I had the pleasure of attending yesterday’s launch of artist and galley owner TANZINA AMIN‘s end-of-year solo show My Eclectic Potpourriat Artusiasm Gallery on St Clair Ave West in Toronto. What a riot of colour and energy welcomed me when I walked through the doors….so many vibrant colours and bold brush strokes!Since first putting paint brush to canvas, Tanzina’s style has changed dramatically and she included several pieces from earlier years to illustrate her journey as an artist. Just look at these stunning classic landscapes…And then came this abstract expressionist landscape….…and finally she blossomed into an exciting abstract portrait artist resulting in these commanding faces:Tanzina expresses her sense of humour freely with this super fun doggy portrait. Who wouldn’t want to be greeted by this happy face every day…let’s go walkies?
Meet the artist:
Tanzina is a Bangladeshi-Canadian artist in Toronto. Art has always been her passion as well as her retreat from the demands of everyday life. Having graduated in Architecture, Tanzina is drawn towards visual composition and balance. She is fascinated and inspired by colourful ethnic cultures and traditions. She loves forms which are powerful in their simplicity and embrace an abstract style. Until three years ago, Tanzina had never shown her art in public. She began drawing and sketching on her own as a teenager, and eventually took two years of formal training in traditional oil painting with a renowned Bangladeshi artist in the mid 1980s. Eventually she had no more time for art as she focused on her education, family and career. She started painting again after a 23+ year break and found herself moving away from realism and traditional styles. She began exploring abstract expressionism, including taking a few courses. As Tanzina continued to study and learn, she became more and more intrigued with the versatility of abstract art, and how it can evoke impulse in the viewer to find their own path to interpretation.
Tanzina teaches art and conducts workshops and paint parties. She loves to create fun and innovative art workshops such as expressionist style pet portraiture and self portraits. Besides her busy career, her art, and her teaching, Tanzina also co-owns Artusiasm Gallery with her husband and biggest fan Carlos Rodrigues (pictured below at an earlier show).To Tanzina, painting is meditative, therapeutic and expressive. It helps her be in the moment. She is continually modifying her style and techniques to find new ways of expressing herself. She loves to explore the realms of colour, texture and form. Tanzina hopes her art makes a personal connection with the viewer. (courtesy of www.tanzina.ca)
I loved this particular series of glamorous ladies (below)… …and was incredibly moved when Tanzina presented me with my favourite piece (the one on the left) as a thank you for support given to Artusiasm’s shows over the past couple of years. I so related to this lady in the picture, ignoring the fab party going on behind her, just gazing out across the ocean, wineglass in hand with thoughts of future adventures and romances (I’m sure). Thank you so much, Tanzina, I am extremely honoured.So if you’re looking for an inspiring and fun experience over the month of December, visit Artusiasm Gallery, 1684 St Clair Ave West, Toronto. For gallery hours and directions: www.artusiasm.com
How nice to walk into an art gallery and be met with such warmth and welcoming hospitality – artist Tanzina Amin and her husband Carlos Sa Rodrigues of ARTUSIASM GALLERY located at 1684 St Clair West, Toronto, were the perfect hosts last night as they opened their “Summerfest 2017″ group show featuring works by local artists in multiple mediums.I was pleased to introduce fellow gallery owner and artist Lola Livingston of Stockyards Gallery to Tanzina and Carlos, who welcomed the opportunity of sharing “stories from the trenches” of operating an art gallery in the city. Here’s Lola (pictured below L) with Tanzina and Carlos…all smiles as they celebrate another successful opening!I love Tanzina’s bold abstract portraits…she works with a bright and colourful palette and I would love to add one of these stunning paintings to my own modest collection.I spied so many more exciting works….there was a style and technique for every taste and I hope to see lots of “red dots” denoting sales when I visit again. Check out these delicate watercolours (below) and the florals, too.
Constellation by Leslie Karen Hall
Peach Coloured Rose by Lowell Lo
…..and these Aspen trees by Leah Dockrill kept drawing me back. It was as if they were alive and I could almost hear the rustling of their leaves!Tanzina and Carlos always make sure gallery visitors are well fed and watered at their opening events….the home-made samosas are deelishArtist and gallery regular Linda Deramaix strikes a pose (below) underneath her own artwork titled “Resilience”. Nice to see you again, Linda!So many difference pieces to stimulate your artistic senses….…and lots of artwork to provoke conversation….Summerfest 2017 runs to the end of this month (June) and I recommend you drop in on Tanzina and Carlos to enjoy all the beautiful works (all of which are affordable and are looking for new forever homes!) by talented local artists. Artusiasm Gallery is located at 1684 St Clair Ave West and you can learn more about their services, hours & artists at: www.artusiasm.com
Hosted annually by The Artists’ Network Board, the RIVERDALE ARTWALK takes place this weekend (June 4 & 5) at Jimmie Simpson Park on Queen St East. Each year, I love strolling through the tents and exhibits, meeting old friends and making new ones among the multi-disciplinary artists participating in this first of the year’s outdoor art shows. It was such a lovely sunny day today, I headed down to the show early so come and take a virtual stroll with me as I introduce you to some of the talented artists…..
First off, here’s Stephen Cooper who is a photographic artist specializing in vintage cars….or should I say the rusted skeletons of vintage autos. www.wstephencooper.comHe turns dusty old heaps of metal into stunning works of art…here, let Steve tell you himself
I loved the cool, calm tones of Nicky Hindmarch‘s seascapes (below) www.nickyhindmarsh.comHer booth was perfect for taking a breather and sheltering from the hot sun beaming down on the park.Kate Taylor has been a Facebook friend for a long time and I love seeing her new art each year. Look at these gorgeous vibrant pieces…. www.katetaylorstudio.comI’m lucky to own an original Ian Busher work of art, so I was intrigued to see his new focus this year which is quite different from what’s hanging on my wall. Love love love the bright colour blocking featured below. www.studiobusher.com
The ladies of the Women’s Art Assoc. of Canada were a hoot…here’s a group of artists who really love their work! www.womensartofcanada.caMore fun sights…..And here’s the fabulous artist/teacher Rea Kelly who is always pleased to welcome visitors… www.reakelly.comI discovered these powerful paintings by Mississauga artist Christopher Masoure www.studiomazur.com…and I enjoyed meeting Morgan Jones www.morganjonesart.com whose work I had seen at ArtaGallery and included in an earlierr blog from The Distillery District (3rd pic)The charming and talented Gaya Kairos invited me in to her booth to cool off and enjoy the shade. It was her first time at the Artwalk so I asked her to share her thoughts on the experience. www.art-gaya.com
Peter McLennan was a great new find for me. His photographic artworks were masterpieces in minimalism and as I stood in his booth, I overheard so many ooo’s and aaah’s. Hope he sells ’em all! www.PeterMcLennan.comI think my biggest discover at this year’s show has to be Gordon Shadrach whose paintings of men’s shoes, socks and powerful portraits took my breath away. www.shadrachartworks.com
I love Karola‘s paintings, esp. her charming chickens …..one day I hope to have one of her colourful roosters on my wall! www.Karola.ca Liz Menard invited me in to see her etchings (below) and I loved the delicate designs and colour palette she uses. www.lizmenard.ca
If the weather holds up for tomorrow (Sunday June 5) I really recommend you visit the Riverdale Artwalk in person. Located at Jimmie Simpson Park @ Queen Street East & Booth Avenue, there is an indoor showroom, too, which I totally missed today so if it’s raining you can still enjoy more art. www.artistsnetwork.ca
I headed down to URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen St East, Toronto) on an unseasonally bright and sunny Saturday afternoon to attend the opening soiree for local artist JOAN ANDAL ROMANO, whose beautiful and colourful works will hang on the gallery walls until January 9th in her solo show GRATIARUM/GRATEFUL. I had the pleasure of interviewing Joan in between receiving congrats from her friends and family on such a stunning showcase and here’s what she told me about her work and inspirations…
Above, Joan chats with a friend as her young daughter looks on….and below, everyone was snapping pics of Joan and her work.Below, Wayne Abell of UrbanSource Catering enjoys the paintings with KJ Mullins, publisher of Newz4U.net news website.The festive spread by UrbanSource Catering is always a fabulous treat and Joan’s launch event was no exception. I managed to grab a quick pic before it was “appreciated” by hungry gallery guests….…and drinkies were served by Michael (below R) ably assisted by gallery director Calvin Hambrook (below L)Here are more of Joan’s paintings….
And this one already has a RED DOT – SOLD!
This one (below) is my favourite…something about the delicate colour palette, the pretty light yellow background and the pattern of the kimono. What do you think?You can learn more about Joan by visiting her website – http://joanromano.weebly.com/ or why not visit Urban Gallery yourself and view her works in person? Gallery hours: www.urbangallery.ca
But if you’re too busy with Christmas shopping, join me for a quick virtual walkies thru the gallery here:
Another great opening reception for Urban Gallery‘s monthly show and sale of art, this time featuring local artists Mary Lynne Atkinson and Pauline Bradshaw. The artists investigate their relationships to wood in nature and manufactured surfaces in their joint exhibition Into the Woods. Their mutual love of colour, light and form are expressed in this series of representations of both urban and rural landscapes. The show runs throughout the month of November – please visit Urban Gallery’s website for hours (see web addresses at end of blog)Mary Lynne Atkinson (above) is a professional artist living near Barrie, Ontario. Her love of colour is evident in her diverse art practice. Atkinson holds a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a graduate diploma in Studio Process Advancement [Cum Laude] from the Haliburton School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely in Europe, notably in the Carousel du Louvre, Paris, 2012 and 2013. She was awarded a Bronze Medal, Paris by the Sociéte des Arts, Lettres, Sciences. Her paintings were exhibited in numerous curated shows including the Miami Art Basel and S Space Gallery, New York, NY.
Pauline Bradshaw (below) dedicated many years to the intensive study of old masters drawings and paintings. As a student, she was granted rare access to HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s private library at Windsor Castle to research and copy selected old masters drawings. Pauline passes along her extensive knowledge of academic techniques in private studio classes, lectures and workshops frequently held at the National Gallery of Canada, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the MacLaren Art Centre Barrie. She has also been invited, for the third year, to exhibit at the prestigious Louvre Museum in Paris as part of the Société National des Beaux Arts annual international exhibition.
Mary Lynne’s large format “forest-scapes” attracted a lot of attention and I particularly liked the piece hung near the gallery entrance – see how the rays of sunlight hit the trees (pic 2)….Pauline’s pieces included some smaller paintings (below) that created intimate views of trees, as well as larger still-lifes such as the antique Chinese porcelain set that included a rustic wooden handle. Just gorgeous and my favourite piece of her art.Below, Pauline poses with gallery goddess Kaspara (left) while curator Allen Shugar snaps a quick pic.Fellow artist Erik Chong (below) dropped in with his wife – they were celebrating their wedding anniversary and chose to share the day with us. Congrats, you two!Other fun guests included KJ Mullins (below centre) publisher of www.newz4u.net, a great Toronto-centric news website and generous media supporter of Urban Gallery.
Tonight marked the official launch for local artist NANCY-JANE PRICE‘s latest painting series “Don’t Be Afraid of Colour” at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto www.urbangallery.ca
Nancy-Jane’s first passionate encounter with colour occurred while she was still in kindergarten. She was to fill in a single pane of a stained glass window design on a piece of brown paper. She chose the most beautiful shade of magenta her young eyes had ever seen, carefully filling in the space. But when the teacher noticed that Nancy-Jane hadn’t started at the bottom, she was summarily removed from painting duties. That memory runs deep. She continued her love affair with colour in public school and colour has stayed with her ever since, mostly through dress and home decoration. Five years ago, after various art classes focused on traditional drawing and painting, she decided to “loosen up” her style, and signed up for an ongoing studio class where she concentrates on non-objective painting in acrylics with an emphasis on intuitive sense of colour.Artist statement: Colour, space, juxtaposition, design; the mystery in the way it works, the joy of being alive…
Here’s Nancy-Jane (below left) with KJ Mullins, Publisher of www.Newz4U.netAnd here’s artist Linda Langerak (below left) with Wayne Abell of UrbanSource Catering, and KJ Mullins
Visit www.Facebook.com/UrbanGallery to take a virtual walk thru the gallery (video)
DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR
Paintings by Nancy-Jane Price. Show runs until Sat. September 26, 2015