exhibition

Polar Bears in My Kitchen

It wasn't long after the stone tile backsplash was installed in my kitchen, that I started seeing things. Movement, right there in the 2" x 4" tiles.  As I stared, the tan, grey and white striations in the stone shapeshifted into landscapes. Snowy ones. Cloud-filled and foggy ones.  Dark ones.

As if portals to other worlds like in old school Star Trek .

Polar bear  drawing and  fox  drawing by Christine Montague

Polar bear drawing and fox drawing by Christine Montague

Christine Montague fantasy drawings
Christine Montague fantasy drawings

And these worlds, they seemed to be..gulp..inhabited! Polar bears and other bear-like animals, fox, and fish, and others, that I couldn't begin to classify.

I sketch portraits of these creatures when I can.   For the most part, they seem unaware I am there, as they fly, swim, and run past my window to their world. But when some stop  and gaze my way, I confess I sketch faster.

When Strange Neighbors appeared as a category in The Sketchbook Project, I sent my sketchbook their way. I had to let you know what lives with me in my kitchen. Even if you only believe it's all in my imagination.

The Sketchbook Project (www.sketchbookproject.com), is a global, crowd-sourced art project  and interactive traveling exhibition, of handmade books. It  is the flagship endevour  of Art House, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.. It consists of three libraries: Brooklyn Art Library, Mobile Library, and The Digital Library

Big Show, Small Works & Chipmunks

As one of the professional visual artists at the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre, I take part in the annual Christmas Big Show, Small Works show & sale, Nov. 9 - Dec. 24., in the Williams Mill Gallery.

Every year I create a themed small painting series specifically for this show. The first year, the koi paintings on 3"x5" wood blocks were popular. Last Christmas, I sold abstract landscapes in cold wax and oil paint on wood panels. This year, my muses are the chipmunks of the Williams Mill gardens. An aspect of this series that remains consistent with my usual work? Even though the wood panels are small (8" x 10") the chipmunks painted on them are larger than life!

Please scroll down for the invitation below. I hope you can attend this holiday art show, perfect for shopping for unique one-of-a-kind fine art gifts & collectibles.  As well as my paintings, there will be other watercolour, acrylic & oil paintings, jewelry, blown glass, ceramics, fibre art & more in the Williams Mill Gallery. Be sure to drop by my studio in the Stone Building behind the gallery. Gallery hours: Wed. - Sun. 12 - 5 p.m. My studio hours: Fridays, Saturdays 12-5 p.m. Saturday Nov. 19th 1-4 p.m.  Opening Celebration with light refreshments

Invitation to new exhibition. Big Show, Small Art. Williams Mill Gallery Art Show. 2011

Art Show & Art Cook Book Signing at the Williams Mill

You are invited to the "Art Show &  Book Signing" for the fine art cook book "Recipe for a Good Life" Saturday, May 28th, 2011 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. in the studio of Sheri Tenaglia at the Williams Mill Arts Centre.
I am proud that my pastel drawing "Soya Beans" (Soybeans)  is in this wonderful cook book that is also a fine art book.  Fine arts and artisans from Murphy's and Friesen's myriad of artist friends created images inspired by the ingredients found in the book.
On Saturday, May 28, 2011, join Paulette and Dawn in the Sheri's studio at the art show opening of the original paintings & drawings found in the book, including mine. You will be able to buy this inspiring cook book of recipes tested by a nutritionist, and have the authors autograph it too! Portions of sales of the book will be donated to support cancer research and/or treatment centres.
Sheri's studio is in the Parkside Level of the Yellow Building, just across the parking lot from my Stone Building Studio.

Like Summer, Art is Just Around the Corner

Just when it seemed winter would never end, suddenly it's almost June! And June is a busy time at the Williams MIll Visual Arts Centre. This is the second year for Halton Hills Big Daddy Festival and once again the Williams Mill figures prominently in the festivities. The Mill will be open as usual Saturday, June 17, 12 - 5. But on Father's Day June 19, you won't want to miss all the special art related activities being offered to Dads and their families. http://www.bigdaddyfestival.ca  The Williams Mill schedule of events is not up yet but the day starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. See you there!

Following the Big Daddy Festival is the MAG (Mill Artists Group)  Exhibition in the Williams Mill Gallery. I will have new paintings in that show.

After the MAG Show is the 5th Annual Eye Full Salon!  I put forth this concept in 2006 before I left the Mill to work at home for almost three years. The Eyeful Salon will run all July. And I will have more art work in that! Think of me kindly, as I have helped hang this show 3 times now, at about 100 paintings each time, and will probably help again this year. Bonus? I always get an exclusive preview!  lol

As well, I am now offering selected work on Fine Art America & Xanadu Gallery Online. Or for more art, see column to the right "Where to buy my art".

Of course, you are always welcome to visit me in my studio most Fridays and Saturdays 12 - 5 p.m.

What the Cat Saw

"What the Cat Saw",  an exhibition of 13 cat art works, is on display at the Dragon Fly Arts on Broadway Gallery in Orangeville, Ontario, until the morning of May 24th, 2011. The majority of the art work are oil paintings but there is  also an original lithograph.  You can see part of the black and white original litho "yes?!"  in the bottom right of the photo  above.

What's a lithograph you ask? Although the term lithography is often used in reference to posters or other fine art reproductions, that is NOT what this is. This type of lithography refers to an original work of art, the way an original etching or serigraph is. I drew this cat in reverse on a big piece of limestone that had to be sanded perfectly flat.  The drawing was then etched on the stone, and special lithography black ink was rolled over it. Arches paper I had torn to size was placed on top of the inked image, a cover felt on top of that and then the whole thing was run through a press, ONCE.  Details, texture and values are achieved through the accurate etching, the quality of the drawing on the stone, and the careful inking. I did this 13 times to achieve an edition of 13. The drawing on the stone was then ground off. The resulting 13 prints are the art.

It was great fun to set up in the window of the Dragonfly Gallery, a first for me. Why the Dragonfly Gallery? Quite a few reasons actually. I don't mind selling amongst potters and jewellers at all. At the Williams Mill, I am quite accustomed to working alongside professionals who work in all media. The Dragonfly is a mini Mill type gallery with studios at the back.  A bigger reason through is Joan Hope, the owner of Dragonfly. She LOVES her artists. She is proud of them,  can talk knowledgeably about what they do and she looks out for them.  As well, she values her customers and works hard at knowing what they want!  In fact, she  won the the 2010 Hills of Headwaters "Best Customer Service Experience ". Plus, many local hardworking, creative artists I know and admire  sell out of the Dragonfly. So, count me in!

As the work went up in the window, many a passerby would stop, watch, and comment, too. A young man enquired about the 5 foot high "Silver Light" painting, and the slightly smaller "Blue Eyes Inside". After a pleasant conversion about my art, we discovered, he was the great nephew of the iconic Joyce Wieland, often regarded as Canada's foremost female artist and the late wife of  the equally important artist Michael Snow. It was a long time ago, but when I did lithography (the lithograph Yes?! is an earlier art work), I did a residency at St Michael's Workshop in Newfoundland. At that time it was located in a small village about 30 minutes outside of St. John's. The previous tenant who I had just missed?  Joyce Wieland.  When I left, if I could have stayed just a few hours more I would have had the privilege of meeting Christopher Pratt and his then Wife Mary Pratt. How great would that have been!

Oh, life and its mysteries! lol

And speaking of mysteries.. if you would like to solve the mystery of  "What the Cat Saw" visit Dragonfly Arts on Broadway until the morning of May 24th.

New Found Joy at the Terre Neuve (Newfoundland) Gallery

Artist Christine Montague with Aurora's Mayor Morris. Grand opening of the Terre Neuve Gallery.

The opening of an art show is always exciting and full of promise. Combine this with the opening of the gallery itself - especially one as well conceived as the new Terre Neuve Gallery in Aurora, Ontario - and I knew I was in for one special day.

Packed from the get-go the gallery stayed abuzz with positive energy all day long. I enjoyed chatting about my work with so many enthusiastic Aurora art lovers. In fact, the gallery was so busy,  I didn't even notice that the "Jewel" 88.5 radio team, who had been terrifically supportive and complimentary to the art, had packed up and gone. (Ahhh, the keen eye of the artist)

I 'm honored to have made the acquaintance of Aurora's gracious and fascinating Mayor Phyllis Morris. Although my portrait painting of the Lorne Scots reservist, "Private Romeo" often garners a lot of attention, it's always particularly poignant to me, when someone with military experience, is drawn to it.  Mayor Morris served in the military in the U.K.,  and was recently at the deployment ceremony  for Aurora's Queen's Own Rangers Reservists.

I enjoyed meeting other Terre Neuve Gallery artists - Rebecca Last, & Christina Kerr. Of course, I have known the wonderful sculptor Mary Ellen Farrow, a fellow Williams Mill artist, for a long time.

There wasn't much time left over to talk to those who created  this new gallery - Harold Hillier, Sarah Olson, Andrew Hillier, and consultant Karyn Lockhart.  Their vision, has given me a place to share my vision, and for that I am very grateful.