Stone Carving Workshop at Sculpture EXPO

What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon – stir up some creativity and try your hand at soapstone carving with a FREE workshop by Master Stone Carver, Patrick Imai. You’ll learn how to make a beautiful pendant.

All supplies are included. Saturday, October 26th from 2pm to 4pm at Sculpture EXPO. Visit us at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.

FREE Admission, FREE workshop!

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Expo Schedule

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Meet the Artists!

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The Boys and Girls Club at Sculpture Expo

This summer we worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa at the McArthur Avenue location to create an amazing 12′ mural. It was an incredible experience for the members of the National Capital Network of Sculptors as well as a great learning experience for the kids at the centre. Part of the preparation and design of the mural involved creating a maquette. Our artists came together to create the smaller 1′ x 4′ two-panel masterpiece you see here. Come see it in person at Sculpture EXPO, October 25-27 at Lansdowne Park in the Horticulture Building where we will be offering it in a silent auction with 100% of the proceeds going to support the art program at the Boys and Girls Club on McArthur Avenue.  “Just Keep Swimming” is a mixed media sculpture combining wood, acrylic, resin, polymer clay and glass. While you are at Sculpture EXPO check out some of the work by talented young artists from the Boys and Girls Club.

One more thing to see and do at SCULPTURE EXPO – October 25-27

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Expo Schedule

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Artist of the Month – Sandra Marshall

by Mary Lou Devine

fullsizeoutput_8c9The first piece of art one sees when walking up to our October profile artist’s home/studio in central Ottawa is a vase in which nestles a healthy, green Boston fern and which portrays a very recognizable national political figure, glasses and all.  This is only a prelude to what one discovers when invited into the home.

Sandra Marshall, a long-time NCNS member, lived in Montreal for the first part of her life.  Trained at McGill University as an architect, she worked for a short time in that field until her family began to grow.  She moved to Ottawa in the ‘80’s where she took a research position at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  While sidetracked by family and career, art was never far from Sandra’s mind or fingers.

She spent many of her younger years summering in Lake Memphremagog, and remembers digging in the shoreline clay to model animal figures, and trying to harden the clay in a beach fire, with a disappointing result.  She loved to paint and draw and, as a child, attended art classes at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  However, her favourite memory of that time was participating in clay modelling activities in the white tiled stable space behind the museum.  She recalls that the students were allowed to dig into the huge, wet clay bin and make whatever they wanted.  Oftentimes, as a result of her love of horses, those figures were equine in nature.  At the age of 17, Sandra received a scholarship to the junior art program but had already enrolled at McGill and had immersed herself in the challenging architectural program there.

Z4bfIGXJS0aLcTgzDpjzAwShe did, however, continue to indulge her love of art.  She took life drawing classes with a former MMFA teacher and, while at university, with her fraternity, won honours for her design of a snow sculpture depicting Lady Godiva, clad only in her long tresses, riding a horse.  Also, during her university days, under the guidance of their architecture professor, she and her fellow studio students initiated a youth group in Griffintown, a small area of mixed residences and industry near the Lachine Canal.  Her artistic background resulted in her sketching portrait souvenirs of some of the area’s children.

Sandra began working with clay in a sustained way 6A4xJwkZQLOCqCOqYwn3Dgafter her first child was born, partly as an outlet from her home duties, but also as a means to fulfil her need to create, maintain and enhance her artistic skills.  While she has created some large pieces using a pottery wheel, she admits that her preference was to stay with her first love of clay modeling, focusing mostly on animals and people.  The first piece that she produced was a horse, which she has to this day.  She has gone on to produce many more horses, in various forms, some of which I was privileged enough to see on my visit with her.  The horse has actually come to mean a lot to Sandra and her work.  She says that whenever she is stumped with what to do with the clay, she would often make a small horse – it was her motif and a way to move her easily into a new piece of work.

When she moved to Ottawa, Marshall joined the Ottawa Guild of Potters and bought an old kiln which allowed her to fire her work at home.  This, of course, required that she learn more about glazes and firings.  She no longer considers her self a potter as her pieces are more sculptural in nature.  She wants to tell stories with her work, asking the viewer to explore the meanings that her pieces portray.  She is constantly trying new materials and finishes which are not traditional.  She is currently working on a piece which is not clay based at all but, rather, is on a piece of driftwood.  She is utilizing new materials and methods for this piece, continuing to experiment as she moves forward in her career.  She is hoping that this piece will be ready for the upcoming Sculpture EXPO to be held at the Horticultural Building at Landsdowne Park in October.

Marshall has explored other media such as watercolour and acrylic painting and continues to sketch.  She and her family love to travel and she has always brought a sketch pad with her to document where she has been and what she has seen.  One of her favourite memories is when she was in the Dominican Republic and she spied a small group of children which she began to sketch.  She was soon surrounded by the children who were happy to watch her work as she sketched them.  Even though there was a language barrier between them, the love of art brought them together.  She has recently joined the Ottawa Urban Sketchers group to share this common love.  She is testing other media forms such as Paverpol (a liquid polymer), acrylics and waxes as a means to find finishes that do not require firing a kiln.  She believes that climate change requires that

we change how we seek our artistic fulfilment.  Summers in the country have made her sensitive to changes in our environment and she strongly believes that we need to protect nature.

As with many artists, Sandra’s process starts with an idea.  For example, she wanted to explore the notion of the tortoise and the hare and its applicability to our current world.  “Society is in such a hurry, we don’t stop and think about where we are going but, rather, we just keep running to keep up with the latest fad”, she opines.  To portray this, one of her sculpture ideas was to show a rabbit jumping through a vertical hoop, with a small turtle hanging on to the top of the hoop for dear life.  As is often the case, the sculpture required a great deal of thought to determine how to make it structurally sound.  This challenge is all part of the process – it is like solving a mystery and the result is the enjoyment which comes when all of the parts come together.

Her favourite part of the process is the modeling of the clay.  She loves the feel and texture  of the wet clay.  Her challenge has been with the glazing process.  She has found that test pieces are never the same size and often do not fire to the same finish.  Also, since her pieces are one of a kind, Marshall cannot rely on tried and tested glazes since each piece requires a different treatment.  She uses paints, waxes and other materials in her process.

fullsizeoutput_8cbMarshall continues to challenge herself, exploring new ideas and materials and determining how well they fit into her process and her world concept.  She offers some advice to those who would like to take up ceramics.  She feels that it is important to take instruction in the art as clay has particular physical qualities that the artist needs to understand – adhesive strength, workable moisture content, dry shrinkage, adherence ability, shrinkage, etc.  She shares the advice that every new piece one makes is a new learning experience, one which I believe Sandra Marshall has learned well, judging from the pieces on display in her home and studio.

Both her home and her basement studio and even her yard are filled with her beautiful artwork.  I was enchanted with the pieces of functional art such as the vases and the horses’ busts made into living room lamps.  There are some wonderful human busts, full bodied sculptures (I particularly liked the dancers) and framed watercolours on the walls as well as a plethora of animals such as giraffes, buffaloes, tortoises and hares, a playful otter still in the making and, of course, the ubiquitous horse.  Each room that I entered opened up a whole new world of visual discovery and I kept finding pieces on which to focus my attention as I made my way through the house.

You can view Sandra’s work on her website at www.sandramarshall.ca and see her work in person at Sculpture EXPO at Landsdowne Park on October 25-27, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Schedule of Events at Sculpture EXPO

Expo Schedule

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Sculpture Expo

 

Here’s the direct link to our contest page

https://www.facebook.com/SculptureOttawa/app/190076381016644/

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

SCULPTURE EXPO GIVEAWAY

Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win “The Nesting Birds”, an original Raku fired sculpture by Colette Beardall. Get extra chances to win by sharing our page or visiting SCULPTURE EXPO, October 25-27th at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.

Here’s the direct link to our contest page https://www.facebook.com/SculptureOttawa/app/190076381016644/?app_data=%7B%22from%22%3A%22page_wall%22%7D

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We Have A New Name

It’s official!

Introducing our new brand . . . Sculpture EXPO!

Ottawa’s biggest, sculpture “only” event. Over 100 new sculptures . . . demonstrations and seminars . . . Free stone workshop . . . And lots more – keep checking our website for more info.

Mark your calendars! October 25th to the 27th at Lansdowne Park in the Horticulture Building.

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The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa

by Maria Saracino 

When I stepped into the role as President of the National Capital Network of Sculptors, one of the goals was to have a bigger presence at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. The Network has been a proud supporter of this organization for years.  As artists, our group understands the importance of art in our community and in the development of young minds. When I first approached Paul Beauchamp, the McArthur Avenue Clubhouse Manager, the idea was to not only offer more visiting artist workshops, but to also make a recommendation that the National Capital Network of Sculptors work as a group in a collaborative project with the kids at the centre.  My medium is polymer clay and my experience working with local school boards on other kid-friendly collaborative projects made this a good fit.

Things moved very quickly from that initial meeting.  We were able to secure half of our supplies for the project, compliments of the manufacturer of polymer clay, the Polyform Company, and our group donated the rest.

The theme had to be something that had an educational value but which also represented the spirit and goals of the Boys and Girls Club.   That’s what made the Turtle perfect for this project.

The turtle is one of the oldest living animals in the world. There is so much wisdom that you can gain from turtle symbolism.  Chinese philosophers and mystics consider turtles among the four main spirit animals and it is recognized around the world, in almost every country, as a symbol of wisdom, patience, community, family, persistence, endurance and strength; everything the Boys and Girls Club stands for.

The turtle is also an important symbol for Canada’s Indigenous people.  Used as guide to the seasons and the calendar, the turtle has 13 large sections or “skutes” on its back that represent the 13 full moons of the year. You may have heard certain lunar periods referred to as “Strawberry moon”, “Harvest moon”, “Grandfather moon”, etc.  With each new moon comes a new passage through time and the seasons.  There are also 28 smaller sections or “skutes” around the 13 large sections.  These represent the 28 days between each full moon.  This is how the days were counted off between each full moon and the next season.

The Turtle also provides an environmental lesson.  It is interesting to note that there are 300 species of Turtles in the world, half of which are endangered.  Eight species of Turtles are native to Canada, but an incredible seven of those are endangered.  All of these facts were imparted to the children during the development of the mural and, at its unveiling, the children were all able to recite back what they had learned as a result of working on the project.

Once the theme was determined, plans were quickly put into motion.  A number of artists from the Network volunteered to take on specific tasks and to work with some of the children at the Club to create a 6’ x 12’ mural which would portray adult turtles and their newly hatched offspring making their way from land to the ocean.  When you visit the Club on McArthur Avenue, take your time looking at and exploring the mural. Check and count-off the 13 skutes on the smaller turtles.  The children made sure there were the correct number on each one. There are many little surprises and details that were added by both the children and the artists who participated and some unique designs like the lone ninja turtle – see if you can find him on the mural. The mural is not just beautiful during the day – at night the “glow in the dark” details make it come to life even when the centre is quiet.

From an enthusiastic embrace of this idea when I first proposed it, to a trial run workshop with the artists to create the maquette, to the final installation at the centre, so many artists from The National Capital Network of Sculptors stepped up to work on this project. Acclaimed artist, Rosemary Breault Landry painted the two 3′ x 6′ wood panels with a beach scene, highlighting the ocean with a beautiful water-like resin finish.  Glass artists Miriam Silburt and France Grice created glass beads, millefoglie and fused glass patterns for some of the larger Turtles.  Multi Media Artist Sheree Bradford Lea and Ceramic Artists Sandra Marshall, Ljiljana Stojanovic and Hengameh Kamal-Rad assisted with the childrens’ workshops as well as creating magnificent large turtles for the mural.  Stone artists Danny Barber, Uwe Fuoehring and Theo Burtick did the heavy work of installing the mural on the block wall at the Club.   Edna Lemyre, Colette Beardall, Patrick Imai, Mary Lou Devine and James Cook took part where needed.  And then there’s me.  I had the biggest pleasure, watching us come together to create a legacy . . . working as a team . . . leaving our mark on a new generation.

Oh, there’s one last thing . . . that smaller maquette of the mural I mentioned earlier will be auctioned at our big event, SCULPTURE EXPO, coming up October 25-27, at Lansdowne Park . . . and of course, all proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club.

Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Artist of the Month, Canadian Stone Carving Festival, Exhibition Opportunities, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Metal Art, Miscellaneous, Network Show, sculpting workshops, Sculpture Atelier, Sculpture events, sculpture show, stone carving, stone sculpture, The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Artist of the Month

by Mary Lou Devine

Even before I met Rosemary Breault-Landry, I was a fan of her work.  In the first instance, a few years ago, I was visiting the Kemptville Public Library and came upon a recently dedicated bas relief which was on public view on the north side of the building.  The bronze sculpture was one of a man and a woman dancing.  Through the gestures and the movement inferred by the piece, one could see the pleasure that this brought to both of them.  I read up on the background of the sculpture and learned that it portrayed a philanthropic couple who resided in Kemptville and who were being honoured by the town for their generosity. Breault-Landry says that the sculpture was inspired by the couple themselves.  Prior to starting the piece, she met with the couple, who were in their 90’s and were still actively contributing to their community.

Resistance

Resistance

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Surrender

I next encountered Breault-Landry’s work when I walked into newly opened Apple Crate Gallery in Manotick last year.  Her bronze works “Resistance”, inspired by Quebec Dance choreographer Tedd Robinson and “Surrender”, also a bronze which was a reversal in thought from the same inspiration, were on display and immediately caught my attention.  While Breault-Landry mostly works with live models, these two sprang directly from her head to her fingers after having seen a performance by Robinson.  The two sculptures were very different from the bas relief I had seen in Kemptville but both had an attention to detail that I found quite fascinating.

Rosemary Breault-Landry was born and raised in Windsor Ontario.  While sculpting has become her passion, it was not her first career.  She was a Registered Nurse and practiced for almost 30 years in Quebec City, retiring in 1996.  While working and raising a family, she says that she has always been drawn (pun intended) to art and took painting and other art-related lessons on a part time basis but felt that she needed to express herself creatively, with more depth.  As a result, she registered for summer courses at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) in Toronto.  Those part time courses soon became full time and, while it took her nine years to graduate from the school in 1992, she did so with honours and has not stopped living her dream since.

cv08Breault-Landry says that she has always been fascinated with the human figure and that she loves expressing feelings and spirit in her artwork.  Her knowledge of human anatomy and training in drawing and sculpture has served her well in this regard.  This is very obvious when one sees a depiction of Ashley MacIssac as “The Devil in the Kitchen” which is also a bronze piece.  MacIssac is immediately recognizable as the subject of the sculpture and Rosemary has completely captured his essence, vibrancy and joie de vivre.

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Upon her retirement from nursing, Rosemary began teaching sculpture and drawing in Quebec City.  In 1998, she worked for an entire summer sculpting portraits in the style of Auguste Rodin at the Musee des Beaux-Arts on the plains of Abraham.  In the fall of that year, she was successful in winning a nation-wide contest to sculpt a bust of the first native Senator, James Gladstone, a Cree by birth and cv01Blackfoot by adoption.  Senator Gladstone became a Senator in 1958, two years before registered Indians gained the right to vote.  After much research and contact with the Senator’s family with respect to their preferences and wishes for his dress, Breault-Landry sculpted the Senator in full ceremonial feather headdress with boughs in the form of a crown.  He is wearing an undershirt and a leather jacket on which a native pattern was created using a hammer and metal punch.  The sculpture sits at the entrance to the Senate and has followed it to its temporary home at the newly refurbished train station until such time as it returns to Parliament Hill with the Senate.

While she sculpts in other media such as hydro-stone and hydrocal, her bronze sculptures are what captured my attention.  I asked her about the process for producing a bronze and she indicated that the sculpting process from clay to bronze is a complicated one.  In order to produce a bronze, she first has to be convinced of its worth and has to be completely satisfied with the initial clay figure.  Once she has reached that level of conviction, a rubber mold of the clay figure is produced and is taken to the foundry.  Layers of wax are then poured into the mold, with wax ports and air vents being added.  A ceramic shell is made both inside and outside the wax form.  This process can take up to 6 weeks as each layer has to be totally dry before adding another 6, 7 or even 8 layers.  When the ceramic shell is baked, the wax melts out and scalding liquid bronze is poured into the area where the wax once was.  After cooling overnight, the ceramic is broken away at which time the bronze can be finished, polished and a patina applied.

Breault-Landry says that her favourite part of the sculpting process is the initial one;  the production of the tactile “hands-on” work in clay.  She states that this is the most rewarding and, sometimes, frustrating part of this kind of creation but admits that she loves a challenge.

Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 10.03.17 AMRosemary currently teaches college level courses in figurative sculpture and drawing at the Ottawa School of Arts, Orleans Campus.  When asked if she feels that teaching brings something to her work, she responds by saying that the interaction with other artists/students is always an important part of teaching.  She attempts to convince her students that they are also creators in their own right and she loves to see them evolve as they learn, loves “seeing the lights go on when they make discoveries that they get to express.”

While Breault-Landry feels that the steps to succeeding as an artist requires a lot of hard work drive, conviction and passion, it is important to note that art is not really work at all but, rather, a fulfilling expression of the soul.  When she is creating, she does not see time pass and is happy to state that artists can continue to create well into their later years and that she does not have to retire (again).

I, for one, hope that she continues to create for a long time to come.

 

Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Artist of the Month, Canadian Stone Carving Festival, Exhibition Opportunities, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Metal Art, Miscellaneous, Network Show, sculpting workshops, Sculpture Atelier, Sculpture events, sculpture show, stone carving, stone sculpture, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment