All art work posted on this site is the copyright of the individual Studio Tour Artists. Please respect this copyright and do not use or reproduce any photograph of a painting, actual photograph or other art work or use the idea for a painting or digital manipulation of your own without seeking permission first.

Friday 30 September 2016

Sharon Kirsh - Cold Wax Artist

This will be my third year participating in the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. Yet in many ways it does feel like the first time. Three years ago, my artistic focus was almost entirely floral in nature, and since then, I have moved towards an abstract style that still gives homage to my love of flowers through colour.  I have also been painting with a delightful medium known as cold wax.  So why does it feel like the first time? The change in medium and approach reflects changes in myself. They reflect my desire to be more authentic and honest in my work, and I hope I'm not alone in finding it both exciting and nerve wracking to share something new... 

"Fauve Rocks" 16 x 20 cold wax and oil painting on birch panel

My floral work came from a deep motivation to share how resilient and courageous I find flowers. Sharing these paintings during the first studio tour, was a huge a-ha moment. I realized that the joy and emotion captured in these paintings was contagious.

The idea that art lovers can share in the joy of creative expression, moved me to focus more on themes and emotions, and immediately, subject matter began to disappear. And then cold wax and oil entered the studio.  An unusual medium, that dates back to Ancient Egypt. Thick like shortening, it changed everything. I began working in an entirely new way, without brushes and traditional tools.  Instead, I massage the paint into areas with my hands and excavate the surface with pottery tools. This process allows me to bring out light and natural texture in ways that seem unique, fresh and sometimes perfectly imperfect.

"Strength" 18 x 24 Cold Wax and Oil on Birch Panel

My meditation practice has over the last few years had a greater impact on my work. I wish I could tell you that I meditate daily (I don't), but even subtle moves towards living more presently in my day-to-day life help me imbibe my artwork with ideas. Sometimes this is as simple as wanting to express a feeling, such as joy, and other times there is a beloved poem, lingering song lyrics or a quote that leads the way. Pictured below is "A BOAT beneath a sunny sky" based on a famous poem by Lewis Carroll by the same name. I have provided it below the image of the painting.

A BOAT beneath a sunny sky 16 x 16 cold wax & oil on birch panel

A BOAT beneath a sunny sky, 
Lingering onward dreamily 
In an evening of July — 

Children three that nestle near, 
Eager eye and willing ear, 
Pleased a simple tale to hear — 

Long has paled that sunny sky: 
Echoes fade and memories die: 
Autumn frosts have slain July. 

Still she haunts me, phantomwise, 
Alice moving under skies 
Never seen by waking eyes. 

Children yet, the tale to hear, 
Eager eye and willing ear, 
Lovingly shall nestle near. 

In a Wonderland they lie, 
Dreaming as the days go by, 
Dreaming as the summers die: 

Ever drifting down the stream — 
Lingering in the golden gleam — 
Life, what is it but a dream?

Events such as the studio tour, provide a wonderful opportunity for artists such as myself to meet lovers of art who sometimes also happen to be a neighbor. That really is one of the great benefits in participating. This year, I will be featuring my new series of cold wax and oil paintings, and in appreciation of the wonderful Richmond Hill community that has offered so much support, I have created a fun salon wall of remaining floral paintings, priced so that anyone can bring some floral joy into their home.

I will be sharing my work at my home studio at 8 Whalen Court, Richmond Hill. You can find more information about me and my artwork at my website. Inquiries can be sent directly to

Friday 16 September 2016

Featured Artist - Rubina Panjwani

This week's blog post is written by Rubina Panjwani. She is sharing some of her thoughts on creativity. 

Creativity is the essence of any art.  I make jewelry from different shapes of wire, mostly copper, sterling silver and gold fill. The stones I use are gems or semi-precious.  The knowledge I use to create wearable art jewelry comes from the courses I took in college and working alongside other great artists. But my inspiration comes from a variety of places, and I tend to feel a particular connection with nature. The fours seasons and associated colours, folded leaves, a rainbow…all of these can strike a chord within me and I suddenly feel the urge to create.  Inspiration is all around us - all we need is imagination and our resources.  The more we take chances and try something new, the more we can cultivate an expertise in our specific field.

On that same note, creativity plays a significant role in an artist’s life. As a result, we have a drive to socialize, experiment and take risks, and keep up on styles and trends, be around positivity, experiment with different techniques and ideas, visit museums, galleries, shows and exhibitions, bring communities together, challenge ourselves, read, take photos, teach and share our work/ideas. When it comes to creating, I truly believe that there are no rules; rather, the important thing is to put our heart and soul in the task, and always dream big.

'Stay loyal to your creativity because it's a gift'.
- Pharrell

See you all at Richmond Hill Studio Tour Artists Show on Oct 15-16, 2016. I will be at the Oak Ridges Community Centre, Richmond Hill.  My facebook page is:

Friday 26 August 2016

Featured Artist - Shoshana Lock

This week's blog feature is by Shoshana Lock. She is a mixed media, acrylic, oil and ink contemporary artist.
I was born in Bulgaria in the second world war. When the war ended my family moved to Israel, where I graduated from the Technion in Interior Architecture & Design. These early life experiences, training, education and continued experimentation give me not only the emotional background, techniques and tools, but inspiration for the topics that concern and interest me, such as; relationships, the environment, and current world events. I normally start with a very vague idea and let my feelings and mood control my hand. The paintings that follow are some example of how I’ve expressed my feelings on what we are doing to ourselves and the planet.

This is a painting I finished late 2015, which I called " World Self destructing Mankind in Crisis", which I think is very relevant today and reflects my desire for more butterflies, bees, clean rivers, clean air and that we learn live in harmony with ourselves and the planet for our children and grandchildren. This is a painting inspired my concerns for Gaia (Mother Nature) our planet.

Summer is finally here, this is a painting I finished before I left for Israel in May, it's called "Chrysalis", and is about the pupa of life, our bee', butterflies etc. that carry the pollen, without whom our food supply would be very meek.

This is a painting I’ve been working on for the past year, I’ve called it “Social Pressure and Information Overload”. I am reflecting how the constant flow of information and twenty four hour news channels impact our society, especially our youth. This painting is a reminder of how we are social beings, and require connection, family and community. We need to find the right balance between the two.

To learn more about my art, and my inspiration please visit my website:   and my facebook page at, Look forward to seeing you during the studio tour during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. 

Thursday 18 August 2016

Featured Artist: Ana Wood

This week's featured artist is Ana Wood. She has answered some of our questions about her artistic process.

When I was young I was really interested in arts and crafts. I would spend hours painting by numbers, practicing children's craft kits like weaving, pottery, knitting, sewing. I took many visual art  courses in high school and went on to OCADU for Drawing & Painting and then George Brown College for Digital Art. 

What Inspires you?
Always keenly interested in nature and culture. which emerged from my roots. I am an adopted female Guatemalan raised in Canada. My first home in Canada was surrounded by wondrous trees on mountain like landscapes 15 minutes from the beach of Nanaimo, BC. I moved to the flat farm surrounded town of Newmarket. The contrast of the land and people with my need to find a way to define who I am, culturally, has become an influence on my life. Later it became the basis for my artwork.

Tell us about your chosen medium?
I work mainly in acrylic and watercolour, but am also exploring new mediums and surfaces. For now I work mainly on watercolour paper and canvas, with a few pieces on wood panels. I am also in the midst of perfecting new mediums such as digital painting, stitch work, weaving and pencil. The reason I am practicing various ways of creating imagery is to properly express and explore the world as I know it.  

Can you tell us more about your distinctive style?
What has started to make my work more unique is my exploration into culture, language and nature which has been the stepping stone into my own creation of my own realm. I have over the years tried to develop my own visual language to go with my own narratives of the world based on other mythologies and perspectives of various backgrounds with the incorporation of my surroundings and views. This is a slow process, and I am still at the beginning, as I am planning to make this a life long process to fully explore myself as well as the world. 

Thank you Ana, for sharing so much of yourself and your work. Ana will be participating in this year's studio tour during the weekend of October 15th and 16th.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Featured Artist: Ona Kingdon

Ona Kingdon is an internationally award winning watercolour artist and will be part of the Studio Tour again this year. We hope you enjoy reading her feature.
Over the last few years people have often said to me "Oh Ona, I wish I could peek inside your creative mind to see how you think of your ideas". Well, be prepared for a wild ride! 
Being an artist is not something I can turn off or walk away from at the end of a work day. Ideas bubble up when I least expect them, usually at the oddest of moments and often in the middle of the night! Events, people, objects, music, the written word, and the natural world around me all inspire me to create. Sometimes one of these things might suddenly connect with another inside my mind and an idea for a painting is born.
I love being able to convey a story, capture feelings or create a sensation of energy with my paintbrush.
 I enjoy tapping into all forms of emotion whether positive or negative. Art has such a wonderful way of encouraging people to challenge their own views, to think about controversial subjects or to remember fun happy times. I want to make people laugh, cry, feel comforted, disturbed, sad, happy, or even angry. It doesn’t have to be the same emotion that I feel when painting the piece either. We each have different experiences in this world and it is these that we tap into when viewing art.
Flight of the Imagination
A good book encourages a young child’s imagination 
to spread its wings and fly free
(Transparent Watercolour)
The idea for a painting begins long before the magical first dab of paint touches the paper. I spend almost as much time planning as I do actually painting; exploring the composition and playing around with different ideas.

Midnight Blues
Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can truly appreciate the light.(Transparent Watercolour)
Colour choice is very important to me and helps me to convey the ‘soul’ of a painting. Every colour, or combination of colours, subconsciously conveys emotion. The strong vibrant reds have such power and energy, blues are more calming. A palette of complimentary colours creates excitement, drama, a more modern contemporary feel and an element of fun in a painting. In contrast an analogous colour palette creates a more loving, calm, inviting, classical feel.
Although I usually have a very clear idea in my mind from the onset what I want to create, the painting journey is full of times when I am unsure of how to proceed, times when I need to stop and think, or times when I make a mistake and have to decide whether to live with it and use it, or to find a way to remove it. Never be afraid of making a mistake. Mistakes are an important part of growth and learning. If you play it safe and stay in your comfort zone you will miss the opportunity to discover and grow as an artist. So take risks and explore. Ask your self questions, Let yourself wonder why, or what if, and enjoy the process.
Watercolour is such a delicate and unforgiving medium but the trials during each painting journey often seem to enhance that feeling of accomplishment at the finish line. It is this journey that I love the most about being an artist.


If you fall behind, don’t give up. Rise up against the odds: Go faster; be stronger and be more determined than ever to succeed.

(Transparent Watercolour)

Ona will be at Covernotes Tea and Coffeee House 10268, Yonge Street in Richmond Hill  (October 15th-16th) for the Studio Tour this year. She hopes to see you there.

Thursday 28 July 2016

Katie and Sharon: Artists in Residence at Mill Pond Gallery

This week, Studio tour artists, Sharon Kirsh and Katie Argyle are Artists in Residence at the Mill Pond Gallery.  This bright sunny space, located beside the Mill Pond, is one of the featured stops during the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. During the summer, this gallery space is occupied by artists at work. And for the week of July 22nd to July 29th, Katie and Sharon have been hard at work, indulging in their desire to create in a focused manner.

Works in Progress: Sharon's Cold Wax Paintings beside Katie's Wood Cuts


Q. Why did you want to be an artist in residence?

Katie Argyle (KA): I was an artist in residence here last year and I knew that I could make good work in this space. So, this year I planned to finish some large projects and continue to add to my series of work about the suburbs. I also, simply value the large space we have available to us. I have a very small studio and I live in an apartment. I can't actually see or display many of the pieces I make. For me, part of being here is the joy to see my own work up on a wall.

Katie's got big plans!

Sharon Kirsh (SK): My studio is at home, and although I am grateful to have this convenience and space, I am to easily distracted by home responsibilities. I am deeply sensitive to my environment, and felt that being somewhere new sharing space with another creative soul, would bring new energy and vitality to my work (and it did!). 

Work in Progress, Looking at the world "Through Rose Coloured Glasses"


Q. What did you hope to get accomplished, and what actually happened?

(KA): I hoped to finish carving a large woodblock and to immerse myself in printmaking techniques. In particular I wanted to try some experiments with prints. What has happened is I have talked to more people then I thought I would. I will finish my large woodblock and have made a print a day.

Katie's wall of daily print and larger print from her series on the suburbs.

(SK): My plan was to first complete a few pieces that seem to remain chronically in progress. I am pleased to say, that they have taken on completely new life and energy, (pictured up above) and although still not complete, they now feel interesting and alive. I also wanted to play with an idea that has been simmering for the last few months. Influenced by the musicians and dancers I met during York Region Art Council's Artrepreneur program. I started some small samples of this idea earlier this week, and am eager to continue them on a larger scale in the remaining day here.

New idea, reflections on movement.

(KA & SK): Today is our last day at the gallery as Artists in Residence. There is an Abba Tribute band playing at the Mill Pond Park across the street tonight so the party atmosphere may make it's way into the gallery.... Before then, we have plans to work on a collaborative piece today. Check out tour websites, and Facebook pages, to see more of our progress!

To learn more about Katie and her work please visit, or To learn more about Sharon Kirsh and her work, please visit or For details about Artrepreneur program, check out

Please make a point of visiting both of these artists during the studio tour!

Thursday 14 July 2016

Featured Artist: Raya Finkelson, 3D Artist

This week the very talented Raya Finkelson shares her artistic musings with us by answering some questions lovers of art often want to know.

How did you get your start as an artist?

I was not born into an artistic family and was not immersed or exposed to a lot of art and music growing up.  But, I always felt that there was a creative spark inside me that was constantly growing and waiting for the right time to emerge.  I felt inspired by various life experiences, memories and the natural world.  In my teens I began experimenting with drawing, painting and sculpting for a few years, but eventually abandoned those pursuits to focus on school, immigrating to a new country and starting a family.  As is common with most creative personalities, it was only a matter of time before the swelling up of inspiration would come out and reveal itself once again, this time through a more dedicated effort to focus on painting and sculpting.  In 2005, I made my art a priority and haven’t looked back.  it is now my full time endeavor.

What Inspires you and your work?

The beauty and diversity of the natural world is my primary inspiration. The depth and variety of shapes in nature constantly provide endless opportunities for me to re-imagine and reinterpret the world around me into 3D sculptures paintings.

Can you please describe your process?

The entire process is quite time consuming, since it involves more than just putting brush strokes to canvas as I am creating 3 dimensional objects within my paintings.  The steps include sketching, defining the 3D objects, molding them out of clay, baking the clay, then attaching them to the canvas. Only then does the actual painting begin.  You can find some of my art work at

Please visit Raya Finkelson during this year's studio tour, when you certainly will be amazed by her beautiful 3D works. The studio is on during the weekend of October 15th and 16th. Sign up for our email list for more details!

Thursday 7 July 2016

Irit Brodsky: Fused Glass Creations

This week we are featuring Irit Brodsky. She is a wonderful fused glass artist.

It is a very exciting moment when the hood of the kiln is opened and the finished glass creation is revealed. Rarely do I look at it and think " yeah, it's what I expected". I am constantly amazed by how the glass changes from the raw 12"x12" squares, bought in the store, to a finished product that has a minimum of two layers of cut, constructed and designed pieces of harmonized glass. Each piece is warmed up to almost 1500 degrees and cooled back to room temperature, which takes about 12 hours. It is then warmed and cooled again over a ceramic mold in order to give the piece a functional purpose.

 I grew up by the Mediterranean Sea, mesmerized by the sunsets. Turquoise and Orange is my favourite combination of colours and I never get tired of them. Glass can be very playful and shiny, allowing the artists to enjoy endless combinations of creative possibilities.

Fused glass has been a hobby for almost 10 years, and I am still learning new things.
My next goal is to in cooperate glass with wood, for the purpose of coffee tables and shelves. And yes, I am still holding on to my day job... for now.

I am honoured to be included among such talented artists and excited to present my work at the Richmond Hill Studio Tour 2016. You can learn about Irit by visiting her website  Please visit her during this year's studio tour!

Thursday 30 June 2016

Featuring John Nussbaum and Canada Day Art Exhibition

Art is a Journey

John Nussbaum is a wonderful watercolour artist, and new to the Richmond Hill Studio Tour. He has shared some musings on his artistic process as well as his beautiful works of art.

Art is a journey that travels in several directions, to many destinations & in all kinds of weather.  The important thing is to have fun, make the most of it & enjoy the activity. Successfully realizing one’s creativity generates a great deal of satisfaction, with a fair dollop of frustration on the way. Even greater enjoyment arises when hurdles are overcome & positive feedback springs from appreciation by others.

For many years I have found time to paint & enjoy a variety of media.  Watercolour is, however, my favourite.  The interplay of colours, shapes & transparency fascinate me. They facilitate a great degree of freedom and fun. The wet flowing colours & shapes create happy effects. A free hand characterises my works, emanating from a loose approach and an emphasis on colour as the dominant element, setting the mood.

Multiple layers of masking fluid come into play within my work. This generate a fair amount of dynamism and reveal my distinctive style. Another technique I apply extensively is mounting my finished watercolour paper on a rigid surface (often gallery canvas), then spraying & brushing several layers of fixative & varnish for protection. The result is contemporary and ready-to-hang painting. You will find more of John Nussbaum's work on his website and during this year's studio tour, which will be held on the October 15th and 16th weekend.

Canada Day

The most anticipated event of the year in our community amazes thousands every year with live entertainment, a children's village and teen zone, a beer garden and food pavilion, a family-friendly midway and a marketplace and art exhibition. 

This is an event not to be missed!

Event Details:
Richmond Green Park (located at the northwest corner of Elgin Mills Road East and Leslie Street)
Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fireworks: 10 p.m. (rain or shine)

Visit for more event information, including schedules, shuttle bus routes, entertainment and sponsors.

We look forward to celebrating Canada Day with you!

Thursday 23 June 2016

Lori Dreyer Spendiff: The Magic of the Medium

This week's blog post is written by Lori Dreyer Spendiff. Although new to the studio tour, Lori is not new to the making of art. She is a highly skilled watercolourist and beloved fine art educator. 

Orange Dream
Drop Aureolin (yellow) onto wet watercolour paper and watch it spread.  Add a puddle of Permanent Rose and then watch the two colours mingle to make orange.  Repeat with Prussian Blue.  Tilt the paper, letting gravity do its job, and you’ll see purple, green and grey appear in the mix.  It doesn’t matter how often I demonstrate this basic watercolour technique, it never fails to impress me. I love the process and challenge of watercolour.  The endless variations and possibilities are a constant source of inspiration.

Primary Colour Blend
I enjoy working in the traditional watercolour method.  Layers of transparent washes are built up to create intense colour, deep shadows, and inviting textures.  As the only white I use is the white of the paper, the challenge is to build the layers without losing the lights.  Once you lose them, they’re gone.  And too many layers of even the most transparent paint can become muddy, especially in the dark areas and shadows.  Put down the brush and walk away!

Jet Eye
Creating texture can be difficult, but fun, even when it backfires.  Watercolourists are the original faux-finishers, and we use all kinds of items and tools (salt, plastic wrap, sponges, just to name a few) to disturb the paint while it dries, or to apply paint on a dry background.  Many of my texturing experiments have inspired future pieces – I love the results, which are sometimes not what I expected, and look for a way to work them into a painting.

Fall Colour
Translating the images in my mind onto paper is not always easy.  Watercolour can be unforgiving.  There is nowhere to hide, no cover-up, and no turning back.  But it is also exciting – those first few washes are filled with so much possibility.  I never know exactly how the pigment will settle into the pores of the paper until it has dried completely.  Many of my paintings are never finished, but I find the process so satisfying that I am inspired to try again.  And again.  When all the elements do come together, and the painting works – it’s magic!

Fort Myers Pier
I am honoured to be a part of this year’s Richmond Hill Studio Tour.  Drop in and see my work at the Boynton House during the tour, on October 15 & 16, 2016.  For information on my classes and workshops, please visit my website or my Facebook page.