Saturday, May 18, 2013

Spring...a time of Regeneration.

This morning the light is flat, a result of overcast skies in southwestern Ontario. Our trees have transformed from being in bud, to being in bloom.

There is a softness through these hours, one that does not exist when the sunlight burns through the sky and invites us all to action. We are surrounded by the Carolinian Forest, a blessing of God's good earth.

The Carolinian Forest is a component of the regeneration we desperately need this week in our quiet community. The calm of the forest, reflection and prayer. This week our continuity was disrupted.

Our hearts have been broken with the realization that a person or persons did not honour our land, forest and community, the way we have for generations. Those persons did harm to a good family man. We will be forever broken and share grief with his family. He was found, after being missing for over a week, about 15 minutes away from the settlement area of our community and we cannot reconcile this senseless loss.

The gift of artists, I believe, is that they have a way of seeing and then interpreting in a manner that touches the rest of us. Their works can often bring a moment's reprieve to a grief-stricken individual and perhaps make room for healing.

I reach out to all artists, when you are embarking upon a new work, to take a moment and remember this special son, husband and father and create a work as beautiful as the memories he lived with his loved ones.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Public Art Consultation - ONLINE...

Folks, we are in the age of the internet, virtual galleries and meeting places.

This week I was alerted to some good news - more public art. This time in, where else? The Hammer! In the greater Hamilton area, this project is in Battlefield Park - located in an area we know also as Stoney Creek. The municipality is in the process of asking the public to give feedback online.

As a landscape architect and a proponent of public art I ask that you not only take part - review the works, artists statements and vote, AND also would you please give Blogging the Countryside your thoughts on public art consultation online. I personally think that this website is well done.

Is it enough? What are your thoughts...please do register your comments!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter, the Ukrainian way...

Isn't it a joy to have art forms associated with our religious holidays?

Truth is I am an arm's length Ukrainian, not in chronology, but because I don't speak the language. We moved away from town around the time most kids start Ukrainian school and being in the countryside, I was much more interested in spending my time at the barn on Saturday mornings with my horse or was needed at my parents' store to help out. In order to rectify that situation in first year University I signed on for Ukrainian 101. Despite my best efforts I struggled through the cyrillic alphabet while other descendants were conversing comfortably. Thank goodness there were easier ways to connect with the Ukrainian culture - the food!

The great thing about the food associated with Ukrainian holidays is that being satiated is universal!

My Baba used to make beautifully braided Easter breads, known as Paska, which marked the Easter holiday for all of us. After Baba was gone I am grateful that my Mother always made a point of asking her sister Stella secure our family a number of Easter breads from the Church of Transfiguration Ukrainian Catholic Bazaar. Stella and the other wonderful ladies of the church guild prepared for weeks prior to the Easter Bazaar.

What I was really impressed with was the other annual offering of the Ukrainian ladies at the Easter Bazaar.  Pysanka or Ukrainian decorated easter eggs! 

My first memory of  these delicate creations was when I was about seven years old. I did not believe that they were made out of real eggs. Luckily the Ukrainian ladies at the Bazaar were annually demonstrating the wax resist method and implementing the Ukrainian folk designs associated exclusively with the name Pysanka. 

I have just counted eight authentic eggs, and three wooden eggs my that Mother collected. Some of the real Pysanka, over 40 years old, are paper-like and delicate. Kind of like life... 

Today I remember the very special ladies associated with these creations, the food and the art - their efforts are likely the foundation of a life-long appreciation for fine craft and all things from the heart.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let's get this show on the road...Blogging the Countryside about all things Art and Culture.

AyrSpace Salon (our new online art gallery) invites you to join us for items of Art and Cultural interest across Canada!

In symmetry with the soft launch of AyrSpace Salon (the new online gallery emerging from AyrSpace Gallery) it time to continue with a communication of mostly grassroots art and cultural interests.

Instead of sending a newsletter about AyrSpace Salon we thought it would be much more fun to update you weekly about our artists, their friends and what is happening in the art scene across Canada. We may include food, fun and frolic from our travels and the amazing people we meet along the way.

Yesterday AyrSpace Gallery International Women Celebrate! exhibition collaborator, Monika Wright was named the winner of Halifax Art Battle 47. WAY TO GO MONIKA!

WHAT IS ART BATTLE ?Art Battle is live competitive painting. Painters create the best work they can in 20 minutes. As they work, patrons move around the easels, closely watching the creative process. The medium is acrylic paint and the tools allowed are brushes, palette knives or any non-mechanical implements. At the end of the round, the audience votes democratically for their favourite painting and bids in silent auction to take the work home. This is Art Battle Canada’s 4th season and the first season in Halifax.