Plein air painting has been the main source of inspiration for all of John Alexander Day’s artwork. Whether a cityscape or the countryside, Day has always sought to capture the atmosphere of each location he paints. Whether he paints in North America, Europe, or closer to home, he always seeks to leave the viewer with a sense of being in the place. Witnessing nature first hand, and working right there, gives Day a certain freedom to paint without any preconceived notions. In this way, he is not bound by the formulas that can easily creep into one’s work. Day is especially drawn to the effects of light and atmosphere. An overcast or sunny day, the changing light, the sound of the ocean spray against rock, or the quiet waters of a lake keep him motivated and infuse his practice. In his own way, Day hopes to continue the tradition of making the viewer look again at what might be an ordinary scene, transformed through light and atmosphere.
Linda Bergeron Baril is from the Mauricie Region of Quebec. Bergeron Baril is largely a self-taught artist. She dedicates herself full-time to her passion—painting. She is constantly progressing on her artistic journey by participating in various workshops, including at the ICSCIS school in Tuscany, Italy and Slikamilina Painting Tours in Croatia. Over the years, she has acquired a plethora of plein air painting experience by joining groups such as Plein Air Ensemble Ottawa. Bergeron Baril has travelled extensively and lived in many places, including Québec, Toronto, Dartmouth, St-Jean-sur-le Richelieu, Germany and France. She now resides in the picturesque town of Pontiac in the Outaouais Valley. With her studio located on the banks of the Ottawa River, she is constantly inspired by her surroundings.
Throughout her practice, Bergeron Baril employs numerous techniques, including alla prima, impasto, sgraffito, and scumbling. She works in a range of media, including oils, watercolours, felt pen, acrylics, and oil pastels. And throughout this diverse practice, Bergeron Baril has developed a unique style, in which her lines flow loosely with expressive spontaneity and grace. Through Bergeron Baril’s vibrant and intricate layering of colours, one can feel her joie de vivre and romantic penchant.
Her work has been displayed in numerous galleries in Ottawa, Montréal, and Québec City. Numerous pieces of her work hang in private collections all over Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. Notably, in December 2017, Bergeron Baril was part of the Canadian Delegation of International Artists that exhibited at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. She has been awarded the 2003 "Favourite of the Jury" prize in Gatineau, and the 2009 "Public Choice Award," also in Gatineau, which was highlighted in the following newspapers: Le Droit, The Citizen, The Equity and the Pontiac Journal.
Jim Leach's interest in art was inspired by his grandfather, who was a landscape artist in Québec. This, combined with his love of the countryside and nature, has created a passion for landscape painting that allows Leach to express the beauty of the natural world through his art work. Leach's landscape paintings employ a bold, impressionistic style. He uses vibrant colours to express the rich beauty of the Canadian landscape. Leach is continually inspired by the works of Tom Thomson, The Group of Seven and René Richard. His landscape paintings are primarily scenes from the Eastern Townships region of Québec and the Ottawa/Gatineau area. He is predominately a plein air painter and enjoys the solitude of painting in situ. Even if he is without his paints, Jim always travels with a sketch book: "I seem to be able to recollect where and when each sketch was done and what the weather conditions were at the time."
Jim Leach and his wife Carol live in Ottawa and have a son, Gregory, daughter, Andrea, two granddaughters Noelle and Amelia, and a dog named Mazy.
"Painting landscapes is a wonderful medium to allow one to appreciate the hidden colours that can be found in nature."
The balance between tension, stillness, movement, expansion, and volume as natural forces continue to feed Johanna Jansen's inspiration. This balance is under continual stress as humans relentlessly assert and exert their power to manipulate the physical and cultural forces which shape our world. As research continues to show, the effects may be seemingly innocent and of little consequence; however, slowly the earth and its many cultures are being forced to change and establish new boundaries. Environmental climate change and the #MeToo movement are recent examples of nature and cultures responding to these abuses of power.
Jansen's ceramic works involve methods to investigate of these forces on a smaller scale. Jansen engages the four elements of life: earth, wind, fire, and water with an awareness of the limitations and control she has over the process. The immediacy of unforeseen outside influences when firing ceramic works is somewhat related to the natural world reacting to the unknown effects of extreme uses of technology and carbon.
The markings created during these firing are sometimes delicate, fleeting and may suggest the impermanence of a state of being or a frame of mind. However, the tactile surfaces of these works attest that a transformation is occurring—this time caused by the very elements previously subjected and controlled by others.
Tracey Kucheravy's acrylic landscapes are scenes in motion, inviting viewers to experience moments in time. Landscapes depicting summer storms, fields of wheat, or waves breaking on the shore are all rife with explorative possibility.
Born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Kucheravy currently lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is deeply influenced by her surroundings: vast prairies, lush forests, and colourful valleys all serve as inspiration for her paintings. She considers the Group of Seven artists to be another central influence, and she shares their commitment to exploring the unique character of the Canadian landscape. Kucheravy’s artworks are held in private collections in Canada and the United States. Her work has been featured in New York, Riding Mountain National Park, in galleries locally in Winnipeg, Federation of Canadian Artists Group Exhibits, and Ottawa.
“As a romantic, I am inspired by opulent architecture, dilapidated structures, and bucolic scenery. My work regards the ingenuity and fragility of human labour against the background forces of nature. I revel in using oil paints to describe the textures of snow, rock, wood, brick, chipped paint, rust, water, and moss onto canvas. I present vignettes that captured my eye and imagination, with the desire to express the sentiment of the moment—it is usually something between heartwarming and melancholy.”
Jocelyne Moreau began painting as a young girl in her hometown of Temiscaming, Québec. Jocelyne has participated in many juried shows across Ontario and Quebec. Her works can be found in many private collections in Canada, United States and several countries around the world. Today, she lives and works in Ottawa, Canada. She has been paining professionally since the late 1980’s and currently paints alongside renowned Canadian artist, Gordon Harrison.
“Lines have always been a significant element in my art and through my journey as an artist. My relationship to lines however, has evolved immensely over the years. … As a child, the lines and limits of colouring books felt restrictive and imposing. In my adolescence, I taught myself to paint by copying the works of great artists like Van Gogh and Monet. … Adulthood took me to the Netherlands, where I was dazzled by the chiaroscuro of the Dutch Masters … Later a stay in the Middle East, where the softness of the light and the vastness of the desert inspired me to create a collection of water colour paintings. To this day, I feel most connected to the light on the subjects, landscapes, rural scenes and still life. And still, the most thrilling moment in painting, is when lines and contours reveal themselves, shaping a new vision; a new story that I share through my work. The difference is that I now shape my own lines."
Growing up in Montreal, Quebec, B. Jane Magee has been drawing and painting since she was a little girl. She spent her summers at her family's cottage in Quebec, taking in the sights and sounds of the serene mountains and the busy little towns in the Laurentians and the Eastern Townships. Memories from Jane's childhood are often what dictates the direction of her art. Quaint Quebec scenes, the magical colours of the Canadian seasons, les Cabanes à Sucre, nature.
Magee graduated from the University of Western Ontario with her degree in Visual Arts and French. Her work can be found in collections across Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. She has studied with several well-known Canadian artists, including Gordon Harrison, Brian Atyeo and Linda Kemp.
Magee has lived across Canada in Toronto, London, Edmonton and Ottawa. She now resides in Manotick, Ontario with her husband, cats and dog.
Her love of colour is one of the strengths of her art. Magee has worked extensively in pen and ink, watercolour, acrylic and oils. To her, art is a form of expression more powerful than words in any language. It is her belief that art can and should be a part of everyone's life. Her hope is that you will feel a part of that magic, and smile when you see her work.
Two words best describe the art of Kirk Larson – COLOUR and FORM. Larson’s work is a study of colour, contrasts and shapes, and the connection between them.
Larson was raised in a mid-century modern environment. His father was an architect heavily influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; his mother was a hobby interior designer, influenced by the likes of Eames and Jacobsen. These early influences are noted in his work.
“I grew up with green shag carpeting, teak wood furniture, and an odd ‘egg shaped’ chair in the living room. At the time, I didn’t appreciate the design beauty that surrounded me. With the resurgence of mid-century and Scandinavian design, I have discovered my love for the colours, forms and abstract nature of that era.
Having put the brushes and canvases away a number of years ago to raise three children and pursue a professional career, Larson recently picked up the brushes and dusted off the canvases, to embark on a journey of experimentation.
"I transitioned into the ‘empty nester’ phase of my life, once my three children were away at university. It was time to do something just for me, as well as escape the stress of a busy all-consuming career. It has been a couple years of experimentation and growth, perfecting my style, and discovering what I am best at.”
Larson’s art presents us with a culmination of influences: the “pop” of hot pink juxtaposed with a subtle pallet, the lime green found commonly in his “whimsical houses” pieces, and the deep orange so popular in 1960’s mid-century modern décor. Larson has created an array of pieces with vibrant colours, interesting forms, and intriguing diversity.
“I start with subject matter and shape, then I move to colour, and finally I end with technique. It is not unusual that my sleep is restless, ideas forming in my head, and prompting me to start a project in the middle of the night.”
Art and creativity have always been very important elements of Marleen Campbell’s life. After retiring as a teacher and vice-principal, Campbell decided to embrace her passion for oil painting, taking her inspiration from the exceptional beauty of the Canadian landscape, and from her second love, tulips.
Campbell currently resides in Ottawa, but has lived and traveled throughout much of Canada; she is constantly in awe of Canada’s vast and natural beauty. She has found particular inspiration from the stunning colours of the landscapes surrounding her cottage in the Haliburton highlands. Campbell’s paintings reflect the richness and vibrancy of layered of colour within the changing seasons, especially autumn. Campbell’s second greatest inspiration stems, in part, from her Dutch heritage, in part from living in the Ottawa area—tulips. Their strong colours and bold shapes inspire her to celebrate their vibrancy.
Campbell’s paintings have been featured at the Gordon Harrison Gallery in Ottawa, Manotick Gallery and Framing, Plumes et Glisse in Tremblant, and Haliburton. Her work and commissioned pieces can be found in private collections throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.