Vast Lands ~ Art Show

Mark  your calendars for July 15th, when Jennifer Trefiak and I introduce our newest collection of paintings at “Vast Lands.” Please drop in anytime between 1-5pm at St.Mark’s Church in Port Hope.

The show is inspired by Canada’s water, land and skies. Paintings will include landscapes from the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay, Frontenac, Gatineau, and Drumheller.

You can follow our Facebook Event Page for regular updates: Vast Lands.

We look forward to seeing you there! Last year “Earth and Sky” was a wonderful success. We are so fortunate to live in a small community that supports the arts. Remember we always have something for every budget; and if you just want to come say hello, and talk art, we appreciate that too!

You can also follow our Facebook Pages: Jennifer Anne Burke and Jennifer Trefiak.

See you soon!

Old Photos to New Paintings

Tonight I started cleaning my studio space, so I can paint tomorrow. In the process of looking for my Hoodoo photographs, I discovered a gold-mine of photos from my personal travels and hikes going all the way back to 2003. As a result, I pulled a few old photos out and found a wealth of inspiration.

Gatineau (2003), Quebec:

gatineau quebec

Emily Provincial Park (2004) and Petroglyphs Provincial Park (2015), Ontario:

emily park kia

Frontenac, Desert Lake, Ontario (2016):

frontenac aunt nancys lake

Killarney, Georgian Bay, Northern Ontario (2016):

killarney on easle

And of course, The Alberta Badlands (2016):

hoodoos summer show

I am super excited for the next art show: Vast Lands. If you’re in the area (Port Hope) July 15th please come see what me and Jennifer Trefiak have created!  I will try to write another blog by the end of June to show the progress of these painting… but for more regular updates you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @burkeuntitled.

Georgia O’Keeffe | AGO

On Friday, June 2nd I traveled with a friend into Toronto to explore the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). I have seen so many art exhibits over my lifetime (Klimpt, Van Gogh, Lawren Harris (lots of Group of Seven), Mystical Landscapes (which had so many famous artists) and this was by far the largest, and most enlightening for me. Also, the first woman artist where the exhibit was fully her own (even the Emily Carr exhibit I saw in Vancouver, was paired with modernist artist Wolfgang Paalen).

We were not allowed to  photograph any of the art, so I don’t have a whole lot to share visually. Just a few key points to share about her work, that have re-inspired me.

  • She worked with tons of charcoal, chalk and oil pastels on paper.
  • She has an amazing ability to make oil paints look like water colours.
  • Her lines are both soft and hard, crisp/clear yet blended so perfectly into her subjects and compositions (she played with abstract and expressionism, and created some very surreal paintings).
  • She painted in Canada, Quebec’s Gaspé!

georgia in gaspe

 

HER LIFE AND WORK:

I knew so little about this woman before the show. She is an artist who others have said my work reminds them of, and I never took it as much of a compliment (all I was familiar with were her flower paintings, which I always find a bore). It wasn’t until I saw her “Red Hills” painting at the Mystical Landscapes exhibit, that she really intrigued me:

georgia red hills

After this I started reading more about her, and her love of nature, the desert, and her connection to the earth. Her move to Ghost Ranch later in life is what really resonated for me (I can very much relate from my personal experience of Jasper- something about the air, the land, the lines, the energy… it feels like home, like I belong there. But to move there? Not yet, haha…) – she is incredibly strong, brave, and so independent. One of her famous quotes:

“I have been absolutely terrified of everything in my life, but I never let it stop me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

So few people do what they want to do in life, yet here is a woman, born around the turn of the century, who uprooted to New York, married a photographer, and traveled. After her husbands death she uprooted again and moved, alone, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lived almost an entire century (1887 – 1986), painting and never afraid of living life on her terms.

MY PERSONAL INSPIRATION

This exhibit reminded me of the value of different forms of exploring in art- I used to do a lot of oil pastels and line drawings, but moved away from those materials as my paintings started to sell. My focus moved fully to acrylic on canvas. I can feel myself transitioning back to oil pastels, and charcoal sketching. I miss working with the simplicity of lines on paper. Georgia’s work looked so stunning framed, that I’m inspired to try.

Since my last show in December, I had already decided I wanted to start “softening” my lines in my paintings. However, I have been struggling with this. Once I saw this exhibit, something clicked for me. I could physically see and visualize how Georgia was able to create contrast and dept through sharp lines, and blending. I’ve been playing with this and you might be able to see the difference between last years painting “Silver Sun, Lake Superior” where I was starting to soften and blend, and this new one I’m exploring of “Killarney, Georgian Bay.”

I am feeling a bit desperate to start working in oils. The more exhibits I see, and more professional work I observe, and the more I paint with “sticky acrylics” the more frustrated I become. I’m still unsure how or when I will transition, but for now I will keep working with my acrylics on canvas, and explore more oil pastels on paper.

ANNUAL SUMMER ART SHOW – Vast Lands

So the ball is rolling for the next art show happening Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Port Hope, Ontario. I will be displaying with Jennifer Trefiak again, and we are very excited to share our new works with you. Please drop by if you can, between 1-5pm.

Vast Lands” will include paintings from a variety of Canadian Landscapes, with Trefiak’s focus on beaches and skies, and my focus on Badlands (Alberta) and Georgian Bay (Ontario). I am trying to figure out how to make a 2018 Calendar for special orders too! If you have a favourite painting you’d like included in this project, let me know ASAP.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Hoodoo Fun

Imagine my amazement, as a Canadian artist, when a grade three class from Alberta contacted me about my Hoodoo paintings. They were studying Canadian Art as part of Canada’s 150th, along with studying the Hoodoo rock formations- so naturally my work spoke to them.

Since they contacted me on April 11th, we have exchanged about a dozen emails, and we even met one another via webcam on May 12th. I believe it was a fun and exciting month for us all!

I was so amazed by their questions, their interest in learning about art, but also in creating art. They had so many ideas: to paint cheetahs, kitty cats, dinosaurs, dragons, and the elements. When they sent me photos of their final paintings (of the Hoodoos) it literally brought tears to my eyes, I felt so happy and proud of them for creating these incredible works of art (only in grade 3!!! Great work kids!).

Here is some of their work, inspired by our Canadian Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta:

This fills my heart!

kids paintings 1

I hope I have everyone in!

Thank you to Mrs.Turk (in my opinion the best grade 3 teacher EVER!), for offering your students such a rich experience of art at this young age. They are truly blessed! Kids- keep up the amazing work! You’ve inspired me too ❤

Art: To Benefit Others

donation

I’m a big believer in supporting our local community; whether it be shopping locally, investing in local artists, or contributing your services to others. Whenever possible, I love to share to my art- but if it can benefit others than that’s even better.

On Sunday, June 25th from 5-10pm, there is a Benefit For A Cause: For Kortney Matthews happening in Port Hope (click on the highlighted link to view details on the Facebook Page). Kortney is a young mother of four children, and she’s currently going through chemotherapy. I met her many years ago, and although we fell out of touch, I remember her as a happy person, fun momma, and strong spirited woman. It made my heart sink (for her, her husband, and her children) to learn she is going through this. Any support you can give them, I am sure is much appreciated.

My painting “Chippewa Falls, Lake Superior” will be there, and all you have to do is buy a few raffle tickets to get your chance to win it! You can view my other Lake Superior Paintings in the “North West Gallery” to see the price range on this series (this one is valued at $200).

Along with a raffle table, there will be a huge variety of vendors selling their merchandise, and live music! I hope you can make it, to help invest in Kortney and her family, and support our local community.

Please help us spread the word- share this blog with others or share the Facebook Event on your own timeline!

Port Hope Little Libraries

LIBRARY:

little library compass and lakesSince the New Year, this Little Library project has been consuming my head space, studio space and calendar space! I am so so so happy to have it completed, and so honoured to have been a part of this community project. Four other woman also donated their time and space to creating lovely Little Libraries, for local folks to “take a book, leave a book.”

 

 

I wanted my libary to have a Canadian theme: Not patriotic but just symbolic of our vast land, it’s natural beauty, and stay in tune with my personal style of painting (Canadian Landscapes). After a lot of brainstorming, I settled on the four directions, and chose the paintings and sides to coordinate to the compass on the roof.

North: Aurora Borialis

East: Atlantic Ocean/Light House

South: The Great Lakes

West: The Rocky Mountains.

OTHER ARTISTS:

ROBYN TOWN:

Robyn organized the project, and reached out to a variety of local female artists to collaborate on the libraries. She is also the owner Maneki Neko Tattoo in Port Hope!

JENNIFER TREFIAK:

Jennifer is primarily known for her bold abstract paintings, but over the last year has been exploring her own style of “Northern Lights.” She is an artist located out of Colborne, Ontario.

CATHERINE LYNN:

little library catherine

Catherine has a soft, serene, dream like quality to her art. Keep your eyes open for her Little Library in Port Hope (it’s the four seasons).

ALLYSON DEMOE:

little library allyson

Allyson is an art teacher; her library is full of colour and imagination!

I cannot wait to see these libraries up around town! May 15th they will start going up! If you see any be sure to post them on Facebook, and tag us artists if you can!

OTHER NEWS:

  • Art Show – July 15, 2017 – St.Mark’s Church Port Hope
  • Benefit for a cause: Kortney Matthews – June 25, 2017 – my painting “Chippewa Falls” will be there on auction, with all proceeds going to Kortney and her family.
  • Yoga Fundraiser: 20 dollars – 20 minutes – 20 people – Stay tuned for details.

Life Revival

I feel like life is reviving itself: Days are getting longer, we’ve had more sun and some mild temps. Things are moving, and getting done. Feeling good.

Be warned: I’ve been busy covering a lot of ground, this is like four blogs in one!

carol lynn wins hopewell rocksART CONTEST WINNER

First things first: Thank you to everyone who participated in the “Sharing The Love: Spring Equinox” art contest. There were some beautiful Canadian photos shared, and the winner is Carol-Lynn Mills (one lucky woman- I just finished a large custom piece for her, and now she’s won the custom mini-painting)!

This is her photo of Hopewell Rocks, when she drove out east and traveled through New Brunswick. What a perfect Canadian Landmark to be painted, cannot wait to get started!

 

LITTLE LIBRARY PROJECT

This volunteer  project surfaced towards the end of 2016. I had the perfect vision for it, before I saw the actual “little library.” The original plan was to paint it like a 3D map of Canada- but the cedar shingle roof destroyed that vision instantly. So had to start brainstorming some new ideas. I really wanted to stay with my Canadian theme, but without it being too patriotic (visions of red and white, maple leafs, flags… not my thing). I love our land: Canadian wilderness, our natural resources, and the vast landscapes.

I decided instead of doing a map, I would focus on the 4 directions (North, East, South and West), with some sort of icon or landmark for that part of our Country. North would be Aurora Borealis; South will be the Great Lakes; East the rocky shores and light house; West the Rocky Mountains.

This is still a work in progress (will paint a compass on the roof, draw the outline of the Great Lakes on the glass door, and improve that mountain), but after sitting on it for five months, it feels good to have it going!

CUSTOM WORK

sweet soul the second

 

2017 has had me busy with custom art! This is my new favourite, inspired by the original “Surf” paintings, but modified to fit a tight kitchen space!

susan custom waves

Next on the list is this Canadian Prairies “Sinking” Church (Saskatchewan?). Such a cool photo, I’m excited to transfer this into a painting.

peggys crooked church

OTHER BUSINESS

During the March Break I took a trip to Toronto, and had an incredibly powerful visit with my wise-old-soul-cousin Jessica. She’s been self-employed as a successful life-style photographer for over 15 years, and she had a lot of wisdom and ideas to share that certainly inspired me (below: photo credit and logo credit go to her).

Over the last few years I have kept my art separate from my  yoga business. However, between 2006 and 2010 I had my own studio space that I ran as a yoga AND art studio. It was a creative hub for the community. Jessica reminded me of this, and suggested I start collaborating the two businesses again. Since she planted that seed, there’s been so many other ideas growing.

Check out my fresh, new and improved, yoga blog: The Gentle Way of Hatha (also note the new ART tab there). You can find me on Instagram too, sharing photo moments of art, yoga and life.

Friends- Spring is here. Start planting some seeds to grow in your life, love, and passions! It’s time to revive.