Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swoon Welcomes Artist Lynn Johnson

We are thrilled to have Lynn Johnson join the Swoon family. See more of Lynn's work on our website! Lynn will also be a featured artist in the Fall of 2012!

City Seen - A Group Show

Please join us Saturday, January 7th from 2pm - 5pm for the opening reception of "City Seen" - a juried group show based on the tradition of the cityscape.

Featured artists are: Jeremy Akerman, Eleanor Clarke, Kimberley Floyd, Elaine Frampton, Bill Hanrahan, Lynn Johnson, Natalia Kalafut, Anne Launcelott, Judy MacIntosh, Alan Marr, Bob Morouney, Carol Morrison, Dorothy Mosher, Andrea Pottyondy, Zehava Power, Andrea Redmond, Nancy Roberts, Rae Smith and Monika Wright.

Images of work in the show will be posted on our website in the week following the opening reception. Show continues until January 28th. Please note that Swoon will be closed on Sundays for the winter. Our current hours are posted on the ‘contact' page.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Precious Day

It seems as if most of the world's artists, at one time or another, have passed through my studio. They come in all shapes and sizes, old and young, rich and poor, from all manner of crafts and disciplines. Some are what we like to call "successful," others are not so. In listening to these folks, I'm always looking for some essential kernel of the creative being, a kernel that might be useful knowledge for others.

Sometimes I see what I call "The Gratitude Factor." It's an attitude ripe with observation, enthusiasm and appreciation--a daily configuring of life that includes a sense of wonder.

These folks don't miss the moving clouds, the sunsets and sunrises, the tiny flowers of the field. Their days are studded with the bright stars of surprise. While it might be easy to call them "blessed," I've figured their attitudes are mainly of their own making. They've taught themselves how to better love the world.

"Carpe Diem," said the Latin poet Horace. "Seize the day." We who walk on this particular planet are dealt one 24-hour day at a time. It is an arbitrary span, like the opening and closing of a flower, a time-lapse bloom of its own. Creative people understand this temporary blossoming and learn to take advantage of it. Every precious day is yet another opportunity to serve--to carry further wonder to the world.
From Robert Genn - Twice Weekly

December Events at Swoon!

Swoon is pleased to present 2 shows for December! Please join us on Saturday, December 3rd from 2 - 5pm for some Christmas Cheer and the Opening Reception of:

Christmas Presence 2: our second annual group pottery show! We are excited that this year there will some new participants in what we hope will continue building as a showcase for the talented potters in Nova Scotia.  Geared towards holiday giving, new work will be added throughout the month, giving shoppers an opportunity to find great locally made craft even after craft fairs wind down. 

Also featured in December:

Work by J. Mitchel Inglis: we are excited about the latest artist to join Swoon.  Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Mitchel's work is inspired by architecture and our coastal heritage.  We will be featuring several of his orignal pieces in graphite and acrylic, as well as his limited edition prints.

We also have many unique handmade ornaments as well as jewelry and other small items for holiday gift giving and decorating!

Happy Holidays from Swoon!  And a big thank-you to all our artists, suppliers and clients who have helped make our first full year in business a great success! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Tree Ornament Sale/Party

(ONE OF A KIND ORNAMENTS BY EVGENIA MAKOGON - Inspiration for this years event. Made and sold at Swoon last December.)

Join us Sat. Nov. 19th for Swoon's first annual ONE OF A KIND CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT PARTY/SALE!

Swoon artists have been asked to create unique tree ornaments for this fun event. These will be sold on a first come, first serve basis so arrive early for the best selection. This event will last all day!

Swoon - where you will find the best variety of locally made Fine Art and Craft for you holiday gift giving needs!

See you swoon!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Swoon Welcomes Artist Blythe Church

Swoon is thrilled to welcome Soft Sculpture artist Blythe Church to the Swoon Family. Blythe is well known in Halifax for creating amazingly detailed replicas of everyday and vintage objects in felt which are then hand embroidered. To see more of Blythe's work visit our website at or visit us on Facebook!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

November Shows at Swoon!

Please join us for our next opening reception: Saturday, November 5, 2pm-5pm.

The two new shows opening will be:

Exposure: The Art of Photography

Exposure is the second juried art show and sale this year. Photographers showing are:

Alex Young, Annaleah Knickle, Anna-Lisa Jones, Anne Bastedo, Anne launcelott, Bruce Bottomley, Chris Zulinov, Dale Reid, Eric Boutilier-Brown, Mariette Roodenburg, Naomi Slater, Peter Greenslade, Susan Malmstrom, William Creighton and William Power


Moon In June: New Work by Claudia Mannion

Shows will run until November 27th.

If you are unable to attend the show, all the work will be posted on our website once the shows have opened!


Calling all Printmakers!!!


Swoon Presents:

Mass Phenomena
A Group Print Show

Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion is looking for artists to participate in Mass Phenomena – A Group Print Show. This is a juried show which will take place in March, 2012 (exact dates to be set).
Artists are asked to create work inspired from the definition of Phenomenon:

1. A fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: to study the phenomena of nature.
2. Something that is impressive or extraordinary.
3. A remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy; wonder.
4. Philosophy. (A) Appearance or immediate object of awareness in experience.
(b) Kantianism. A thing as it appears to and is constructed by the mind, as distinguished from a noumenon, or thing-in-itself.

Images for consideration must be emailed ( or delivered to the gallery by Feb.12st, 2012. Submissions will be reviewed by a jury and once decisions made, artists will be notified by phone or email.

Work must not have been previously shown. Artists can submit as many images as they like and should include the size, price, medium, and edition size of each piece, editions of 50 or less preferred. (Note – Preferred framing is white mat with simple black frame.) Selected artists can also include unframed editions of their chosen work for sale.

I look forward to seeing your submissions!

Brandt Eisner, Owner/Director
Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
1410 Hammonds Plains Road

Swinging with Jazzette!

Last night Swoon hosted the All Hallows Eve Costume Ball and Fundraiser. Performing was local sensation Jazette! A great time was had by all plus we raised some money for the Provincial Autism Centre. A Big thank you to Jazzette and everyone who attended!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Call For Submissions


Swoon Presents:

City Seen
A Group Cityscape Show

Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion is looking for artists to participate in City Seen – A Group Cityscape Show. This is a juried show which will take place January 7, 2012 – January 29, 2012.

Images for consideration must be emailed ( or delivered to the gallery by Dec.17, 2011. Submissions will be reviewed by a jury and once decisions made, artists will be notified by phone or email.

Work can be in any medium, must be recent and must not have been previously shown. Artists can submit as many images as they like and should include the size, price and medium of each piece. (Note – Presentation, framing and the archival nature of the work will be taken into consideration.)

All accepted work must be delivered to Swoon on or before Jan. 3rd, 2012.

There will be an opening reception on January 7, 2012 from 2-5pm.

I look forward to seeing your submissions!

Brandt Eisner, Owner/Director
Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
1410 Hammonds Plains Road

All Hallow's Eve Costume Ball & Fundraiser

On Friday, October 28th, Swoon - Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion, is pleased to present: All Hallow's Eve Costume Ball & Fundraiser.

Celebrate Halloween with us while we raise money for the Provincial Autism Centre! Come dressed in your best costume for your chance to win a prize. Enjoy some witches brew and dance the night away to the sounds of musical guest JAZZETTE - Vintage Swing.

... For your viewing pleasure, our main gallery will feature The Other Side a Halloween art show and sale with work by local artists.

Doors open at 7:00pm with the band taking the stage at 8:00.

Money raised will be donated to the Provincial Autism Centre with a portion of any sales during the evening also being donated.

Time: 7:00pm – 12:00am
Tickets: $15 in advance - $20 at the door
Place: Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
1410 Hammonds Plains Road
Hammonds Plains, NS
Contact: 902-444-8279 or email

Check out the band at

Swing with you swoon!

    The Other Side - Group Halloween Show and Swoon's 1st Year Anniversary!

    Please join us Oct.22nd at 2pm for the opening reception of The Other Side - A Group Halloween Show. This unique show was a juried event and will only be on display until Oct.31st.

    Artist chosen to participate in this show are: Andrea Redmond, Rosemary Metz, Gregory Bourgoin, Carol Morrison, Pamela Marie Pierce, Isabelle Pineau, Lily Meadows, Joanne Colman, Rosemary Young, Susan Paczek, Brandt Eisner, Susan Malmstrom, Bruce Bottomley,Peter Francis, Nancy Roberts, Rena Waters, Geordan Moore, Basia Lukwinski and France Arruda.

    If you are not able to make it in person be sure to check out all the work on the website once the show has opened!

    This is also Swoon's 1st year anniversary so come out and help us celebrate what we believe is only the beginning of great things to come!

    Artist Toni Losey

    Potter and Sculptor Toni Losey at the opening of her show, FLORA, Systematic Excerpts from the Places Unknown. Show continues until Oct. 28th or see all of Toni's work on the Swoon website at

    Artist Deborah Nicholson

    Artist Deborah Nicholson at the opening of her show, WAITING. Show continues until Oct.28th or see Deborah's work on the Swoon Website at

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    New October Shows at Swoon

    Please join us for our next opening reception: Saturday, October 8th, 2pm-5pm.

    The three new shows opening will be:

    WAITING - Mixed Media by Deborah Nicholson

    FLORA, Systematic Excerpts from the Places Unknown - Pottery by Toni Losey

    LOOKING THROUGH ROSE COLOURED GLASSES - Folk Art Paintings by Holly Everett

    Shows will run until October 28th.

    If you are unable to attend the show, all the work will be posted on our website once the shows have opened!


    Ceramic artist finds inspiration at local lakes, parks

    A great article about Swoon artist Toni Losey and her upcoming show!

    Photo by DARRELL OAKE

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Call for Submissions!!!

    The Periodical Project
    A free curated newspaper promoting emerging art in Halifax

    THE PERIODICAL PROJECT seeks submissions for its very first issue on the theme of ECONOMY.

    Produced and Curated by Chris Foster & Natalie Slater, THE PERIODICAL PROJECT is a printed venue promoting the work of Halifax based emerging artists. Our very first issue will distributed FREE to the masses during Nocturne 2011 on the first floor of the Khyber.

    Please submit images / text that will translate well printed black & white on newsprint. Work must relate somehow to our first issue's theme of ECONOMY. We like work that is challenging, funny, honest, original and/or subversive. We are interested in a wide variety of mediums including but limited to:

     painting / collage / drawing / print / photographs / text / film / video stills

    Submissions should be high quality .jpg or .tiff 300 dpi, 11" X 17". Feel free to submit up to three images for consideration / context. Please also include a brief bio / artist statement to lend context to the work as well as your website address if applicable.

    The submission deadline is Friday September 23 at midnight. Submissions should be emailed to

    All applicants will be contacted by October 1. Selected artists will be promoted in our first issue with local distribution of 3000. We are unable to pay artist fees at this time.

    Please email us with any questions, concerns, proposals or to request a studio visit.

    Chris Foster & Natalie Slater

    No Dicker with the Sticker, Back to School Sale Event

    Its time to make room for new product, so we are having a sale on selected items.

    To see some of what is on sale and the prices, visit our website and look under, "FOLK ART", "OTHER ART", "CERAMICS/GLASS", "FURNITURE" and "OTHER".

    Also all Salt and Pepper shakers are 20% off and selected "FOUND FOR SWOON" items are 40% off!!

    There are also some great in-store deals!

    See you Swoon!
    1410 Hammonds Plains Road
    WAS: $850 NOW: $475

    In the Alchemist’s Kitchen: Recipes for Transliteration

    In the Alchemist’s Kitchen:
    Recipes for Transliteration
    By Rosemary Metz

    Imagine a mass of copper vessels, glass tubing and funnels assembled on the kitchen table. The alchemist’s task is to distill and transform qualities and properties that inhere in commonplace objects into extraordinary ones. By consulting an arcane periodic table and preparing secret recipes, the alchemist can brew exotic liquors: anyone consuming the smallest draft could, with one breath, blow down the legendary Tower of Babel. 

    Magic might seem the only possible way to transform the visual world into a verbal one. A subject may appear so deeply embedded in its particular visual medium as to defy simple verbalization. The need for a formless base to represent all matter might make the process easier to contemplate—something like the Prima Materia described by Plato (427- 347 BC). Far from being lost in the mists of time, the idea has survived the centuries and been carried through to the twentieth century where it found expression, for example, in Jungian psychological terminology. This magical material appreciated as  “original matter”—or the raw material of life—may go some way to enable the translation from visual to verbal. The process could be compared to ingesting an alchemist’s brew so its consumer might decipher every word, every sound, every feeling, every smell, every image with knowledge and understanding.

    In the above fantasy, the alchemist holds transformative powers. Equally, the Art/Crafts practitioner works with a perpetual impulse to make and re-create form and substance in a particular medium. Suppose a source of inspiration for that work revolves around a display in a museum; for example, the Egyptian section of the British Museum.  Emotive images of desiccated human remains cause viewers to  cluster around a particular mummy case. According to sources at the museum, this area is categorized as the “Hot Zone.” The public always views this exhibit longer than others. Emotionally engaging, the individual on display has a flattened face, retains hair, and fingernails: it makes its presence deeply felt. Direct translation from this evocative object into a text might focus on the language of emotions and senses. And it is   difficult to convey factually a life in a culture that has been dead for several thousand years. But is it any less difficult to convey our own?
    The museum provides visitors with visual experiences which may evoke memories of personal struggle. Interpretation in emotive terms can leap the boundaries of time. Some aspects of human experience remain constant. Carl Jung introduced the term, the “Collective Unconscious,” to represent that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware and yet common to mankind as a whole. Viewing the mummy in the museum awakens an observer’s forgotten memories and experiences. The experience may be a powerful one, hence the reason for calling the Egyptian collection in the museum “the Hot Zone.” Emotionally charged subject matter may fuel the creative impulse, but to move the topic from the emotional realm to one of an intellectual position requires a new vocabulary. This example illustrates the problem of verbal/visual interfaces. Establishing a written vocabulary relating to the creative medium used is a place to start.The needs of different eras vary considerably, and so too, in this search for vocabulary, do their needs for words. Changes in social need would also impact on the process and nature of talking and writing about the creative process.
    According to Richard Rorty, Plato and his contemporaries were concerned with things as the topic of philosophy. During the 17th to 19th centuries, philosophers focused instead on ideas. In contemporary philosophical discussion, words are once more in view. Such “turns” of thinking eventually influence attitudes in everyday life. There is considerable debate today regarding the position of pictures and visual culture. McLuhan was already writing in 1962 about image and text. He and others saw the sea-change engendered by the advent of television and foresaw, decades later, that of computers and digital technology in everyday life. Following a related train of thought, in his book, Picture Theory, W.J.T. Mitchell noted, “our common culture seems increasingly a product of what we watch rather than what we read.” As the visual domain is instantly available through electronic media, a kind of shorthand has appeared through text-messaging, and the rule of words-first-images-second is changing.  Society is altered as technology provides ever-more sophisticated ways to communicate.
    How much longer will writing hold its preferred status over other media? True, social concerns change over time. Plato and his contemporaries, for example, focused on the nature of things; they regarded neither poetry nor painting as a source of knowledge, inasmuch as these areas were imitations and deceptive in their rendering of truth. Will the widespread deployment of electronic media today nurture an equal skepticism?
    Reading and writing skills can more easily be tested by an education system than those of visual literacy. Up to now, children are tested only for alphabetic literacy; as everyone knows, the results in recent years have been alarming. It is of concern that book-reading decreases as involvement rises with culturally “cool” electronics (whether used for immediate work or amusement). At present, visual literacy is not regarded as important, even though literary skills must be taught, whilst visual literacy is innate.
    In the field of Craft, practitioners are under constant pressure to articulate the visual/verbal links the better to inform their audiences and educate themselves. For example, Bernard Leach, in A Potters Book (1951), presents an impassioned view that, in the case of Pottery, the subject has its own inherent language and laws. A potter with a background of painting and printmaking, he tried to identify criteria by which good pots could be defined. The definition process uses both speech and writing while looking at and handling the ceramic object itself to aid the understanding. It develops the capability of being in tune with the world of objects and of learning from their visual presence. Leach’s intention was rooted in his commitment to the Japanese Holistic approach—“the head, heart and hand model.”
    While acknowledging the work of Leach and his contributions to understanding ceramic form, other authors have offered fresh input to understanding transliteration. Authors such as Foucault and Deleaze are concerned with the related areas. They doubt that total meaning from one medium will ever translate into another. Deleuze writes,There is no link that could move from the visible to the statement, or from the statement to the visible. But there is a continual relinking which takes place over the irrational break or crack. Deleuze raises the difficulty involved with transferring essential meaning between one medium and another.
    When the maker is engaged by the creative impulse, it can be difficult to objectify his or her responses. To put an emotional response in its proper place, one needs a vocabulary that allows easy movement from one language form to another. Then, the knowledge of materials can flow through this process and complete the triad of the head, heart, hand model offered by Bernard Leach in1951.
    As Art/Craft makers in the twenty-first century, clearly we need to build a contemporary vocabulary related to each medium of choice. Rather than allow the hands-on process of making to go into the ether, let us create a shopping list of words directly associated with this or that medium and our experiences of making. Write down the key words and key terms associated with the making process. Create metaphors around the making experience. As with any well-thought-out recipe for producing a palatable result, knowing which   ingredients to use and when provides the basis for success.

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Exposure - The Art of Photography, Call for Submissions


    Swoon Presents:

    November 5th – Nov.27th
    Exposure – The Art of Photography

    Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion is looking for photographers to participate in this juried show. This is an open call with no theme. Images for consideration must be emailed ( or submitted, via disk, to the gallery by Oct.17th, 2011. Submissions will be reviewed by a jury and once decisions have been made accepted artists will be notified by phone or email.

    Work must be recent and must not have been previously shown. Artists can submit as many images as they like and should include the size, price and medium of each piece. Also included should be a short bio about you, your experience and/or process. (Note – Presentation, framing and the archival nature of the work will be taken into consideration. Work must also be ready to hang.)

    All accepted work must be delivered to Swoon by Nov.1st at the latest.

    There will be an opening reception on Nov.5th, 2011 from 2pm – 5pm.

    Brandt Eisner, Owner/Director
    Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
    1410 Hammonds Plains Road

    The Other Side - Halloween Show, Call for Submissions


    Swoon Presents:

    October 22nd – Oct.31st
    A Group Halloween Show.

    Rather than wearing the mask, Swoon asks you to take it off. Let’s open some wounds and reveal the darker side of human nature. Peel back the layers; explore that which we most wish to keep hidden. There are many monsters which lurk in wide open spaces, there are ghosts that haunt and exploit our daily lives. Others may be afraid to look, unwilling to recognize something familiar, it may not be pretty but we will create something real.

    Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion is looking for artists to participate in this unique event.  This is a juried show. Images for consideration must be emailed ( to the gallery by Sept.26th, 2011. Submissions will be reviewed and once decisions made, artists will be notified by email.

    Work can be in any medium, must be recent and must not have been previously shown. Artists can submit as many images as they like and should include the size, price and medium of each piece. (Note – Presentation, framing and the archival nature of the work will be taken into consideration.)

    All accepted work must be delivered to Swoon by October 17th at the latest.

    There will be an opening reception on Oct. 22nd, 2011 from 6pm-9pm.

    Also on Oct. 28th there will be a Costume Ball and Fundraiser for The Provincial Autism Centre, featuring local Jazz group Jazzette.

    I look forward to being disturbed,

    Brandt Eisner, Owner/Director
    Swoon – Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
    1410 Hammonds Plains Road

    New Shows in Sept.

    Please join us for our next Opening Reception: Saturday Sept.10th, 2011 from 2pm-5pm.

    Showing will be:

    A Liking For Shadows by Rachael Peters and Expansion by Geoffrey Grantham.

    Shows continue until Oct.2nd, 2011.

    If you are unable to attend, all the work will be on the website once the shows open!

    See You swoon!

    Swoon - Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    What if Michelangelo was a Telemarketer?

    Congrats to our very own Susan Paczek who just had her storybook What if Michelangelo was a Telemarketer? published in Our Times - Canada's Independent Labour Magazine. Grab your copy today and check it out!!

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Swoon Welcomes Artist Christine Lavoie

    Swoon is thrilled to welcome Ceramic Artist, Christine Lavoie to the Swoon Family. Christine's work has to be seen and touched to fully appreciate the beauty of each piece. Her work will be on the website soon if you are not able to pop by and see it in person!

    Artist Michael Stowe

    Artist Michael Stowe at his show, Of Gods and Men and Angels, Where Wild-Flowers Cluster: works of wax-oil crayon and paint on carved board. Photo by Anna Stowe.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Swoon Welcomes Jennie Morrow

    Swoon is thrilled to welcome Jennie Morrow to the Swoon family. Jennie will be having a solo show at Swoon next August titled COW SHALT NOT. It will be amazing! In the meantime check out her work in person, on the website or on facebook!

    Studio Talk

    This is a recent email conversation between myself and Helen Opie. I thought it may be of interest to others. I am in bold type. Enjoy

    I feel like I am painting better than ever but at the same time I can only paint for short periods of time before I start to fade and get sloppy.  

    My theory about this is two-fold:  1) You are (and I am) painting better than ever before and it is because of this that we slow down; we see more things to do, we have more experience of things to do so there is a wider range of things to think about (value contrast & push-pull; colour and effects of juxtaposing different colours; edge qualities; and composition in general and our specific quirks of "style"), and we have other responsibilities and cannot stay focus for hours on end.  I'm not sure if those who paint ten hours a day, 6 days a week, stay focused on what they do for all that time.  Perhaps they get into automatic pilot (probably the case for those whose works tend to look a lot alike) and just make marks without thinking - and also without being in the Zone where automatic painting is more like channeling and the painting falls of our brushes without our consciously directing the paint or the composition.  Others simply have the luxury of either selling their work so they don't have to do anything else to support themselves OR don't have other interests in life which probably feed the art of those who do have many other interests.  If you became a total hermit and only painted, you'd probably do dull work.  If I gave up gardening and playing and swimming when the tide is right, I'd also be a dull painter of boring paintings, because I'd have dulled my senses with this curtailing of myself.

    Plus I really have to be in the mood.

    I need to be in the mood only to some extent.  These are my strategies for getting to work when I don't feel like it:  clean my palette; organize my paints, make something more convenient (day before yesterday I built a very nice little shelf on my easel, attached to the ledge my painting sits on, so I can put the colours in use there, and have brushes or other tools right there in front of me).  I also make notes of what to do next on paintings, usually setting the painting across the room from me while I'm eating supper, making phone calls, &c.  Then when I need to get to work, I can look at those notes and start in doing the easy things.  Pretty soon I am engrossed in what I am doing; the mood has come upon me; the muse has accepted my invitation.  As Robert Genn says, we have to "Go to your room".  And sometimes nothing "works" except to go away and play or deal with that other thing that must be attended to.

    I don't think I will ever be one of those artists who go to a studio and work all day as if it is a full time job. 

    I used to think this was a noble thing to aspire to.  I no longer do; I know it wouldn't work for me - although when I am on a roll, I think it would be lovely to have a "wife" to bring me my supper and go out on errands and answer the phone.  I know I need the other parts of me to stay alive, too.  It may detract from my painting time, but I doubt it does anything but ADD to the quality of my lesser painting time.  I've also learnt that when I have some sort of deadline, I paint better.  I go up to Holly's to paint because I know that I have 3 hours and want to make driving there worth the time and gas spent.  It helps me get to and stay on the task at hand - and usually I have brought only one thing to work on, although I'll take smaller panels for using up the acrylic paint I haven't used in my main painting.  I hate waste, and these also give me freer rein as I haven't any preconceived notions of what I'll do.  Sometimes they are real winners - and sometimes they are not, but can often be resuscitated.

    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    July Shows at Swoon

    Please join us for our next Opening Reception: Saturday July 9, 2011 from 2pm-5pm.

    Showing will be:

    Petting Zoo by Susan Paczek (with work by Deborah Nicholson), Happy Hour by Brandt Eisner, Of Gods and Men and Angels, Where Wild Flowers Cluster by Michael Stowe and Improviso by Andrea Pottyondy.

    Shows continue until July 31, 2011.

    Also as part of the Halifax Pride Festivities join us on Tues, July 19th from 2pm-7pm for an artist meet and greet reception with Brandt Eisner and Michael Stowe.

    See You swoon!

    If you are unable to attend, all the work will be on the website once the shows open!

    Swoon - Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    The Art Price Mystery

    Yesterday, Mark Sharp of Invermere, B.C. wrote, "I was in a gallery looking at a large painting by a living artist. With no dramatic message or spiritual awakenings, it was just a really nice painting--and it was priced at $24,000.00. It probably took the painter one or two days. On the same wall was another same-size painting by another living artist. It was equally well executed, of similar effort, but priced at $6,000.00. Both artists are the same age with similar educational backgrounds. Why the vast price difference? Is it an artist's mystique, proven sales record, better marketing, or what?"
    Thanks, Mark. Art pricing has to do with control. Artists who seek professional status should not be seen selling their work irregularly or at lower prices. Dealers (and artists) who control supply are better able to control demand. Scarcity is important. That $6,000 artist may be three times as prolific as the other guy. Another consideration is location. If an artist offers work in barber shops or less prestigious galleries he cannot expect to get the same kind of prices as in high-end commercial venues. Further, artists whose work is exhibited in public museums or loaned out from significant private collections can be expected to demand more.
    There's another factor that's a bit harder to quantify. The higher-priced painter may just happen to be the better painter. Artists whose work is of higher quality (or merely consistently marketable) are sought out by leading galleries. Further, dealers have a collective interest in seeing an artist's prices escalate, thus adding the sniff of investment to an otherwise mostly emotional purchasing decision. For the artist, a few years of 10-20 percent annual price increases leads to eventual high prices.
    Serious artists have an obligation to themselves to secure a strong cash flow so money worries are left behind. Travel, study, challenge, exploration and even down-time can be expensive, but they are the life blood of creativity.
    My democratic inbox is frequently loaded with questions on prices, marketing strategy, recession ploys, distribution and sales methodology. One might conclude that art is a branch of economics. While the burden of money will forever be with us, quality is still ahead of whatever is in second place. That's why artists need to go to their rooms. Quality needs to be made. But please don't ask me to define "quality." With the exception of markets based on unnatural spin and hype, quality (whatever it is) is often the harbinger of higher prices.

    From - Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter
    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Artist Mathew Collins

    Swoon welcomes artist Mathew Collins to the Swoon Family! Stop by the gallery to see more of Mathew's work or check him out on the website at!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Learning From Failure

    In Peter Sims' book, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, we see the value of making lots of small failures as a way to get to large successes. While Peter's book is mainly aimed at entrepreneurs, it's also of real value to us regular creative types. These days, cutting-edge gurus are passing the word around: "Fail often in order to succeed sooner."
    But not everyone is pickin' up what these experts are puttin' down. Working from a dated model, many art schools currently expect foundation students to produce two or three major works per semester. The results are often big, poorly-conceived mishmashes of questionable value--either as vehicles for learning or as fine art. On the other hand, when students are encouraged to do volumes of small items they become accepting-- even proud--of their failures and are more readily able to move on to ideas that work better for them. Simply put and perhaps surprisingly, less commitment widens opportunity. In a hundred small bets, a dozen or so often ring the bells. With this shotgun effect, even beginners are seen to produce gems. As the lady said, "It's better to have a small diamond than a large piece of glass."
    Here are a few ideas for artists who might wish to quicken their progress:
    *Prepare a hundred or more similar-sized small supports.
    *Choose a subject, motif or series you feel has legs.
    *Start bashing off everything that comes into your head, no matter how glib. Stretch your mind.
    *Abandon bad ideas in a timely way. Don't waste too much time or get hung-up on outright duds.
    *Go from one to the other like a bee goes to flowers. Cross pollinate. Ideas breed ideas. Quality breeds quality.
    *Keep your strokes fresh, creative and confident--then both you and your work will become fresh, creative and confident.
    *Be always in a state of rejection and acceptance. Steadily sort your work like a deck of cards. To win--to get to the stuff that's really worth enlarging--to evolve--you gotta love the little-bets game.
    Best regards,
    PS: "Life is an experiment where failure teaches as much as success." (Peter Sims)

    From - Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter
    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    New Shows Opening in June!

    Swoon is pleased to present three new solo shows:

    Elemental Legacy - Wearable Art in Fine Silver by S.B. Borgersen

    Maritime Flavour - Paintings by Dorothy Mosher

    Murmurs Of Granite - Sculptures by Rosemary Metz

    Opening reception - Sat. June 4th, 2pm-5pm
    Show continues until July 3rd.

    If you are unable to attend all the work will be on the website once the shows open!

    Swoon - Fine Art, Antiques & Fashion
    Facebook event/invite -

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Showcase - Artist Carol Smeraldo

    Contrast In Clay V: Under Sea World in Raku and Porcelain is currently showing at Swoon until April 29th. Check out Carol's interview with Elissa Bernard next week in the Chronical Herald!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    The Shows The Thing

    I once had a solo opening on a day the stock market happened to fall out of bed. Arriving late, I was surprised to find a lineup in the street and a crowd of eager buyers inside. "What's going on?" I asked my dealer as he rushed back and forth with his dots. "It's always like this when the stock market goes down," he said. "People put their money into art. And when the stock market goes up, they have extra money so they put it into art." The event was one of my first insights into the remarkable phenomenon of the art show.
    Being flock animals, humans gain confidence when everyone else is flocking to a kill. Also, being predatory, we like to tear off the best cuts, preferably in front of others. It's called "conspicuous consumption," a term first used by the sociologist Thorstein Veblen in 1899 and in evidence ever since.
    Over my lifetime, shows have become more subtle and nuanced. In a lot of areas they are less frenetic and perhaps less effective. I've had shows where there were no sales at the openings; people discreetly phoned their orders the following morning. Perhaps there were sociologists in the crowd, but it may just be a Canadian thing--the desire not to expose our fangs in public.
    Bringing artists and public together is a main function of shows. Actually, customers turn out to be real people, as do artists, humility and all, and George Bernard Shaw's dictum, "When you know the artist, you think less of the art," is often, but not always, laid to rest.
    Then there's the modern miracle of the Internet-telephone axis. Once a potential client has agreed to receive a show by email, a dealer in Toronto can sell work to a keener in Kapuskasing. The best galleries send their virtual shows to favoured customers just in the nick of time--like an hour before the opening. Nowadays, when you're sipping your Chardonnay and the gallery phone rings, you know that foreigners are crashing the party.
    And that reminds me of booze. Everyone knows it loosens the tongue. It's a wallet shaker as well. Once, late in the evening when we had pretty well run out of cheese, a fellow said to me, "Thish is your worst show yet, Robert--I'll take that one."

    From Robert Glenn Twice Weekly

    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Poor Me Syndrome

    Yesterday, Robert Revak Dublac of Unionville, Connecticut wrote, "I am an under-recognized artist. It's a frustrating time of my career. I'm astounded how arrested our culture has become. There doesn't seem to be any concept of art evolving from representational to abstract. Museums are even giving Impressionist painting classes. My sales started to drop in the mid-'70s, just as my work became stronger and more substantive. Galleries no longer choose artists with conviction; they've become art shops. Fortunately the granting programs have been most generous through the years, but they too have their financial challenges. Even "Art in America" has become appalling! The imagery looks like something from my design classes in the '60s! I need to find exposure or a gallery affiliation. At present I'm in a backwater--just vegetating."
    Thanks, Robert. FYI, we've put a selection of Robert Dublac's work at the top of the current clickback.
    Robert Dublac is a victim of the tides that ebb and flow in fashionable art. Robert is right; there is a significant return to varieties of representational work. The tide could just as easily turn again. Many art schools during the '60s and '70s disdained realism and favoured the kind of work Robert still does. The result is an overabundance of abstraction and thousands of disappointed painters who are unable to secure grants and now find themselves driving taxis.
    Artists need not be so appalled when they understand the fickle nature of the art market. Under-recognized they may be, but the bandwagon of the '60s turned out to be the stalled donkey-cart of today. Perhaps not surprisingly, it's often abstraction that now seems old fashioned.
    Part of this change came about because of the facile nature of a lot of '60s abstraction. Collectors demanded more than imagination. They wanted something that appeared to them to have more skill and meaning. They wanted to connect. Conservative these collectors became, and they began to trust history more than the new "wunderkind." More than anything, dealers and critics wanted something they could talk and write about.
    Backwater? Vegetating? It's been my quiet but persistent observation that the most anti-creative pills an artist can take are, "Poor me," "Art has gone to pot," and "The world owes me a living."

    Best regards,

    From Robert Glenn Twice-Weekly Letter
    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    New to Swoon

    Artists Anne Johnstone and Rae Smith are the newest members to join the Swoon family.
    Anne Johnstone, "Blue Hills" Pastel

    Rae Smith, "Clam Diggers - Cross Island" Pastel

    See more of Anne and Rae's work on our website,

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    New Shows Open April 9th!!

    New shows by Carol Smeraldo, June Deveau and Karen R. Phinney. Join us for the opening reception Sat. April 9th from 2-5.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Traffic comes to NSCAD - and Halifax

    Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980, the nationally touring exhibition – and the first to focus on the influence and manifestations of conceptual art in Canada – is coming to Halifax. Presenting more than 450 works by over 100 artists from across Canada, Europe and the United States, Traffic will run from March 18 to May 8 at four university art galleries: NSCAD’s Anna Leonowens, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent.

    As part of Traffic, NSCAD Professor Jayne Wark, BFA ’79; Wallace Brannen, NSCAD ‘74, BFA ’04, BA’09 and former NSCAD President and Professor Garry Neill Kennedy discuss the history and impact of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s Lithography Workshop in a public panel discussion on Sunday, March 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the MSVU Art Gallery.

    NSCAD will also host a one-day Symposium on Conceptual Art on Saturday, April 16 in the Bell Auditorium.  To register, e-mail by April 12.  A registration fee of $10.00 ($5.00 for students) will be charged at the door.

    Organized around urban and regional centres of art production, the national exhibition is intended to capture the exuberant “traffic” between them during the inaugural phase of conceptual art, one of the most transformative art movements of the late 20th century.

    Here in Halifax, Dalhousie Art Gallery will present work from Ontario, curated by Barbara Fischer (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto), and Montréal, curated by Michèle Thériault with Vincent Bonin (Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University). MSVU Art Gallery will host work from Halifax and Atlantic Canada, curated by Jayne Wark; Saint Mary's University Art Gallery will display work from British Columbia, curated by Grant Arnold (Vancouver Art Gallery), and the Prairies, curated by Catherine Crowston (Art Gallery of Alberta). The Anna Leonowens Gallery will augment the exhibition by presenting a selection of our unique collection and archive materials for a two-week period from March 22 to April 2.

    Featured in the four-gallery Halifax exhibition are works by Vito Acconci, David Askevold, John Baldessari, Bruce Barber, Wallace Brannen, James Lee Byars, Eric Cameron, Ian Carr-Harris, Sylvain Cousineau and Francis Coutelier, Greg Curnoe, Jan Dibbets, Graham Dube, Gerald Ferguson, Michael Fernandes, Dan Graham, John Greer, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Richards Jarden, Donald Judd, Pat Kelly, Garry Neill Kennedy, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Allan MacKay and Lionel Simons, Brian MacNevin, Barry MacPherson, Albert McNamara, Ian Murray, N.E. Thing Co., Dennis Oppenheim, Bruce Parsons, Harold Pearse, Yvonne Rainer, Ellison Robertson, Michael Snow, Theodore Wan, Douglas Waterman, Lawrence Weiner, Joyce Wieland, Martha Wilson, Jon Young and Tim Zuck.

    Traffic opened in Toronto, where it ran from September 6 - December 4, 2010.  After Halifax, the show goes to the Art Gallery of Alberta (June 25 - September 18, 2011), the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (January 21 - April 7, 2012) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (May 26 - September 9, 2012).
    To learn more about NSCAD’s role in the Canadian conceptual art movement, read Jayne Wark’s catalogue essay, Conceptual Art in Canada: The East Coast Story.
    Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980 is supported by the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Fashion Photography by Bruce Bottomley for FOUND FOR SWOON

    Check out the fantastic new photos Bruce did for Found For Swoon. Photos and info also on the Swoon website!!/album.php?aid=36684&id=118734708185406&fbid=160126057379604

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Problems of the Multi-Media Artist

    Problems of the multi-media artist
    March 1, 2011

    Yesterday, Jennifer Foster wrote, "I was recently at an arts professionalism seminar where one of the presenters was a gallery owner. I asked him about submitting work to galleries in more than one medium. He surprised me by saying that anyone who did this simply showed that they didn't know who they were as an artist. I always thought that diversity and ability in many media were strengths--just as cross-training is for an athlete. When submitting to a gallery or a jury, do artists do themselves a disservice by showing work in more than one medium?"
    Thanks, Jennifer. Artists need to realize that dealers are often coming from a different place than artists. While you and I know that cross-training and diversity are desirable, even necessary for creative growth, a dealer looks at an artist's work with other things in mind. Product consistency is one of them.
    Dealers are, after all, entrepreneurs. In this role, most dealers like to slot each of their artists into specific media and genre. Many of them think they know what their customers want, and don't wish to muddy the waters. It's sad to say, but many excellent dealers are not too interested in your range of capabilities. My advice is to submit consistent, one-medium work at first. You can go about showing your breadth and depth later. Here are a few ideas for the multi-media and multi-talented artist:
    *Keep working and developing independently, no matter what. *Deliver work in different media to different galleries.
    *Deliver work of different subjects to different galleries.
    *"Leak" your multi-media activities by blog or word-of-mouth.
    *Give dealers exclusivity in specific geographical locations.
    *While it's good to make consistent and regular deliveries, don't worry if you miss a stroke or two. The nature of our game is to be distracted by our muse, and while this may not always be good for the wallet, if the dealer has character, he'll respect your wanderings.
    Finding copacetic dealers is a fact of life in visual arts. You need to vacuum out the scissorbills and the not-so-swifts. After the cleanup, you'll find the rest to be gentle enthusiasts, strong advocates, and good friends.

    From - Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter

    Posted by Helen Opie

    Haligonia at Swoon

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Advice from Artist Eric Fischl

    When asked what advice he would give to a young artist that is just starting out this is what Eric Fischl had to say:

    "I tend to tell them pretty much all the same thing, which is that they should find a group of artists that they identify with and form a peer group. Density is important...density and heat are important aspects of getting started in the art world. Heat and noise. Heat and noise create attention. The art world senses where there is a hot spot, and they gravitate toward it to find out whats going on. So you want to get density; a peer group that is vibrant and competitive and supportive. And what you find with that is that members of a peer group help each other: one gets a gallery, they tell the gallery, "Oh, you got to check out so-and-so's work." That's the way I did it; that's the way I understand it."

    From Inside The Painter's Studio by Joe Fig

    Check It Out!!

    Hi, I'm Deborah Nicholson, one of the artists represented at Swoon. I went to Copenhagen last August to exhibit my art with my artist collective, SEVEN. Next month, our culminating exhibition for this project, called Exchange, will be featured at The Craig Gallery in Dartmouth. Our opening reception is on Wednesday, March 30th from... 7-9pm.

    Opening Reception Wednesday, March 30th 7-9pm
    Exhibition runs until May 1st

    Come for your own exchange with SEVEN; it will be a multi-media adventure with seven artists, whose materials collectively range from wool to words.

    The Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing
    2 Ochterloney St., Dartmouth (next to the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal Building)


    Jay Leblanc - Our Backyard

    Happenings in New Glasgow

    Hey y'all
    I'm the NSCAD community artist in residence here in the big N.G. and I've got some things coming up that you all should know about.

    1. I'm having a studio open house on March 24 at 4pm. Come check out what I'm up to. It'll go till 5:30, then, at 7, NSCAD textiles faculty member Gary Marckle will be doing a talk in the community room in the library. 

    2. A handbuilding workshop will be happening on March 26 from 1:30 - 4:30.The cost for covering supplies is $10.  It should be fun, I think.

    3. I'll be having a solo show in the studio space opening April 13th at 4pm. I don't have a name or an invite for  it yet, but I'll send along a copy when I do. I'll also be doing a talk that night in the community room at the library here at 7pm. 

    Whew! I think that's it for now. Please help spread the word, if you don't mind. I hope to see you all at one or more of these events. Thanks a bunch.

    Alana Wilson

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    An experimental primitive firing with Sharon Fiske

    At the Annual Potters Guild Meeting and Potluck, Potters get to experiment with a primitive firing in Sharon Fiske's backyard.

     Sharon adds a few last minute pieces to the fire.

    Work begins to come into view as the fire dies down. A piece is by Basia Lukwinski sits on top a pot by Sharon Fiske which I got to paint before going into the fire.

    Posted by Brandt Eisner

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Sneak Preview!

    Here's a sneak preview of two of the pieces that will be in the shows opening this Saturday, March 12, 2 - 5 (details at under 'events').  We're so excited about this show!!

    "Big Rooster" by Geordan Moore
    Screenprint, edition of 25
    11" x 14"
    $50 unframed, $150 framed and matted

    "Golden Treasures Series - Spirals" by Basia Lukwinski
    10" x 4.5" x 12.5"

    There will much,  much more to see throughout the gallery!
    See you Swoon!