the photo.  Delightful!

Visit our Online Gallery today at  https://sculptureottawa.ca/online-gallery-2

 

 

Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Artist of the Month, Canadian Stone Carving Festival, Ceramic Sculpture, clay artists, clay sculpture, Exhibition Opportunities, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Metal Art, Miscellaneous, Network Show, Online Art Gallery, sculpting workshops, Sculpture Atelier, Sculpture events, sculpture show, Stone Carver, stone carving, stone sculpture, The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, The national capital network of sculptors, wood sculpture, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artists Speak – Dealing with Isolation

BÉLA SIMO – Metal Sculptor

 
image1“Work in a sculpture studio is often solitary. For my part, I practically live in my studio, so the confinement caused by the covid-19 pandemic has not changed much for me. However, I must admit that uncertainty and anxiety have slowed down my creative impulse a little. Economic uncertainty is also weighing a lot, when contracts are absent and symposiums and exhibitions are canceled or postponed. I do not know what tomorrow will look like, or whether there will be bread on the table. So, for days, I was unable to focus on my work. But I cut down watching the news and I am back to what matters to me: creating pieces that reflects myself, my passion, my beliefs, my struggles… I am happy to share with you my latest pieces because, especially in stressful times such as these, we need art in our daily lives. I began these aluminum pieces before the start of the pandemic. Some people asked me if I was a diviner. It is up to you to decide!”
You can see more of my work on my Facebook page at: facebook.com/artBelaSimo
image0“Le travail en studio de sculpture est souvent solitaire. Pour ma part, je vis pratiquement dans mon studio, donc le confinement entraîné par la pandémie de covid-19 n’a pas changé grand chose pour moi en ce sens. Néanmoins, je dois admettre que l’angoisse et l’anxiété ont freiné un peu mon élan créatif. L’incertitude économique est aussi très grande, alors que les contrats sont absents et que symposiums et expositions sont annulés ou reportés. Je ne sais pas de quoi demain sera fait, ni s’il y aura du pain sur la table. Donc, pendant des jours, j’ai été incapable de me concentrer sur mon travail. J’ai alors décidé de passer moins de temps à suivre l’actualité et je suis revenu à ce qui m’importe: créer des pièces qui me reflètent moi, ma passion, mes convictions, mes luttes… 
Je suis heureux de partager avec vous mes dernières sculptures, car, surtout en des périodes difficiles comme celles que nous vivons, nous avons besoin de l’art dans notre vie quotidienne. J’ai commencé ces pièces en aluminium avant le début de la pandémie. Certains m’ont demandé si je n’étais pas un peu devin. À vous de juger!”
Vous pouvez également voir mon travail sur ma page facebook: facebook.com/artBelaSimo 
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