New painting drying in my studio at the Williams Mill in Halton Hills. It is the second oil painting in the Dreaming of Summer Series. Night brings a surreal look to the canoes tucked away for the evening. There are 9 paintings planned for this series, but who know how many more will be dreamed of along the way.
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
Of course, you are always welcome to visit me in my studio most Fridays and Saturdays 12 - 5 p.m.
I'm working in a blurb book about a trip to Stephenville, Newfoundland I had in the summer of 2010. This photo of the a bridge at "The Gravels" just beckons one to cross, don't you think? There is a mystery to it, but not a threatening one, certainly not in hospitable Newfoundland.
"The Gravels" is a breathtaking walking trail about 15 minutes out of Stephenville, at Port au Port. Lots of tuckamore trees, wild roses, forest, stunning coves, huge fossils in the rocks and a well maintained path to boot.
AGM's Jaclyn & Gail, behind the "fish counter", so-to-speak, handed over my wrapped salmon, while found object artist Carmen Hickson, another salmon recipient looked on.
For some added scale: here I am outside Mississauga's Civic Centre, the home of the Art Gallery of Mississauga.
I have the good fortune to have the friendship of talented artist & art leader, Paulette Murphy. Because of her, I had the unique & rewarding experience to help create Beaux-Arts Brampton Artists Co-operative - a both feet plunge, steep learning curve dive into the world of fine art. Below is a repeat of what I wrote for the Williams Mill Artist Blog http://www.williamsmill.blogspot.com
"Recipe for a Good Life" is a beautiful looking cook book as well a source of delicious, nutritious recipes prepared using the key ingredients thought to combat cancer. Paulette Murphy, an award-winning visual artist, and recipient of Brampton's "Artist of the Year Award" is the founder and visionary behind the successful Beaux - Arts Brampton Artists Co-operative . Dawn Friesen is her friend, a fellow artist, and graphic artist working in Brampton.Passionate about good health, proper eating, and art, as well as having a personal connection to cancer, the two artists conceived of a book combining this insight. They put a call out to their large network of artist friends for art work and favourite recipes using the anti-carcinogen ingredients .The art work of three Williams Mill artists - Christine Montague (me!) , Sheri Tenaglia & Eileen Millen - are included in this book. My mom's fish bake recipe is also in the book. This attractive book is ideal for art lovers, foodies, and those in search of a yummy and nutritious recipe.All recipes have been tested by a nutritionist.Only $25 - a portion of which goes to charity.You can see and buy this terrific cooking & art book in Sheri Tenaglia's studio in the Yellow Mill, Williams Mill.OR scroll down for some other locations.
Pastel drawing Soy Beans by Christine Montague, Williams Mill artistDirectly through Potluck Projects c/o Paulette MurphyDowntown Brampton area, call for address and an appointment 905-457-0058The book is available from any bookstore. If you can't find it on the shelf, ask the sales person to order by the ISBN # 978-1-77067-262-8Chinguacousy Wellspring Centre5 Inspiration Way, Brampton, ON905-792-6480Hours: 9 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday; 9 am - 12 noon on SaturdayPrefer to purchase online? Go to -www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/ Located in both the art and the cooking sections. FYI There is no personal connection between Dawn Friesen, the author, and Friesen Press.
It has been a while since my last adventure with cold wax and oil painting (Read more about it here).
Experiments that I had begun since that time didn't seem to set. I wondered if I had received the wrong Dorland's wax product, or if I used too much oil paint in my ratio of wax to pigment. But as it turned out, I had my work too textured, and the under layers could not dry. When I shaved off the thicker parts the drying process began.
So, the other day, I decided I would put some left over paint to good use and mix in some wax. There was enough for one little small panel. But, like trying to eat one just one peanut , next thing I knew - I had pretty well used up my little stockpile of prepared wood panels (i.e.panels were gessoed, sanded, & their sides masked). A whole series of pink, white & silver of heart & Valentine's Day inspired works lay drying in the studio - hearts emerging from the clouds, floating over the falls ("falling in love" get it?), hearts rising. A couple of bouquets too.
As the cold wax process uses a lot of oil paint - the cost of artist quality Winsor & Newton oil paints does limit how much I can afford to experiment. With Valentine's Day in mind, I added Permanent Rose (what better colour for true love), and Silver to the Dorland's cold wax.
First I dolloped the oil and wax mixture on the panels with a palette knife, then used the Wilton Dough Scraper spread and smoothed it over the surface. I also used the scraper to remove and push the wax mixture to create my texture, and values. The light pink is the stain from removed wax. The darker pink is where the wax is thicker and smooth.
A week later, some of the areas still weren't setting fast enough for my liking. Out came the palette knife to remove areas too thick. I accidentally scratched a piece with the sanding paper I was using to clean up the back of the work. Hmmm. I liked the way that looked, and next thing I knew, I was dramatically changing some of the 3" x 4" blocks by incorporating sanded away texture. Isn't that what experimenting is all about?
Below you see the Wilton Dough Scraper I bought at the Janice Mason Steeves cold wax workshop.
Well, it's official. Punxsutawney Phil was not able to see his shadow & the States will have an early spring. Hard to appreciate under piles of snow, but still, great news. Read about that here. Wiarton Willie, as seen to the left, in warmer weather, is our furry version of a tradition that has German Roots. Did you know that Wiarton has a festival celebrating what our albino groundhog views? Read all about it here
The Wiarton Willie painting I did a while back was inspired by the crazy (wonderful!) statue of Wiarton Willie we saw while on vacation in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario. A giant white obelisk against the blue sky - lots of shadow here. This painting could just have well been called red, white, and blue.
As I sit by the radio, and listen to the never-ending school closings and events cancellations list - I am quite content If Willie doesn't see his shadow today. G-o-o-o-o, Spring!
Happy Groundhog Day, Everyone!
P.S. Apparently looking at the color blue brings on feelings of relaxation and restfulness, as well as takes aways fear. I believe it. When I paint big blue skies it always makes me feel good, as if I have been away somewhere.
Now I had nothing against greeting cards. It is just that self producing them, i.e. printing & packaging, is a time-consuming process. If you consider the value of the time better spent in the studio, time spent making one's own cards, well.. it just wasn't for me.
So when I heard of a company that not only prints them, but packages them nicely too....well... I reconsidered, gave them a try, and here I am, checking out 10 different styles of cards.
Anyhow, there are art cards in my studio and I hope you'll like them too.
This may not have been on most people's wish list but it certainly was on mine! After purchasing the large cabinet of the same series for my new studio in August, this rolling cabinet has been high on this artist's wish list. This is the taboret that will hold my palettes as I paint. I chase the light in my studio and so a table on wheels is a must. Also, as the Williams Mill, where my studio is located, is open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, I always have a quick bit of cleanup for safety purposes each week. Furniture on wheels is a must!
This item is the Mastercraft Base Metal Garage Cabinet Product #68-1224-2. It is pricey, but we , err, santa, was fortunate to get it on sale. It is built like a tank, and is a terrific height. One door locks. The drawers even come with a liner to keep items from moving. Warning, though. It took my elf helper about 4 hours to assemble. It assembles beautifully, but you need to set aside a lot of time, and clear a lot of space for its assembly. The wood table top is so nice (and shiny!) I am going to feel quite guilty getting that first bit of paint on it. I am considering having a piece of glass cut to fit the top and use the whole thing as a palette, Normally, I use up to four disposable paper pallettes at a time spread across the kitchen cart I have used until now.
Note: The cabinet I first purchased which inspired this one is the Mastercraft Metal Garage Tall Cabinet Product #68-1221-8. It holds a huge amount of goods and the construction is impressive. The bottom shelf holds over 400 lb. if you have a particularly heavy piece of equipment. Both items are very heavy and we used a dolly to take them from the car to the studio. The box this cabinet came in had a very small dent. We took the chance the contents were not damaged as it was the only one in stock. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The last piece in the box was slightly dented - something we decided we would live with as the box was so heavy, and we had already done so much work. Lesson: always take the box with no dent!
If you are up in the Orangeville area - just north of Brampton and north-west of Toronto, be sure to drop into the lovely "Dragonfly Arts on Broadway". My larger than life oil and oil stick painting of a cat , seen from the viewpoint of "something" much smaller, is featured in the window there until Halloween. I have heard great things about the Dragonfly Gallery over the past couple of years, but had never been there myself until last week.
Broadway is the "main" street accessed directly off Hwy 10, so the gallery is easy to reach. This main street is attractively maintained, has a variety of shops and eating establishments and the parking is free!
"Who's for Dinner?" - a huge attraction in my studio - is the latest in my big cat series. I don't paint with decorating in mind, but with its dramatic scale, use of black and silver, I have not been alone in imagining it over a leather couch or over a server in a contemporary dining room. See it at the delightful Dragonfly Arts on Broadway Gallery http://www.dragonflyarts.ca/ until the end of October.
These tentacles come from the bowels of the earth not the nearby ocean. World War II Air Force Pilots would wait here in the underground rooms the tunnels connect to. - ready to disembark at a moments notice. This building with its central body, and tunnel tentacles is known as "The Octopus" Limbo Series. World War II buildings in waiting. Stephenville, Newfoundland. Copy right Christine Montague.Read More
Stephenville, Newfoundland was home to a United States Air Force Base in World War II. This was an enormous base, and the last stop before Europe. Although many of the hangers are now gone, there are still many buildings from this period remaining. Barracks and other buildings that housed soldiers are now transformed into lovely apartments and private homes. Creative uses have been found for some of the hangers that exist, but some, like in the photo above, are vacant and in limbo, awaiting the next entrepreneurial endeavor. I imagine there are a few people in town who would like to see these vacant shells torn down. I hope they remain up. I would love to see a creative use for these beautiful giants with the dramatic auras.
I spent some time photographing the outside of some of these Stephenville WWII buildings. They compliment the photos I have been privileged to take of the interior of the Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga, Ontario. During the second world war, over 40,000 women came from across Canada to work in the Lee Enfield Rifle plant there. The Lake View Legacy Project is committed to revitalizing this building as a creative centre with artist studios, theatres, exhibition space, brown field studies & more. Although it, too, sat in limbo, creativity , co-operation & collaboration has resulted in a promising & positive future for this WWII space in Mississauga.
Carmen and I each create a new painting that is not unveiled until the second Saturday of each month. For that day only, each of our new paintings are offered at only a fraction of their worth.
For example, this month's 18" x 24" oil painting one canvas " Study for Summer Fun" - completed just this morning - was only $100 plus HST. It's wholesale value is $300 plus tax.
Why was this work offered as a lost leader?
Visitors to our studio are always enthusiastic about our work, but through conversation, it would seem that many of these visitors have never bought original art.
So, we have set about to ease the struggle the potential collector may feel in taking that first step in buying original art. We sincerely want to help people experience the joy that comes from owning original art ...and it is a joy!
We also have the fun of challenging ourselves in what special work we will create for this special day.
And to add to the excitement - other Williams Mill artists have decided to take part in August's Second Saturday Collector's Special. Now we can hardly wait for August. What wonderful works and special deals will August bring?
In early June, an A.J. Casson landscape oil painting "A Street in Glen Williams" sold for the record-breaking price of $542, 800. To see this Group of Seven Canadian landscape painting click here Do you know that Glen Williams - probably considered Ontario cottage country when Casson painted what was a contemporary painting then - is a hamlet only 15 minutes north of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada? And for travelers from Toronto, this cultural destination is only a 40 minute trip away. (It is also accessible by Go train and bus) This painting is not particularly successful in its depiction of a "unique" place - these little houses and fall colors could be almost anywhere in Canada. But then that wasn't Casson's goal. What is remarkable that "Glen Williams" is still a beautifully preserved hamlet of 1850's homes in a true glen, and that it is home to many, many present day artist studios! Glen Williams is protected by the Sheridan Nurseries farmland and the limited growth in the green belt around Toronto. This fabulous place with the Credit River running through it is protected from urban sprawl. But even more importantly, at Glen Williams's heart is the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre - home to a huge centre of contemporary artists' studios and where I have the good fortune to have my artist studio. www.christinemontague.com
The Williams Mill moniker is deceptive. The mill is only one of FOUR buildings which house visual artists and crafts people.
- The 1850's lumber mill is home to graphic artist, painters, sculptors and potters.
- The 1850's stone power plant is home to jewellers, a quilter, framing service, painters (including www.christinemontague.com) , and my studio mate found art assemblage artist www.theredpigstudio.com
- The courtyard has painting, woodcarving, stone carving (4 sculptors) . The gallery connects from the courtyard & represents the mill artists, and has monthly shows of other artists too.
- The last building is home to Glen Williams Glass Blowers.
So for those of you in wonder of this lovely bit of Canadian art history, or in sheer amazement at the price paid for this Group of Seven, Casson painting , appreciate the place this painting depicts as well. It is well worth the trip to visit this historic town - alive and well with a diverse group of award-winning contemporary artists. And you won't have to pay half a mil to enjoy their work. www.williamsmill.com
[slideshow] Above are a few photos of my studio - all cleaned up for this past weekend's "Spring into Art" Open House - an annual event on the first weekend of May at the Williams Mill Visual Artist Centre. Lots of black oil paint going on it those giant paintings of cats! I changed the "wet paint" sign to the more effective "Warning - Big Wet Cat".
Artist Carmen Hickson supplied the tulips, and not seen, I had lilacs and crabapple blossoms. As an aside, lilacs are out in Mississauga, are simply buds in Halton Hills, and a visitor told me are not yet in bud in Ottawa. The coffee was ready to brew on the Keurig, and the chocolates were out. Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by. I always appreciate your investing in my art.
Couldn't make it this time? My studio, as well as the over 30 others at the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre are open Fridays and Saturday 12 - 5 pm. The Williams Mill Gallery is open Wednesday to Sundays 12 - 5 pm.
The Williams Mill is in the western GTA (Greater Toronto Area). It is only 5 minutes south of Terra Cotta, and is 15 minutes north of Winston Churchill Blvd. and the 401 in Mississauga.
American artist Andy Warhol sums it up exactly "I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anyone could ever want to own." Today I was reunited with a painting I feared had gone astray. On exhibit at an unknown location through an art rental service experiencing difficulty, I feared this was one painting I may never see again.Read More