Canada’s vast and beautiful landscape is revered highly around the world, hence the 18,000,000 people (in 2015) who came to visit and explore our country, according to Statistics Canada. From the East to the West coast the vistas are truly breathtaking. Artists of all genres get their core inspiration from our rugged country. Their interpretations can result in anything from high realism to abstract art. Artfest has many exhibiting artists who passionately embrace the Canadian landscape as their muse.
Edina Racz from White Lotus Design makes stunning silver jewellery inspired our natural settings. Hiking through forests, viewing shapes in cloud formations and looking at river patterns as it carved its way through rock and sand – all these influences shaped and inspired her unique jewellery designs.
Watercolourist Dave Gordon was privileged, as are many Canadians, to grow up exploring the outdoors. Dave felt a strong attraction to nature, particularly to fields, ponds and woodlots near his parents’ home. His travels introduced him to the wonders of nature and a sense of being at peace in the countryside. At the time, Dave did not understand the attraction, but the feeling ultimately led him to landscape painting. Rural scenes are still his calling, focusing on nature scenes, farm houses and barns. His paintings capture the essence of light reflected on our beautiful landscapes.
You can’t really talk about landscape without considering traditional barns. Though once a staple in our daily lives, alas, they are becoming very difficult to find – especially in good repair. Artist Matt Jones (along with his siblings) grew up on a small heritage farm in Saint George, Ontario, working with both livestock and in the family apple orchard. Years later, after moving to Burford, Ontario and raising a family of his own, one of the family barns collapsed in the ice storms of 2015. Matt started experimenting with the barn wood, creating and designing coat racks and eventually barn board flags for gifts.
After inquiries from neighbours and some encouragement from his daughters, Matt started M. Jones Creations in November of 2015. He is passionate about reviving old materials in a way that enhances the character and preserves the history of the wood.
The first step is removing the hundreds of square nails found in each board. The wood is then scrubbed and sanitized before being finished into barn board flags, coatracks, and some specialized furniture. Each piece is hand-painted with proper barn paint before being sealed with a polyurethane spray. All wall-mounted pieces come ready-to-hang as Matt hand-makes and installs wire hooks on the flags and sheldon hangers on the larger pieces. The result is a rustic piece of history, perfect for a cottage, backyard or den.
Check out the slideshow below of some of Artfest Kingston's Artists/Artisans - representing Canadian landscape!