Featured Artist: Barbara Bromley

Written by Barb.

Creative expression has been a journey. Variety being the thread of all endeavors from early childhood years to retirement years. Freedom to explore and encouraged to reuse/recycle materials was nurtured by my mother; a single artistic parent. Collages on 9ft living room walls for all to see was no problem.  I never thought twice as a kid; collecting fun bits of garbage to glamorize a $5 dollar mirror to then be displayed above our couch and coffee table whose sole purpose just days before was a shipping box.

It is second nature to create something from nothing as I passed on in the 90’s teaching creative techniques in workshops to fellow daycare workers across Canada. In early years watercolour was my favourite medium. In these later years; having the time; affordability and energy use of fluid and ink acrylics have been used more regularly.

Over the years attending a few workshops and lessons consistently hampered my desire to keep things flowing on an unconscious relaxed level. The most useful comment made was “do not be afraid to use colour” so wow did I take that literally.

Around 2015 my methodology was deliberate with intention of all work being in abstract form and that each piece was in fact experimental and coming from an unconscious state rather then schooled principles. The use of great quantities of paint on large and small canvas. I had a few series develop out of finding purpose in the actual doing. For instance my own style of dots that became a meditation exercise; or back in early days when spraying water and watercolours was an act of playfulness or when intricate doodles became a way to just be in the moment.

Painting furniture is something to go back to; people have recommended but that is fairly labour intensive so we will see. My pieces have been shown in some solo shows in my community and in retail small business and offices; cafes and in gallery settings. The last show at Edward Jones just went up before Covid hit. It was the more thought out project and ironically called “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” 

I continue to explore photography and currently abstract mixed media landscapes in acrylics. I am deeply gratified daily; surrounded in nature that gives way to creative spirit and artistic thought and process. I am grateful for the chance to share a little of what I do!

You can follow my creativity here:

Instagram: @BarbaraBromleyArt

Facebook: Barbara Bromley Art

Featured Artist: Jeannette Breward

Written by Jeannette.

The personal photographs that I create, I shoot with the intention of creating something surreal and magical. I am so drawn to and fascinated by things with elements of the uncanny, and I like to bring that feeling into my work.  

When we are young, our minds are not limited and our imagination is endless.  There is a sense of wonderment present in all of us that has not yet been hindered or tampered with by reality.  My passion is to harness this limitless imagination, and use it to create contemporary images that are compelling and unusual: in particular, I am concerned with our traditional definitions of the real, and with creating work that goes beyond those definitions.  Much of my work is pre-visualized and then staged for the camera, yet remains grounded in the world of the visible.

I long for my photographs to stir the senses of amazement and awe that often lie dormant in the viewer, and cause them to look twice at a photograph, simply to confirm that what they saw was real.  It is this dreamlike, otherworldly quality to my photographs that I most embrace.  A photograph can speak in many different ways, and I strive to create images that tell a story full of emotion, magic, beauty and wonder. 

The images I create carefully tread the line between what is visible to the human eye in our everyday reality, and what we can only see within our imagination.  My photographs are my attempt to bring a small fragment of these dreamed worlds into existence within our own.

It also helps me to work through emotions – putting myself into my images is a way for me to express things that may be hard for me to express verbally.  It’s a way to process and work through things in a way that just works for me. And it’s my hope that those images, in turn, can prhaps connect and resonate with someone else – maybe help them process something that they have been going through as well. I think art is an incredibly powerful tool and using it to bring light to issues – emotional, political, and personal – is something that is very important to me.

Follow my journey through the surreal:

Website: Jeannette Breward

Facebook: Jeannette Breward Photography

Instagram: @ohnettie

Northumberland Hills Studio Tour 2021

How exciting – the tour is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary! Almost every year since this tour began, I have attended (but never participated). I always discover new artists, and find some of my best gifts on this tour: paintings, photography, pottery, fabric arts, etc.

This year, for the first time, I am participating as a guest artist in the tour. You will find me set up in Campbellcroft with Steve Levinson (photographer). You can find more info on the website: Northumberland Hills Studio Tour 2021.

Be sure to mark your calendars for September 11 and 12, 2021.

A 25th Anniversary Road Trip – A Suggested Route

You could start the 25th Northumberland Hills Studio Tour in Gores Landing, then go west on County Rd 9 to Campbellcroft (You have visited four artists). Continue your journey down hwy 10’s rolling hills to Canton, then to Welcome (to drop in on two more artists). Continue south to Port Hope (where eight more artists are waiting to show you their work). You could grab lunch and pop over to lovely Cobourg (you will find four more artists around the downtown core). Perhaps take a coffee break in Grafton, then finish the tour at Wicklow Manor! Or do the trip in reverse! Or work out your own route!

Have fun, meet others, find some great pieces of art! Thanks for your interest and support.

Map of The Northumberland HIlls Studio Tour Artist Locations

LIST OF ARTISTS:

Including their number on the map/tour, and website links.

  1. Denice Bustraen
  2. Jane Roberston
  3. (A) Steven Levinson and (B) Jennifer Anne Burke – me!!!
  4. Pamela Tate
  5. Kathryn McHolm
  6. Paul Bailey
  7. Carmel Bouzanne
  8. Chris Montgomery
  9. (A) Brenda Sullivan and (B) Ken Solilo
  10. Robyn K Town
  11. Martina Monroe
  12. Laurie Goldiuk
  13. Stanley Feldman
  14. Steven Gillberry
  15. Loretta Kaltenhauser
  16. Vera Litynsky

See you there!

Featured Artist: Lee Higginson

I am a single mom of two boys, one with autism.  The constants in my life are art, nature, and my kids.  The best moments are when those three things align.  I’ve been a “creative” my whole life, and worked mostly in public programming at National Museums and Cultural institutions before I was a full time artist and mom.

Fluke Craft was founded in 2017.  It was the right time in my life to finally make a stab at chasing the art dream.  It’s been an interesting journey, especially considering how much of it has been in a pandemic, but I have no regrets.  I create because I am compelled to do so.  I wake up daily with new ideas and inspiration, and love the challenge of seeing whether I can make an imagining into a real-life thing.

There’s no set medium!  I love to work with a lot of different materials.  One overlying theme is upcycled and found materials, particularly natural.  I like to work in non-traditional ways to create both permanent and temporary art.  I am also an avid photographer, and consider that to be an equal part of my creation process.  The idea that I’ve created something that never existed before is always amazing.  And, whenever it can be enhanced by a community or collaborative process, it’s even better.

I am an unabashed lover of my town: Port Hope.  I adore living in Northumberland County and find most of my inspiration here. I work out of my home, and also am developing an art and photography studio in a very unique and quirky corner of downtown Port Hope.  More to come on that very soon.

Downtown Port Hope, photo by Lee HIgginson

My passions are art and community.  My quest is to remind people that art is everywhere and everything; That we all have equal right and ability to contribute to the artistic world.  Art is a process above all else.  The end product is just a bonus.


What I am most excited about in post-pandemic life, is being able to gather once more and create in groups.  There is nothing as inspiring to me than watching a group of people create and share their art.  I am continually amazed by the richness of art-life in our community.  It seems to me that we have an abundance of riches in terms of creatives in NoCo and I feel so fortunate to make this place my home.

Please follow my journey on Facebook at Fluke Craft, and on Instagram @flukecraft.

Featured Artist: Jennifer Trefiak

Hi, I’m Jennifer! I’m both a musician and an artist and I’m going to tell you some of my story.

I have always been drawing, painting, and creating. I first painted with real paint when I took art class in high school and I loved the feel of the paint on the surface and the meditative process. I was hooked, but I was not an outstanding artist. I was a band geek and so I concentrated on becoming a musician. Fast forward to me moving home to Alderville after realizing my music program in college wasn’t the right fit for me (and my mother was very sick). While continuing to perform music and work various jobs, I decided to buy some paint. These paintings were made just for me and my family. They were a way to be creative without the pressure and stress of performance. I haven’t stopped painting since.

Today, I paint landscapes of water, sky and land in an intuitive way. When I am in a place that is right, the land tells me. It’s something that I know deep inside and there is a spiritual quality to my process. When I return home with a camera full of photographs (to remember the feeling of that place) I begin a new series. As I paint, deeper themes come through to me. I listen to those art muse voices and allow them to be heard. That is why I call my paintings ‘intuitive landscapes’.

My themes have included topics such as water protection, the sacred femine, the meaning of place to First Nations people, Me Too and MMIWG. These themes occur indirectly within the landscape by either colour, mood, symbolism or title.

My current series in progress is about Community – what it means, who our community is, how we contribute, what we get back in return, and how we will reshape our community after the pandemic. To represent the Self and Community I am using trees in each landscape. Trees are known to communicate with one another through their roots and using pheromones so I felt they were the perfect natural symbol to use in this series.

Presently, I am honoured to be one of the artists featured in the Art Gallery of Northumberland’s upcoming Spotlight Series 3, which will come out this summer. Because of pandemic restrictions, the normally live event will be presented in a video format and will be screened in locations across Northumberland with safe measures in place. For more information on Spotlight Series 3, you may visit the AGN’s website: Spotlight Series 3.

I’d like to take a minute to thank Jenni for featuring me on her blog. She has been a wonderful friend and lifeline to me during the pandemic and our art chats and laughter are cherished moments. She is a brave, wise and solid tree in my community.

To learn more about me and my artwork, you may visit my website, www.jennifertrefiak.com, follow me on Facebook (@JenniferTrefiakArt) or Instagram (@jennifertrefiakart).