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Sunday 29 September 2013

Featured Artist: Nancy Falconi

Nancy Falconi

Where were you born?
I was born in Richmond Hill, our first home was on Weldrick Road.  Our home faced South and when you looked out there was nothing but fields.  

Art related vacation....
If I could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world, it would be to Hawaii.   I would really like to do some underwater photography  and I would love to  see dolphins up close and personal.  My art related vacations always center around wildlife and nature. 

What is your favourite thing to create and why?
I have many favourite creative pursuits, my favourite is when the inspiration flows and  I become so involved in creating,  that when I am finished  the painting, book, article, photography - it is better than I could have imagined possible. 

How did you get your started in the world of art?
It was a serendipitous moment combined with the decision to try something way out of my comfort zone that led to my first art show.  I had been a professional photographer for many years, and had started taking painting courses to expand my offerings. One day I was taking a course, and I started talking to the woman sitting beside me, Michele who just happened to be the organizer of a local art show/tour.  I was learning to paint some elephants using the photographs I took on a trip to Africa.
Michele suggested that I should apply for the upcoming Fall show that year.  I had never had an art show before,  I didn’t think it would be possible given I did not have a body of work yet.   I filled out the applications,  and explained in the application what I would create for the art show.  I did not have any completed painting to submit, just the images and the concept.  To my enormous surprise I was selected amongst many applications to be in the show.  Once I was accepted into the show I worked many late nights preparing the pieces for the show.  My first show featured encaustic & photography combined, featuring elephants.  Taking a leap of faith, really paid off and led to many  opportunities and leads - 2 galleries representing my work,  sales, new customers, and in invitation to teach.

Do you have a go to paint colours that you love to use in your art work?
I do not have just one go to paint colour that I use in my art work.  I tend to favour the blue, purple side of the colour palette for sure.  If I had to pick my favourite paint colour it would be Phthalo Turquoise.

Who has been your biggest inspiration as an artist?
Nature is my biggest inspiration, animals especially.  

What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Some of the most rewarding career achievements as a photographer have been seeing my images on the cover of magazines in nicely designed layouts and for my writing, seeing my first published compilation book go to a bestseller on amazon.

If you could have 3 wishes as an artist what would it be

  1. A studio, over looking the ocean, with high ceilings, lots of natural light and windows, surrounded by nature and peaceful.
  2. Unlimited resources - time, money, inspiration to devote to painting and creating art
  3. Having the following mentors:  Michalangelo & Rodin for sculpture, Leonardo DaVinci for facial expressions, Rembrandt for painting portraits, Monet flowers, landscape, emotional impact,  Picasso for imagination, Degas for drawing & lines, Turner for  lights & darks (contrast) and the use of water mediums,  Georgia O’keefe for originality and courage.

What is the best advice your have received as an artist?
When I started out in photography, a mentor told me to take 100 pictures a day of my favourite subject.  Over and over.  There are 2 things about this that really helped me, firstly  it helped me see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary things in my day to day life.  Secondly this exercise helped develop consistency and discipline,  showing me the importance of practicing my creativity and passion every day, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes.

What colour best describes your personality?
The colour of the sunrise

Thursday 26 September 2013

Featured Artist: Elena Fumagalli

Elena Fumagalli 
Contact (phone or e mail)
416-948-660 cell
Where were you born? 
In Venezuela, South America

If you could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why? 
Italy, because art surrounds you, it's everywhere, there is so much history. The energy it's amazing

What’s your favourite thing to create and why?
I love making bowls, platters and vases. I love to use them as canvas, I can draw and paint on them. I can carve them, alter them.
And you can put your favorite foods in them and enjoy them everyday.

How did you get your start in the world of art?
Ever since I was a little girl I use to draw all the time on to any surface.
Art has always been my passion.

Do you have go-to paints/colors that you love to use in your art work?
I love bright and happy colours.

Who has been your biggest inspiration as an artist? 
My mother, she painted beautifully.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?
-When i was in High School, I received a few awards for best artist in the school.
-One of my drawing was published in the Year Book and displayed in an Art Competition with other schools and won.
-A platter and 2 bowls were chosen as Best in Show in three different occasions at the Hill Potters Guild.

If you could have three wishes as an artist, what would they be?
I wish I had my own studio and retail space to be able to sell to the public and make a name for myself.
To be able to take courses all over the world
To be able to do pottery, drawing and painting all day long.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
From my mother: Be yourself, express yourself and practice, practice and practice!!!

What colour best describes your personality?
Green:  I think it describes my personality because I love nature, I am a positive and optimistic person. I like harmony and peace in my life.

Friday 20 September 2013

It's the preview weekend!

Come to Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill this weekend and see examples of the work of the Studio tour Artists. Below is just a taster but if you visit us you will be able to look closely at the art work and you can even see some of the artists doing demo's!

Monday 16 September 2013

Featured Artist: Su Sun

Name of Artist: Sue SUN
Where were you born?  
I was born in Hong Kong and was taught to paint at an early age.
What’s your favourite thing to create and why?
My subjects are from our mother-nature, which possesses endless shapes and colors with which I demonstrate and rearrange.
My presentations are creative, simple and natural. They reflect the wonderful things in the world where we are living.
Plants in the landscape help convey” The Power of life”. Flowers in still life highlight the “Natural aspects in life”. I am enjoying painting in my own and neighbour flower gardens which I use for reference material. I am mostly inspired to work from real flowers. Combining my Asian Culture with oriental traditions to developed a unique and recognizable style of my own. I use black or white to utilize the space of the canvas to go beyond the usual forms of conventional in art composition.

I am in a constant search for an image that best reflects my creative voice… an image that matches my emotional and spiritual journey… always seeking the perfect balance of light, color, spirit and life force. I do not try to depict the reality of my subject, but rather my relationship with it.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Featured Artist Karen Pasieka

 Karen Pasieka

Online Gallery :

  Using the skills and sensibilities she developed through her background in architecture, artist Karen Pasieka has revitalized a beloved childhood pastime, and found her creative outlet in polymer clay sculpting.  Her passion for detailed work is expressed through her miniatures: delicately sculpted floral jewellery, ornaments and figurines, and most recently her framed artwork.

“I find myself continuously inspired by colour, whether from nature, fashion, or the new combinations that call out to me from my stores of clay.  I’m captivated by the contrasts between the singular, finely shaped flower, and the much bolder looks that result from the power of multiples.”   - Karen Pasieka

Where were you born? 
Richmond Hill, born at York Central Hospital.  Lived here at my house (that my husband and I purchased from my parents) from the day I was born!

If you could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why? 
 Europe.  I lived in Nice France for 4 months for a study abroad program when I was studying architecture at the University of Toronto.  Some of my favorite places were Venice, Rome, & Prague.  I'd love to revisit some of those favorites with my husband Peter, as well as catch some of the places I missed the first time.  I loved the lifestyle and being in places so rich in history and architecture.

What’s your favourite thing to create and why?
My framed art pieces because, unlike my jewellery or ornaments, the subject matter is so free, I can go anywhere with them!

How did you get your start in the world of art?
I have a B.Arch, but have always been artistic.  I think in my heart I have always needed a more free creative outlet...I believe I've found that in my work with polymer clay.

Do you have go-to paints/colors that you love to use in your art work?
I have one that I blend that I like to call ochre-orange, but greens I think will always be my favorite.

Who has been your biggest inspiration as an artist? 
 So tough to say.  Since high school I have always adored DaVinci and Jacques-Louis David (specifically The Death of Marat).  I had the opportunity to see Adoration of the Magi at the Uffizi in Florence...I sat in front of it for probably close to an hour.  I think it's the fact that it's incomplete, it's the promise of what it could be that I find so intriguing.  I love the sharp contrasts, the shadows that are so brooding, so deep with meaning, which is kind of ironic because my own work is nothing like that...most being quite lighthearted and whimsical.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?
 One of my necklaces was worn by Lisa LaFlamme during her coverage of the 2010 Summer Olympics, that was pretty exciting!

If you could have three wishes as an artist, what would they be?
 1.  To live, really live, off the revenue from my art, though I think that's every artists dream, if they don't already live it!
2.  To create a new studio for work, teaching, and display.  I'm currently working out of my basement that was finished by my dad...nostalgic, but not very conducive to productivity or inspiring.
3.  To have the time to work uninterrupted, in peace and quiet.  As a parent of two little children (right now 34 months & 14 months), this is a fervent desire!  I will have to wait until they are a little older I guess, but I so long for a time when I can let my creative juices flow.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Selling your art is a business.

What colour best describes your personality?
Green.  It can be cheerful, calm, serene...quiet.

Sunday 1 September 2013

Featured Artist

 Josephine Sherman
Josephine has been sketching and painting for over 20 years, with her body of work including a wide variety of techniques and media. Recently, her work has focused on the use of watercolour, charcoal, and soft pastel to translate and interpret elements of the North American wilderness landscape.

Where were you born?

I was born in a small village called Pisterzo (near Rome)  in Italy. I came to Canada with my family when I was 4 1/2 and lived in the northern community of  Timmins, Ontario. After that, I moved to Toronto and received a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and attended OCAD (Ontario College of Art) for three years.  I currently live in Richmond Hill and teach visual arts in an elementary private school, as well as teaching adult art classes and conducting workshops for various art groups.

If you could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

In the last number of years, I have enjoyed travelling to places that are remote, serene, and inspirational.  I have been to the High Arctic, Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, Algonquin Park, Texas, and most recently New Mexico.  If I could go anywhere in the world, I would wish to go back to Ellesmere Island, in the Arctic.  The surroundings are so surreal and beautiful. I would also like to go to Italy and spend more time in New Mexico. I love the rocks, the mountains and the colours you can experience in those places.

What's your favourite thing to create and why?

I love creating images of places that move and inspire me .  In those places one gets a sense of self and a sense of oneness with the universe.

How did you get your start in the world of art?

I remember receiving an award at school  in grade 3 for a painting of mountains with trees and a stream running through it.  I guess I have always been drawn to nature and to those places. My mom also bought me an oil paint-by-number set when I was in grade 3 and I remember enjoying filling in the tiny spaces with colours which in the end produced a remarkable scene.

Do you have go-to-paint colours that you love to use in your artwork?

I especially love mixing grays from the primaries and I make sure to have a lot of my favourite primary colours in my paintbox. I use Winsor Newton Watercolour paints. 

Who has been your biggest inspiration as an artist?

I have always enjoyed Picasso's classical period, Matisse's line, Georgia O'Keefe's simplicity of shape and colour, Lawren Harris's spirituality, Franklin Carmichael's contrasts, and Vermeer's use of light and dark.. I have also been inspired by several local artists and teachers over the years.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?

My teaching has been very rewarding and I enjoy hearing my students tell me that they have come to appreciate and observe nature in a way that they did not before.  I have also won several awards including "Best in Watercolour" at the Aurora Juried Art show, "Best Transparent Colour" at the Toronto Watercolour Society Juried show, and People's Choice Award at the Bayview Watercolour Society Juried show.  One of my paintings has been reproduced in a book entitled "Connecting With Nature" and I have had another painting included in "The Bruce Trail Calendar", both of which have raised funds for the conservation and preservation of our local environment.

If you could have three wishes as an artist, what would they be?

I would wish to be able to devote my full time to my art, to have a studio with lots of windows, and to be able to keep on painting for as long as possible.

What is the best advice you have received as an artist?

To draw, sketch, or paint a little every day.

What colour best describes your personality?

Gray - as it is a mixture of all the colours.