Friday, April 13, 2012

Now Open Sundays!

The weather is warming up, our 2012 show season is in full swing, so starting this Sunday April 15th Swoon will be open Sundays, 12 - 6pm.  Be sure to stop in and check out our current shows when you're out for your Sunday Drive!

Monday, April 9, 2012

April at Swoon: Christine Lavoie and Helen Opie

 This past Saturday was the opening reception for our two April features: "Entre-deux-mondes" (In Between Two Worlds) by Christine Lavoie, and "Landscape & Architecture" by Helen Opie

Christine Lavoie is a relatively new addition to both Swoon and the Halifax area.  Originally from a small francophone town in New Brunswick, Christine has a visuals art degree from the University of Moncton, and specializes in sculpture and painting.  Her artist statement and biography can be found here on our website.
Christine Lavoie with Corbeau Patte Blanche (Raven: White Foot)

Entre-deux-mondes consists of large, smoke fired ceramic pieces as well as acrylic paintings with oil pastel.  The show was inspired by the pitcher plant as a starting point, but Christine further explores family traditions, local folklore, creation myths and nature.  The ceramic pieces include technically challenging free-standing ravens, a giant multi-part plant, wall hanging vessels, a vessel lined with gold, and a collaborative piece decorated by artist Basia Lukwinski.
Collaboration with Basia Lukwinski

Excerpt from Helen Opie's artist statement from Landscape & Architecture:

I love being alive here in Nova Scotia.  I love quilt-patch fields, distant ridges, patches of woods, and the ever-changing sea, particularly the nearby Bay of Fundy.  I also love abstract compositions I see in parts of houses; massed roofs, overlapping sheds and ells, chimneys dancing across the sky.  I especially like roofscapes – lots of roofs making a blocky pattern together, and what I call Bowl Villages; those views looking downhill into a group of houses, providing lots of roofing as well as walls.  In this show I have drawn together my new understandings about pattern, composition and "distortion"...

Helen's show consists of oil paintings and includes village scenes from Granville Ferry, Eureka Village, Bear River, Mahone Bay, as well as Nova Scotian landscapes. 

Helen Opie
These shows continue until April 28th. Photos of all works in both shows are now posted on our website (as of April 14th).

See you Swoon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Helen Opie's "Preview of Leaving Attractions" / April Shows at Swoon!

This past Saturday I visited Helen Opie at her home in Granville Ferry to learn how to plant tomatoes from seeds, and also to collect her and her paintings to deliver to Swoon for the upcoming April Shows (opening reception Saturday April 7th, 2pm - 5pm):

Saturday (March 31st) was a gorgeous day and I arrived to find Helen sitting in her chair with a long list of neighbours to call to invite to a spontaneous art event which she had just dreamed up.  Understanding that many people in her town do not get into the city often, Helen decided to hang all her paintings on the streetside outside wall of her house, from 2 - 4pm, for her friends and neighbours to come see what she'd been up to all winter.  She advertised it as her "Preview of Leaving Attractions".  Here's a little video clip of Helen in action!

Below is a sneak preview of Helen's work as seen displayed on her house.  While Helen hosted a planting session in the backyard, many people dropped by the front to admire her paintings.  It was a very pleasant afternoon!

Helen with her painting-hanging-hammer!

A sneak peak of most of Helen's new paintings

Helen's "Whalecome" sign which hangs above her front door, and suits her home very much!

This Saturday's Opening Reception is going to be a great one!! Aside from these great new paintings by Helen, there will be beautiful new work by ceramic artist/painter Christine Lavoie.

The shows continue until April 28th, and photos of all works in the shows will be posted to Swoon's website in the week following the opening reception.

The reception will also serve as a "Launch" for Helen's latest creation: her P.E.I sketch journal.  These are truly wonderful.  Unlike her Long Island Sketch Journal (which is also wonderful) the P.E.I books are "flip books", and are a limited edition of 199 due to the labour-intensiveness of this project. 

If all that isn't enough, we just got word that Helen's 2013 "Week-at-a-time Planning Calendar for Busy and Creative People" has just been printed, so the opening will be a launch for those as well!  Helen's Calendars are a very popular item at Swoon.  These spiral bound planners are incredibly useful, with Helen's own thoughtfully created pages for keeping track of all sorts of important things.  Each year they feature images of new paintings, so we're excited to see the latest edition!

And, one last thing, April 9th is Brandt's birthday, so I suspect this Saturday's opening will be especially festive!

-posted by Susan Paczek

RBC Painting Competition

RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) is hosting a Canadian Painting competition. The first prize is $25,000. It is for emerging artists in the first 5 years of their careers! .

Deadline for Joining the "Society of Canadian Artists" is April 20th!

The application deadline for Elected Members status for the Society of
Canadian Artists is April 20th, 2012. For more information please