JUNE 2020 newsletter



“Curiosity is one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings —
it allows us to throw our arms open to greater understanding,
greater compassion, greater healing.”

— Marie- Noelle Wurm  —

The Markham Group of Artists commits to being an inclusive and welcoming
association and seeks to further inclusiveness, harmony, and acceptance in our community.



Weekly PLEIN AIR Sessions Launched 

The MGA  has launched a series of Plein Air opportunities for members, past members and friends and is open to artists of all skill levels. Despite the cool weather and the windy day we managed to paint at Toogood Pond last Thursday. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate but that is one of the joys of Plein Air painting.

Our next location on June 18th is the Markham Heritage Estates at 16th and Heritage Corners (north off 16th just west of Hwy 48). There are lovely heritage homes that have been relocated to this area with lots of street parking.  Join us at 10 am; Pat or Edward will meet you at the MGA sign to provide further instructions.

“It was a new experience for us, much different from painting at home, but here’s
our first attempts.  John’s are the pen sketches. He usually does abstract. Mine is
the pen and watercolour. Great experience, we hope to do the next one”

— Laurel + John Martin


PEERING IN: Bi-Weekly Zoom Peer Critique

Our first ZOOM Peer Critique session was launched last Wednesday and runs every other week this summer. It will give you a chance to share what you have been working on and get some feedback and helpful suggestions from other artists. It is our hope that these critiques will inspire you to create art as well as develop supportive relationships with other artists. These online sessions will be moderated by members of our group who will facilitate the dialogue but will not give the critique. Send your name and email address to markhamartists@gmail.com  if you would like to participate for the next session. 



Virtual Members Show
June 10th—30th, 2020
Our first virtual MGA Members show is now online for viewing. Twenty-three MGA artists are participating and featured artworks are posted daily on Facebook and Instagram until the end of the month. 

Click here to view:  
The Show That Never Was



For the first time in MGA history, we are hosting a juried show this summer that is open to ALL artists in Toronto and the GTA. Submissions must be original drawing, painting, printmaking or mixed media created within the last two years.  We're honoured to have juror Suzanne Metz to select the show pieces and award winners.  A Call for Entry will be sent out soon with more details.

                   OPEN CALL FOR ENTRY: July 5
                   SUBMISSION DATES:  August 1-7, 2020
                   JURYING: August 8-11; accepted artists will be notified by email August 12th
                   SHOW DATES:  August 15 – Sept. 5, 2020
                   REGISTRATION FEE (2 pieces): $20 members; $25 non-members
                   PRIZES AWARDED : Best in Show, 2nd Place, Juror's Choice and five Honourable Mentions 



This collaborative project created by 20 MGA members is moving along nicely even with the challenges of physical distancing. About 75% of the artwork is finished and construction for the large frame, (6' x 10'!) has begun with the intent to install the piece temporarily at the Markham GO Station in July until the Morgan Park Pool facility is fully open which will be it's permanent home. 
A reveal and public reception date will be announced. To read more about the beginnings
of the project, click on the image.



For several years artists have participated in the “True Patriot Love” helmet auction. The helmet is provided and artists do the painting. The foundation will be having an online auction this year and are looking for new faces. This is of course voluntary; proceeds go to families of military veterans. 

If interested in participating, contact: 

Brad Byrne, True Patriot Love Foundation Auction Coordinator  
P: 416.358.9730   E: brad@bbauthenticated.com


I N T R O D U C I N G :
Your 2020 Spring/Summer Membership Committee Co-Chairs

Robin Potter
Having returned to painting after a long hiatus, I find that my work is quickly redefining itself as I learn about technique and materials from the artists around me. Working primarily in acrylics with a mix of collage and other media, my abstract paintings have begun to reflect my curiosity in two primary thematic areas: workplace conventions as well as memory and learning. I have begun to recognize a modernist influence in my work, but I begin from an intuitive impulse that leads to surprising revelations.

I was honored to be asked to take on the role of co-chair along with Carmela Casuccio. My hope is to continue to work with our fantastic membership committee to see MGA through the COVID 19 isolation period and help to navigate our group through to an exciting season ahead.

To see more paintings by Robin visit www.robinlpotter.com

Workload Agreement: The Gingham Foursquare 
This painting is the second in a series that expresses incongruities and fragility in workplace settings. The triangles reference exploded pie charts, and they hover over purple swirls of creativity and energy. 

Transit 19  | This painting seeks to express continental interconnections and vulnerabilities amidst a global pandemic.



Carmela Casuccio 
My work has been featured in galleries and shows in Toronto for many years and I’ve enjoyed teaching many workshops in the GTA. Since joining the MGA a couple years ago, I am enjoying being more involved in activities closer to home and getting to know a wonderful and supportive new group of artists. As the new Show Director, I am thrilled with the quality of the submissions to The Show That Never Wasand plans are underway for an exciting juried show in August.

Acrylic is my favoured medium and my paintings range from intricately designed smooth canvases to heavily textured and 3 dimensional sculptural paintings with layered watercolour paper on canvas or board. I love painting land and seascapes that show my unique vision of the world as experienced through my travels and imagination. My subject matter also includes abstract cities explored intimately up close or from a distance.

It is a great pleasure to work with Robin Potter as Membership Committee Co-chair. One of our goals, working with a dedicated group of volunteers, is to give our members and fellow artists opportunities to connect and be inspired to paint in during this time of physical isolation. Our plans for the fall season will further invigorate the MGA  and its members. 

To see more of Carmela’s paintings, visit www.carmelacasuccio.com

Timeless City 90
  |  acrylic on canvas  |  18 x 24

Finding Light 
 |  acrylic on canvas  |  18 x 18




If you would like to be featured in our monthly newsletter and are a current or past member (2015—2020)
submit a brief paragraph about yourself and one or two images to:

Gwyn Vaughan Williams 
Studied at:
• Kingston Faculty of Fine Art, London
• London University
• The Academy of Fine Art Munich, Germany
• The Goethe Institute, Munich
British Council Award for travel abroad.

The visual that I employ is garnered from experience, trial and error, study  and imagination. Thus I draw and paint. As an artist I have never embraced any dogma or ism and therefore am free to explore many possibilities in the media of watercolour, oil, acrylic and pencil. Photography is useful  to record and freeze the moment. The magic of the spectrum, can be created  from just 3 primary colours, yellow, magenta, and cyan. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colours.


Oak Forest
ART GYM : Creative exercises for the playful artist 

Who knows where this could lead you.
This is the fun of it.  Go play.

—  Judy Livingston

Opposites Unite: 
Use opposites (flat shapes against a textured field; simple, random geometric shapes against more organic shapes; high colour against light or mid-range value ground or value contrasts.)

Supplies: Lots of options

• Support - new or used WC Paper (taped to board) or canvas ( e.g. 9” x 12”, 11” x 14”)
• Sheets torn from the newspaper or comics
• Acrylic gel or liquid medium (to adhere paper to support)
• Gesso (White or slightly tinted)
• India Ink or Acrylic Ink (may be diluted first)
• Pencil, Brushes (round for inks, flat for gesso), water container, paper towels, etc.
• Image - to draw or trace ( could also be intuitive and abstract)


• Adhere newspaper to chosen support.  Let dry.
• Randomly and roughly apply gesso - leaving bits of newspaper exposed. Let dry.
• Using a pencil draw or trace a shape or shapes on the dry gessoed surface.
• Work in a small area at a time.
• Using a round brush, apply ink only to the gesso surface avoiding the exposed newspaper, graduating the value with water as you go. (See samples)
• White (or tinted) gesso may be left  to provide your lightest value.

 So many options:

• Watercolour paints create an interesting effect and may be lifted easily.
• Using an old acrylic painting? Using tape, mask the surface with random shapes and sizes. Then randomly and roughly apply gesso to the surface. You may have to remove the tape carefully (use tweezers or tip of X-acto)  before gesso is dry so tape does not adhere to the surface.

Use your imagination and play, play, play!


Supporting the arts: