“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
“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
Danny Barber – Stone Carver
“I am very fortunate to have had commissions to carry me through the winter. These are jobs that could only be delivered once the Spring weather arrives. Hand tooled pier caps, house names, dedications and a cemetery memorial in Carrara Marble which is next on my bench. There has been great variety which I enjoy a lot. Following the memorial I have a very large carving project to do for the Halifax Armouries. I will be replacing the bottom half of the Coat of Arms for Canada circa 1895. This will require clay modelling, plaster casts and many carved elements. The project is moving quite slowly though and I’m not sure that the timing will be in my favour. Fingers crossed.Working in isolation hasn’t been an issue for me. I always work alone and I do prefer it, although I usually teach one night a week and run an open studio for other carvers. This I miss greatly. I really enjoy the social time, the community and sharing my knowledge and space. Working during this pandemic has been a bit like everything is in slow motion. Like working on a snow day. The projects still have to get done, but the urgency doesn’t seem to be there. Neither is the anxiety and pressure. I’ve been taking the time to do online drawing lessons every morning before starting work which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I hope to take away from this experience a more relaxed working pace and to continue to put my creativity first.”
Bill Lockyer – Stone Sculptor
“My name is Bill, I am born and raised in Ottawa. I am still working at CHEO on the cancer ward. I have been working in lots of venues such as painting and wood sculpture, I have built a wooden rocking horse but my main interest is soap stone, which I have been doing for several years.
I have followed Patrick Imai for several years and I like his style. I was looking forward to attending the National Capital Network of Sculptors meetings and will attend once they resume. I don’t have a website yet, but here are some examples of my work. I did a show at the Gem and Stone in the fall at the Nepean Sportsplex. I always question what prices to put on pieces and by attending the NCNS meetings I hope to get some feed back regarding this. Looking forward to meeting all of you in the future.”
Are you a sculptor? Are you interested in becoming a member of the National Capital Network of Sculptors?
As a member of the NCNS you become an active participant within the sculpting community of Eastern Ontario. Whether you are full-time or part-time professional sculptor, an aspiring amateur, student or simply an interested patron of the sculptural arts, you are very welcome. To learn more about becoming a member visit us at https://sculptureottawa.ca/about/become-a-member/
Alexandra Tytarenko – Figurative Sculptor
“Over the past several weeks, I have been taking more time on working with sculpture from home. I also found myself also spending more time reading, observing and learning about other artists and their creative processes – which has been a source of inspiration during an otherwise isolating period. This has definitely helped me stay busy and optimistic.
My husband and I live in Ottawa, close to our daughter and two young grandchildren. I started sculpting when I lived in Winnipeg and continued after our family moved to Ontario and lived in Toronto for a period of time. In general, I find myself being inspired by nature, as well as by the expression of human emotion – which have a certain beauty and honesty to them. A large focus of my works are portraits or figures, sometimes themselves being engaged in art, such as music or dance. I have frequently worked with stone or winterstone (a concrete-based substance), but have recently been also using resin more often, which I find can create interesting effects. Attached is a picture of a piece I am currently working on – a portrait of a close friend and sculptor, Leo Mol, who I had the pleasure of knowing dating back to my time in Winnipeg (attachment #1).
While the world around us seems to be filled with uncertainty and change every day, I try to stay optimistic and am glad to be part of the Ottawa community. And Skype definitely helps during this time! Wishing you all to stay safe and healthy – take care of yourselves.”
To see more work by Alexandra Tytarenko, please visit our Online Gallery at https://sculptureottawa.ca/online-gallery-2/
Colette Beardall – Clay Sculptor
“As a clay artist it is my habit to spend many hours alone in my studio but always with my 5 various animal companions to keep me company. Often in the warmer months I bring my wheel up to the back deck to engage my senses with the natural surroundings I am lucky to live in. I have a small property in Metcalfe which is full of flora and fauna and home to my two horses, two cats and Russian rescue dog. Animals are the primary subject of my sculpture work and through sales of my pieces I am able to send a portion to an animal rescue which is represented in the piece I’ve made. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to use my meager ability in this manner.
A few months ago, my emotions were totally engaged with the devastation of the wildfires in Australia and the mass of destruction of habitat and the death of so many animals. I had to find a way to keep myself busy and stop my anxiety from getting the best of me. Planning and executing a fundraiser that would provide relief for both WIRES an animal relief organization and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of NSW was the tonic I needed. Being a potter as well, I made and sold one hundred wheel thrown bowls for a minimum donation of $25 but so many dug deep and sent more. I was so happy to raise a total of $4500 for the charities.
Of course, now we find ourselves here. A global pandemic. I am to have a solo exhibition in 2021 at the Shenkman Arts Centre. My main subject before this pandemic struck was to highlight animal abuses and trafficking in places around the world. A highlight would be the pangolin who has been implicated in being a source for the virus. Am I clairvoyant? No. Just a concerned and devasted global citizen that watched as shipment after shipment of this animal’s body parts brought it from a healthy population to endangered status within a couple of years. Part of our jobs as artists is to engage with people but also to inform. I hope I can continue doing that in the depths of my basement with a sense of hope for a better world in the future. And leave the depths of despair behind us.”
Patrick Imai – Stone Sculptor
“Covid-19 has meant the cancellation of all my artistic engagements: shows, workshops, mentoring, and association meetings, for the next few months. This means I can focus on stone carving. So, things haven’t changed too much.
As the self-isolation started, I undertook carving a piece of hard stone (8” x 8” x 14”, 91 lbs Brazilian Dura soapstone). I started cutting the stone with a hand saw then took to using my rotary shaft tool (Foredom) until I burned it out. I used hammer and chisel and rasps and files to shape the stone. Dura soapstone is a mix of hard and soft stone, so fine sanding results in a bumpy surface so I stopped sanding at wet 220. I finished with tung oil to highlight the bear.
I do miss the conversations of the weekly open studio carving at Barber Carving & Sculpture and the opportunity to meet and talk with people at other events.
Stay healthy and keep creating.”
You can see more of Patrick’s work at http://www.patrickimai.ca
Jim Lawrence – Wood Sculptor
“Two weeks ago I was in southern France (Aix-en-Provence) in the middle of a 6 week vacation. We did hikes in the countryside and visited sites where Cezanne, Van Gogh and Picasso hung out. All very inspiring! I even brought a piece of wood and a few knives and chisels with me, planning to do some wood carving on our nice sunny terrasse. But all that came to a grinding halt by mid-March. I’ve now been back home for 10 days in quarantine. Although I miss being outside for walks, bike rides, doing errands, etc., it hasn’t been all bad. The isolation has given me lots of time to clean out the accumulated junk from my studio and the basement storage. This was something we had been meaning to do for years. It is so satisfying to actually get it done! And lots of time to prepare for my next sculpture projects and to finish ones in progress. This covid-19 thing will eventually be over, spring is on its way with warmer, sunny weather and my strict quarantine is almost finished! Makes me want to sing and dance.
The photo is of my latest piece which I am working on this week. I refer to it as Mother Nature’s latest spring fashion statement: “the decayed look” denims. Carved from an inverted hollow spalted maple stump with lots of decay and worm holes.”
You can see more of Jim’s work on his website at http://www.jimlawrencesculptor.com
Kathy Bergquist – Metal and Mixed Media Artist
“It’s hard to keep track of the chronology of COVID-19 and the federal, provincial, NCC, and City of Ottawa measures that now circumscribe life in our area, and even as it feels as though my physical life has become smaller, my sense of the world ‘out there’ has widened. The reality of physical geography, among other lessons, has been driven home by the pandemic, and there is much I’ve been left to ponder. Some of the things I’ve been thinking about that relate both to our current situation and to my recent work are ideas of chaos and cohesion.
In Greek cosmogony, Kaos is the void from which all things come. There are some entertaining variations in the accounts of how, exactly, this happens, but the central idea is that chaos (Kaos) is the progenitor of all things. It was also interesting (to me) to note that “the race of birds” was the result of Kaos and Eros’s union.
I was in Eastend, Saskatchewan on a residency in November, 2019. I had brought with me a box of mild steel triangles, all the same size and shape, off-cuts from a fabrication process. I played with the shapes, and they kept becoming birds. Lots and lots of birds, which got me thinking about murmurations. On-line research brought me to this video, which I highly recommend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eakKfY5aHmY
Further research led me to a paper by George F. Young, et. al., a study of the management of uncertainty and consensus with respect to murmurations. The authors wrote that, “ . . . starlings pay attention to a fixed number of their neighbours in the flock, regardless of flock density . . . “ They concluded that, “When uncertainty in sensing is present, interacting with six or seven neighbours optimizes the balance between group cohesiveness and individual effort. . . In following this role of seven, then, the birds are part of a dynamic system in which the parts combine to make a whole with emergent properties . . . “ Which brings me back to these times: as individuals, we can’t see where we’re going, how humanity will emerge from the apparent chaotic global uncertainty, but if we pay attention to each other, we may yet create something of extraordinary beauty that helps secure our collective survival. Be well, and stay safe!
Below is an image of the work on my murmuration project in progress.”
Dominique Couture – Stone and Wood Sculptor
I am new in this adventure, it is my first year with NCNS. My sculpting started when my professional life was abruptly put behind me because of health issues; I am joyfully doing fine nowadays. I sculpt mainly stone but I still enjoy working with wood , I also have cast a nice bronze a few years back for which I had the chance to be mentored by Jérémie Giles,Jonquière QC. I continue to take some enrichment courses to learnnew technics with my dear mentor : Ozgen Erÿasa from Papineauville, QC for my stone work and Denis Charette Cantley,QC for my wood work. Since I enjoy working with hard stone like granite, I am looking forward to learn to work with pneumatic tools which I plan on doing very soon.
It is with great pleasure that I share with you today some pictures of my work for the past year or so. Since the confinement order, I find myself completely absorbed by my art. I don’t know what I would have done if not for that. It seems I am forever sculpting in my home studio with both my dogs watching! My mind is completely absorbed with my work. I am presently working on alabaster from Les Îles de la Madeleine, with nice rich tones of red garnets. This time permits me to go back and reflect on what I have accomplished up to now, kind of a reset in my own artist world.
The pieces shown here are already sold and are the one’s I’m more proud of.
Enjoy! Looking forward to meet you! Be safe and create my friends…
Je suis nouvelle dans cette aventure, il s’agit de ma première année auprès de vous NCNS. La sculpture est arrivée dans ma vie alors que ma vie professionnelle prenait fin pour des raisons de santé, je vais heureusement très bien de nos jours. Je sculpte principalement la pierre mais j’aime bien le bois aussi, j’ai eu la chance il y a quelques temps de couler un bronze avec mon ami Jérémie Giles,Jonquière QC. Je continue à prendre des cours d’enrichissement pour apprendre de nouvelles techniques avec mon cher mentor : Ozgen Erÿasa from Papineauville,QC for stone work and Denis Charrette, Cantley,QC for wood work. Comme j’aime beaucoup travailler la pierre dure, je prévois débuter l’apprentissage de travailler avec des outils pneumatics aussitôt que le temps le permettra.
C’est avec grand plaisir que je partage avec vous des œuvres des dernières années . Depuis le début du confinement, je me retrouve complètement submergée dans mon art. Je ne sais pas ce que j’aurais fait sans cette bouée d’air frais ! De ces jours ci, je suis confinée dans mon studio avec mes deux chiens qui m’accompagnent partout. Je travaille présentement une pièce d’albâtre des Îles de la Madeleine dans de riches tons de grenat. Cette pause me permet de me mettre à jour et me ressourcer dans mon petit monde artistique.
Les pièce ci jointes sont toutes vendues et sont celles dont je suis la plus fière .
Au plaisir de vous rencontrer! Soyez prudents et créez mes amis…
France Grice – Glass Artist
Lots of time on my hands at the moment. Early March I started some new projects in the studio. The main idea was to use the glass cutting I have to create new works. I was making some progress but nothing conclusive yet when I sliced my finger… not with a piece of glass but with a vegetable mandoline. Well sculpture is off for a moment. The finger is healing nicely.
On March 13, I bought a new phone and after doing some research for the camera chose to get a Google Pixel 4. For me technology is always a bit of a challenge but I am learning a bit every day. I will use the healing time to do the things I always procrastinate with… like paper work. So far, I took some pictures of my work using the set up done by my son. Learned how to create an album and insert the information for each image. This is a photo of my work using the Pixel 4.
There is a call to glass artists so I am preparing the needed documents, photos needed.
Today I will learn how to include a picture in a word document (this one). I ask the question on my ipad and it says open the picture on google photo, click copy, go to your document, paste. OK I think I knew that but there is so much stuff to learn.
Back to the studio soon and with some new work to post.