THE MARKHAM GROUP OF ARTISTS NEWSLETTER • JANUARY 2021
NEW BEGINNINGS: Welcome 2021, good riddance, 2020!
"What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." — T.S. Eliot
"The day after the night before" A SteamPunk Granny creation by Judy Livingston.
MEMBERS' DAY: Wednesday, January 13th
MEMBERS' DAY 6:30-7pm, Zoom
PRESENTER John Martin: 'Divine Geometry' using colour pencil on wood 7-9pm, Zoom
John will discuss how he uses different and diverse media in multiple layers to create deep, rich colours which play against the depth of the wood grains with great luminosity.
ABOUT JOHN: "As a self taught artist I have been painting and drawing since childhood. My work tends toward the abstract/ surreal and over the years I have explored many media and continue to do so. I have sought to interact with "large concepts" like the collective unconscious/spiritual universe, attempting to distill it visually and symbolically through my art. Lately, I have been focussed on "Mandalas", spiritual symbols intended for contemplation/meditation. The very process of creating these is a meditative exercise."
2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January 6 Peer Critique (Moderator Lynn Ross) 7:30 pm, Zoom __________________________ January 13 Members' Day 6:30-7pm, Zoom DEMO with John Martin: Divine Geometry (colour pencil on wood) 7-9pm, Zoom __________________________ January 20 Peer Critique (Moderator Susan Weisz) 7:30 pm, Zoom __________________________ January 27 Show + Tell Challenge 'Art during a Pandemic' and/or 'Still Life' Challenge (Submissions available for viewing on MGA website)
__________________________ February 3 Peer Critique (Moderator Lynn Ross) 7:30 pm, Zoom __________________________ February 10 Members' Day 6:30-7pm, Zoom DEMO with Mommin Khan (watercolour landscape) 7-9pm, Zoom
February 10 Members' Day 6:30-7pm, Zoom DEMO with Mommin Khan (watercolour landscape) 7-9pm, Zoom __________________________ February 17 Peer Critique (Moderator Lynn Ross) 7:30 pm, Zoom __________________________ February 24 Workshop (TBA) __________________________ March 3 Group Critique (moderator tba) __________________________ March 10 Members' Day (guest artist tba) __________________________ March 17 Peer Critique (Moderator Susan Weisz) 7:30 pm, Zoom __________________________ March 24 Workshop (TBA) __________________________ March 31 Peer Critique (Moderator Lynn Ross) 7:30 pm, Zoom
"I learned how to zoom and take a course with Grethe Jensen, a former member of the MGA, last October. It brightened my life right up. Grethe has a warm, delightful personality. One day she said acrylic painting is all about the layers. Here I am in my basement with my ipad listening to Grethe and looking at 2 different pieces of my art leaning against the wall. One big and one small. The big one is a black, grey and white acrylic abstract painting and the very small one is a very colourful abstract oil pastel. My brain lit up and said to me...draw all the shapes of the small work over the large work and paint in the colours with transparent paint. I loved the result of colour and shape together. I am no longer living in slow motion every day...I now have some days full of delight discovering a different way to express myself."
Susan Weisz lives and works in Thornhill, Ontario. She expresses herself through acrylic painting and mixed media. Strong, colorful, geometric abstracts dominate in some of her latest paintings, while other works are more free-flowing in nature.
Susan blends self-taught techniques with ones learned in courses and workshops with many respected artists and is a member of the Markham Group of Artists and the York Region Arts Council. Her work has been on display at the Mill Pond Gallery, Koffler Centre of the Arts, Markham Civic Centre- Mayor’s Art Showcase, Metro Hall, McKay Art Centre, Art Square Gallery, Twist Gallery, and at both the Flato Markham Theatre and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, where her work was featured in solo shows. Susan has been included in the Richmond Hill Studio Tour and Art Sale. She has participated in a public art mural for the City of Markham- The Henderson Bridge Mural. A selection of her individual artwork has been acquired by the City of Markham, and is now part of their public art collection.
Susan’s paintings are part of private collections in North America and Europe.
Swish, mixed media on canvas, 30”x24" | Strike -11", mixed media on canvas , 18”x18" | Untitled, acrylic on foam board, 9.5”x8”
When Marilyn begins a painting the result is unknown; intuition takes over and she follows the lead. The journey is strictly subconscious and could say the painting almost paints itself. Marilyn’s main goal is to have the painting speak to the viewer. The result is often overwhelming – certainly for the artist and hopefully, for the viewer as well.
TOP: mixed media diptych, 22" x 60" BOTTOM LEFT: mixed media diptych, 18" x 30", BOTTOM RIGHT: acrylic, 48" x 36"
JANUARY CHALLENGE: 'Home Sweet Home' Still Life
We are gong to be locked down inside our own homes with only essential trips to the grocery store and pharmacy at least until January 28th - and probably longer. Only the brave artists Laurel Martin and Linda Picerno will be venturing outside for Plein air this month.
Now is the time to open your eyes to the possible images around you. The kitchen table, your cozy reading chair and side table, a window shelf full of plants, or even your studio space. Think Van Gogh’s bedroom. Sketch, paint, or collage a piece and let us have a peek into your abode.
Submissions can be sent to Web Manager Laurel Martin email@example.com and she will post all images on the MGA website. Artwork will be available for viewing starting January 27th.
PEERING IN: Zoom Peer Critique Wednesday, January 6th
Each month, on selected Wednesday nights, artists are invited to join in the Zoom Peer Critique. They will share art that they have been working on and will get some excellent supportive and constructive feedback! Interesting observations and discussions will give the artists an idea of how they might improve or proceed forward with their work. The next critique is on Wednesday, January 6th @7:30 p.m. You should let us know you plan to attend by the Sunday before (January 3rd)* and submit your ONE painting to Lynn Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday (January 4th) before the critique.
*Late artists will be added to the next critique. NOTE: Participants can join the meeting up to 15 minutes in advance, which may help to start the meeting on time.
INTERNATIONAL ART: Australia
Introducing Mike Barr, an Australian artist whose work is sure to bring some sunshine into our cold, grey Canadian winters.
Here's an excerpt from his blog, "Painting the Rhythm of Life":
"The Rhythm of this little painting caught me by surprise with the swirling clouds, seagull tossed by the wind and girl's hair joining in with the music!"
Mike Barr mikebarrfineart.com Mike Barr Fine Art, PO Box 3057 Elizabeth East, SA 5112 Australia
"There are many ways of appreciating paintings, like composition, mood, drawing, colour, perspective, drama, technical skill and more. There is one thing though that we often like in paintings but we may not find the word for - and that is rhythm. Rhythm, apart from being difficult to spell, is seen quite plainly in some famous works. The first one I thought of was Turners snowstorm at sea painting in 1842. This grand impressionist portrayal of snow, wind and sea, looks as if it was painted under the guidance of the swaying arms of an orchestral conductor. The painting moves musically and it has caught the rhythm of real life with it's swirling brush strokes and harmonious colour.
In some ways rhythm can be more apparent in good abstract work, where brush and colour are unhindered by reality. My own appreciation of this type of work is marked by the visual music it produces. Vincent was the master of rhythm. He caught the movement in trees like no other and his starry nights blazed with atmospheric distortion as often happens on a hot summer night. Don McClean caught Vincent's rhythm in his song 'Vincent' in 1971 - arguably the most beautiful song ever written about an artist and their work.
The rhythm of life is not always easy to catch in a painting, but it is worth thinking about. Often it will mean exaggeration of certain elements of colour and form and this will drag us away from being totally realistic - and this, I believe is the beginning of being an artist!"
The Lost Spells is a book of poems, blessings, lullabies, and psalms; each page beautifully illustrated with watercolour pictures of birds, butterflies and animals.
A NOTE OF THANKS FOR OUR VOLUNTEERS
We want to extend a special thank you to Linda McIntosh for her service to Markham Group of Artists. She inspired our artists as President from 2017-2019 and generously extended her service informally as the group transitioned into new leadership through 2020. In addition, not only has she led communications, she has also for many years coordinated the mosaics, created visuals for various publicity and outreach, and managed our website. We are grateful that Linda will be continuing as a Director and with our newsletter and email communications. We also look forward to seeing more of her unique visuals and artwork.
We also want to welcome Laurel Martin who has stepped up as our new website manager, and Pamela Dey for looking after 2021 Membership Registration. Many hands make small work, and we appreciate the lightened load!