2013 - Featured Artist Line-Up
Murray Phillips, Participating artist and Show coordinator
One does not have to be with Murray for very long before one senses his deep passion for the wilderness. His art stands in a rich tradition of Canadian art that has a strong connection to the land. Approximately four months of every year is spent in nature where he paints on location, to capture the untamed beauty around him. The Kitlope Valley, the Bugaboo Mountains, Kananaskis, Waterton, Banff and Jasper have all been a part of this painting odyssey. Although the focus has been primarily on the western wilderness there has also been painting excursions into Wales and England by canal boat as well as trips into Algonquin Park the place of initial inspiration for Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.
Murray feels most at home in the wilderness and is passionate in his commitment to
capture on canvas the elusive beauty that frequently lies hidden in isolated areas. “We are losing the wilderness not primarily through pollution or over population but, first of all, because of disinterest and neglect. We simply are unaware of what a treasure this is and we have little interest or knowledge of the wilderness and its inhabitants”. It is Murrayʼs deep desire to awaken a yearning to reconnect with the wilderness. “The wilderness has profound lessons for us if we will make the effort to slow our pace and be silent and listen; just go into the wilderness and start to listen.”
Although he has been painting for over 40 years, much of Murrayʼs life has been lived in the halls of academia where he holds graduate degrees in Theology and Cultural Anthropology. For over 20 years, he taught in a variety of colleges and universities. He still is in much demand as a speaker and articulate advocate for reconnecting with the wilderness. He has many interests including sailing, canoeing, and classical guitar but an abiding love has been his desire to paint. “There is in my soul an intense urgency to paint, as if something terribly important needs to be communicated, and I can only say it with brush and canvas. Sometimes the soulʼs only instruments are brush, canvas, and paint.”
For more information click on: www.murrayphillipsart.com
Red Robinson, Celebrity Guest Artist
Red Robinson’s roots go back to the beginning of Rock’n'Roll when he was spinning the hits on Vancouver’s CJOR while still in high school in 1954. He was the first DJ to play rock’n'roll music on a regular basis in Canada and from that time until today he has been repeatedly acknowledged for his tireless support of the music industry.
Red was also keenly interested in art during his youth and rendered many pencil and ink sketches of his surroundings and the people he met loved and admired. Red will be a Celebrity Guest and Emcee for the show opening on September 6
Visit Red anytime and see what’s new with “the Redhead” at www.redrobinson.com
Shell Busey, Celebrity Guest Artist
|A longtime supporter of The West Fine Art Show, Shell continues to contribute his time and enthusiasm. This year Shell joins our artists ranks with a "surprise" art display of his own. Our sincere thanks to Shell.
And dont miss "Shell Busey's P ancake Breakfast", Sat 9-11
Visit Shell's world of "Good, Better, Best" at www.AskShell.com
As a child Gaye’s closest companion was her sketch book, and she can’t recall a time when she didn’t draw. An enchantment with the natural world developed, and most especially the light which revealed and modeled the forms within it. Her interest in rendering the effects of light has endured as the focus of her work, and never ceases to fascinate and challenge her as a painter. She strives always to say less with more, and enjoys the process of simplification when painting, letting the paint reveal a language of it’s own.
During the course of her painting career, she has explored many mediums and methods, initially as a pastelist and most currently oil paints. She paints on location outdoors often, and finds that working from life both in and out of the studio is a vital part of her continuing development as a painter.
Gaye holds senior signature status with the Federation of Canadian Artists, has received her “Master Pastellist” designation from the Pastel Artists of Canada, and is also a member of the Oil Painters of America. She has garnered awards at the international level and has had articles and images in numerous art publications. When not traveling to paint or teach, she works out of her home studio in Blind Bay, British Columbia.
For more information, go to www.gayeadams.com
Roger Arndt (unable to attend this year)
|As a Painter of the Canadian west, Roger D. Arndt shares a vision of nature’s beauty that touches the soul. Roger began to draw inspiration from the wilderness during childhood visits to British Columbia's Manning Park, where he and his family hiked, fished and explored the forests and lakes. He was moved by the power and majesty of the mountains. His soul inspired, he began to paint these vast and glorious monuments. In his late teen years, Roger discovered his love for the Rocky Mountains. He spent several months each year exploring Alberta's Lake Louise, Jasper, and Athabasca regions, hiking and camping at the base of towering mountains and ancient glaciers.|
Roger’s work is a vision that extends from the top of the world to the valleys below and the ocean beyond. Roger is a smooth brush oil painter who utilizes a centuries-old Flemish technique that was once practiced by European Masters. His attention to detail is paramount, from the time he conceptualizes the image in his mind and prepares his boards, to the finishing and framing of the completed piece.
“My life is rich and full. I feel grounded, therefore a great sense of freedom to grow and experience. I look forward to the journey ahead.”
A Roger Arndt painting is a timeless work of art that marries the breathtaking subject matter of Canada's West with fine craftsmanship and quality. Roger takes pride in achieving a high level of craftsmanship, an element sometimes missing in contemporary fine art.
For more information, contact: www.rdaart.com
Craig was born on Little Mountain in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1949. Carving became a hobby while he pursued an education in environmental studies. His post-graduate career in wildlife management and habitat protection kept Craig in close contact with his artistic subjects, and took him to many wild areas of North America. Following a stay in Rivers Inlet on BC's remote central coast, he moved with his young family to Victoria B.C. in 1987. His lifelong interests in art and nature called him to a full-time carving career in 1990. In May 1995, the desire to live closer to the rugged natural beauty of the coast brought him to Piers Island, a small community in the Gulf Islands north of Victoria, where he and his partner Lynn designed and built their new home and studio. Craig is passionate about life on earth, its mystery, magic, beauty and diversity. His work celebrates and honours the creatures with which we share this planet.
Visit Craig at www.craigautherbenson.com
The artistic journey is a very interesting and convoluted one. June began in fabric arts, passed through stained glass, lingered in stone sculpture is now enjoying designing and making metal, stone and crystal jewellery. Each art form evolves and helps develop another, so beautifully handcrafted jewellery is the culmination of a lifetime developing the eye and the necessary skills. Learning to think in three dimensions has made a huge impact on creating one of a kind pieces of art that are a pleasure to wear and a joy to look at.
June has lived in South Surrey for more than 20 years.
Born in the UK and raised in Ontario, Carmel now makes her home in Western Canada. The power of the Canadian landscape humbles her and inspires her to capture it on canvas. She brings together colour, texture, movement and form in her own unique expression. Always striving to capture the atmosphere of the moment, and infusing her paintings with lively, vibrant energy. A life-long artist, Carmel has actively pursued her art career for more than a decade, and currently teaches art to both adults and children.
Visit Carmel Clare at www.carmel.fineartstudioonline.com
Bryan Coombes is a BC landscape painter who enjoys painting a variety of subject matter. He is often seen painting on location or walking the woods with camera in hand where he'll record vital aspects of his subject before starting studio work in oil or acrylic paint. Bryan allows room for spontaneity in his work, allowing the subject to guide his approach in terms of what he sees and how he'll describe it. If there is one thing he hopes to capture, it's the happiness of being outdoors.
For more information click on: www.bcoombesart.com
Brian Croft, Painting the History of Vancouver and British Columbia
Brian Croft is a former fighter pilot with the Canadian Forces. Today he is a widely recognized artist whose work emanates from the beautiful locales surrounding Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has introduced a historical and heritage perspective into his work and this has become the focal element and trademark of his various collections. Brian’s major works are now rendered on canvas and his meticulous research and paint process continues to produce highly detailed and evocative paintings of our past. He resides in Langley, B.C. and has created over 380 works.
For more information click on: www.briancroft.com
“I create colourful representational paintings with a focus on the interplay of shapes created by lights and darks. My paintings have a rich, velvety depth, giving them a traditional feel that I blend with contemporary elements to create innovative, touching, memorable works of art.
I am intrigued by composition and pattern. I am fascinated with understanding and capturing the human spirit, inspired by the challenge of a difficult piece, and propelled by the unknown.”
For more information click on: www.hamillstudios.ca
MARK HOBSON lives in Tofino, B.C. Canada on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, where he has painted professionally for over twenty-five years. Born in Vancouver in 1953 he grew up in various parts of B.C. alternating with living around the world in locations as far flung as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Portugal. His teenage years were spent in boarding schools, including two years in Northern Ireland. Drawing almost every day in his early years he gradually taught himself skills in watercolour, oils and acrylics. Mark is best known for his passionate portrayals of the wildlife and landscapes of the Canadian Pacific coast. From pounding surf to misty coves, from rainforests to the underwater realm, the careful use of light is always present enhancing subtle drama in his work. Professionally trained as a biologist, he taught high school science for nine years before devoting his career full time to painting.
Tammie was raised on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. Her love of nature and the outdoors inspires her fascination and appreciation of the beauty of BC. Wide-open vistas and constantly changing weather patterns are an integral part of the environment celebrated in her in her paintings.
Art has always been part of her life, but her career as an artist really took off when she started painting in earnest while living in Comox BC and working at the Comox Valley Art Gallery. While there she developed her unique style, creating beautiful soft landscapes and bright bold abstracts.
Relocating to the Cowichan Valley in 2009 and being surrounded by the protected Garry Oaks, Tammie was inspired to create the Somenos Oak series of paintings. The silhouettes of the majestic trees bring a mysterious element that evokes a sense of wonder, and deep reflection.
Working with acrylic paint on canvas is her medium of choice. The many layers of transparent colour in earthy shades add a moodiness making each scene serene and thought provoking.
A burst of colour and pattern fill canvases in her ongoing series of award winning abstract paintings. A sense of excitement and movement are created in these works with the designs flying of the edge of the canvas in infinite possibilities.
Contemporary landscape paintings and abstract works show two sides of Tammie. Many of her works now grace the walls of both private and corporate collectors across Canada and the United States. Several galleries including galleries on Vancouver Island, Whistler and in Edmonton represent her.
Visit Tammie at www.whitecapart.ca
I began painting Native themes from a series of dreams I had in 2001 and I quickly transitioned into doing extensive research into the culture of the People and traveling all across North America meeting and working with various tribes in an effort to present historically accurate images that celebrate, preserve and honor Native peoples. I recently heard a quote by Louis Riel:
"My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back."
This captures my intent profoundly and serves as a far better mission statement than I could ever write.
Doug's journey to become a fine artist took many years but makes for an interesting story. He drew avidly as a child growing up but hadn't painted until 2001 after a near death experience convinced him to try what he had been dreaming of for so many years.But its more humorous start would have to begin with the fact that he failed art in high school and so he followed his other passion which was acting. From high school to 1998, Doug worked as an actor and director in stage, TV and film. He became one of the founding performers of the Rosebud Dinner Theatre and also starred in two pilot television shows and numerous other film and TV spots. After leaving acting in 1998, he was commissioned to do a portrait of hockey legend Guy LaFleur, and the series of graphite drawings that ensued are now displayed in venues throughout North America. In 2001 he was also recognized for his award winning web design.
Since then, however, Doug has devoted himself full-time to fine art, oil paintings and graphite/charcoal drawings being his preferred mediums. His historical works seek to preserve moments from the North American Indian way of life and to explore themes of the West. These pieces reflect Doug's passion for authentic detail as well as drama, texture and a beautiful sense of light. His contemporary works focus on commissioned portraits and plein-air landscapes.
Doug considers his 'big break' to have been when he was juried into the Calgary Stampede Western Art Showcase in 2003 and has been exhibiting his works at the Stampede ever since. His paintings are gaining wide attention for an artiststill young in his career and as a result, his works are in collections as far away as Australia, New Zealand and in some of the finest private collections in Canada
and the American Southwest. He regularly receives invitations to attend prominent exhibitions in Canada and the United States. He also attended the prestigious invitation only 'Artist Ride' in South Dakota in 2004 and 2005 where he staged many scenarios for future paintings. In 2007, Doug was commissioned to paint the image used for the 2008 Calgary Stampede Poster which promoted the Stampede world-wide. The painting was sold for $63,000 and was purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company. Doug has also won Artist Choice, Collectors Choice and Best of Show booth at the Stampede.
For more information, contact www.douglevitt.net
Born in Vancouver in 1975 to very creative parents, Esther made her way through her youth uninterested and seemingly unaffected by her parent’s artistic influences. It wasn’t until the early 90’s when one day she picked up a paint brush and craft paints and never looked back. Immediately she turned to watercolours, and for the next 15 years, Esther’s focus was painting the natural world.
In 1996, she began a successful career as a commercial fisherman, traveling all over the coast of BC, hiding from storms in little hidden coves, meeting people and seeing places long forgotten. In this time, she became passionate about the natural coastline and the people who live on it.
As her life of fishing came to a close, a new joy began as she entered motherhood. It was during the early days of parenthood that she took up pencil drawing. Taking her experiences on boats, she put her pencils to use and created works based on the floating world. Her technique was to use only 2B, HB, and B pencils, and to only use the pencil tips, no burnishing or rubbing involved. This new medium pushed Esther into a realistic art form, leaving simpler forms behind.
In 2008, as the oldest of her three kids began his school debut, Esther thought she should try her hand in acrylics, and what a surprise did she find! The brilliant colours and lustrous results were a perfect match for her style and she settled in with this medium for the long haul. Today you can find her in her home studio passionately painting the west coast as she sees it. Being mainly self taught, she feels the freedom of not knowing the “rules” and just painting as her heart guides her.
Visit Esther at www.esthersample.com
I started my sculpting career upon returning home to Victoria in the summer of 1998 after a 10 year stint as a goldminer in the Yukon. My sculptures have become my resume which is ever growing and changing. Within 6 months of the beginning of my sculpting career, I was given my first public commission by the township of Sidney on Vancouver Island. Since that time, I have completed many public commissions, adorning streets, memorials, trestles and parks from Victoria to Price George. Between public commissions, I have completed many private commissions as well as a line of limited edition which have journeyed to many continents. I am kept busy with a variety of art and garden shows throughout the year. I have been involved with shows in Victoria, Vancouver, and as far away as Toronto, San Francisco and Colorado. My work can be seen on my website, www.sculpturebynathanscott.com . It is also on display in the garden gallery of Butchart Gardens, The Wickininish Inn, Senora Resort, Dent Island Lodge and at my own studio Saanichton, BC. These outlets have captured an international market for my sculptures, allowing me to send my pieces throughout the world.
Joe Smith studied at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. He began his art career as a staff artist at The Gazette in Montreal illustrating for both the news and advertising departments. After climbing the corporate ladder to a senior executive position at The Spectator in Hamilton, he decided to leave the corporate world and get back to his roots as a fine artist.
Now living on Vancouver Island in Union Bay where he has his studio and gallery, he works primarily in watercolours and acrylics. Painting in a realistic style, he focuses on landscape and cityscape subjects. His objective is to provide the viewer with a scene that will evoke a personal response.
“If my work can bring back a fond memory or simply get people to appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings … get them excited about protecting what we have … then I feel that I have accomplished something.”
Actively involved in promoting the arts, he has been recently appointed to serve on the BC Arts Council Board. The Council’s mission is to engage all British Columbians in a healthy arts and cultural community. His works can be found in both private and corporate collections.
For more information on Joe you can visit his website … which he says is currently under construction so that it reflects his more recent works. www.joesmith.ca
Dennis Webber (unable to attend this year)
"My People will sleep for one hundred years. When they awaken, it will be the artists who give them back their spirit."
About a century after Riel's prediction, Dennis started to explore the possibility of becoming a full-time artist, and since then has achieved not only this, but is also considered one of Canada's foremost Métis artists. His personal collection of Métis artifacts is often on display at cultural events alongside his art, most notably the 2007 exhibition We Are Métis at the Kelowna Museum.
In 1999 Dennis moved to Kelowna, BC and now works out of his home studio. His preferred media are pencil, charcoal or oil, and he often glazes layer after layer to achieve a unique look. Dennis has accredited Signature Status in both the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists. His weekly class, as well as his portrait demonstrations are very much in demand. He teaches adults at various 3-day workshops as well as school children in Aboriginal School District 23, and is a youth mentor for the Métis Community Services Society of BC.
Dennis travels to a number of events and art exhibitions. In August he joins the Artist's Ride in South Dakota, which is an invitational event attended by only fifty artists from across North America. There on the Shearer Ranch, beside the Cheyenne River, models and movie extras are available for artists to photograph for reference in their Native and Western art. In July, he attends the prestigious Calgary Stampede Western Art Show and Kiyanaw at the Capital EX in Edmonton. Throughout the year his art can be seen at various Métis events.
Dennis’ bibliography includes David Bouchard's book "The Secret of Your Name" published in 2009, and has his art in a number of publications and text books. He is represented by Turtle Island Gallery in Kelowna, Moonstone Gallery in Calgary and Wa’Sah Gallery in Winnipeg.
For more information, contact: www.webergallery.com
Guest Artists: Bill Higginson, Olga Rybalko, Sharie Posein, Josh Jenkins