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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Art Across the Marsh 2014

Ghita's laneway

The busy weekend left us little time for one of my favourite treats, the "Art Across the Marsh" tour of artist studios in the Tantramar area.  (www.artacrossthemarsh.ca)  We made the most of the few hours we had on Sunday afternoon, enjoyed the company of family, the autumn colours and four of the nineteen venues.  

We squeezed in a quick visit to the Winegarden Estate Ltd. in Baie Verte NB  to pick up a bottle of raspberry wine.  Why not?  We were passing by anyway. (www.WinegardenEstate.com)

Ghita's nasturtiums

An artist's studio fascinates.  It is an intimate space of personal creativity which says so much about the artist, draws the visitor into their world and routines, disciplines and work. It is a serious place where the desire to be authentic and true to skills and gifts meets the slogging hard work of trial and error, of honing and expanding the craft, offering new ways to view the world. 

It was a privilege to watch Marilyn Cook working on a gorgeous silk painting in her cozy studio,  a rustic wooden building surrounded by heritage flowers and views out to the Shemogue Marsh.  (www.cooksilk.ca)   

Ghita Levin's property is sheltered from the road by a long lane that opens out into a yard with both a studio and gift shop.  Ghita's wood-fired pottery reflects the wild beauty that hugs her home and the herons, crows, owls, frogs and dragonflies which share those woods and marshes.  (www.ghitalevinpottery.ca)

In front of Ghita's studio

We stopped at the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery and chatted with the painters, photographers and potters.  We couldn't visit their studios as they bring their creations to the gallery.  They explained, "Working as a co-operative allows us to have an affordable venue to show and sell our work."  Outside their building, we took photos of the river and marshes that edge the property.  It was such great weather and the light so inviting. (www.tidnishbridgeartgallery.com)

It would be a luxury to purchase something from each artist, to support their work and to bring their vibrant art back to our home, but we have neither the space here nor the funds to buy very much, other than a couple of small gifts for others.  Still, it is an enriching experience to walk around the shops and studios, to hear the artists' passion for their creations and to learn how they channel vision into tangible form.

Our time was nearly gone, when we arrived at the studio of Thaddeus Holownia, built on the site of the former home of the poet John Thompson.  Thaddeus, accompanied by his two well-behaved dogs, gave us a tour of the letterpress printers, chatted about his large format cameras, his photographs and graciously answered all our questions.  When we left, he gave us directions for going home another way, so our day ended with the impressive views from the High Marsh Road:  distant dark cows grazing on golden marshland spreading for miles, tinged with dusky clouds hanging low on the horizon.  Breathtaking!

I am humbled in the presence of someone who loves what they do so much they don't think of it as work.  They speak about their art as something irresistible, part of themselves, who they are and who they must be.  I am grateful to those artists who opened their lives this weekend so we too could be part of their worlds. And sorry that time didn't allow us to visit each one on the tour. Perhaps next year?

"Art Across the Marsh" reminded me, each of us has gifts to share; not all are visual artists or work in clay or silk, but we each have unique selves to offer to the world. 

And don't our personal passions and talents drive each one of us? Aren't we always more content when we recognize our own abilities and pursue them?

I think so.

Words printed in colour will take you to another site with more information, if you click on them.


Jane Brideson said...

Thank you for the tour Carol - really enjoyed being taken to visit the artists.

Carol Steel said...

Thanks, Jane. We were so sorry that we didn't have more time to explore. Every studio we visited was unique and such a delight. Artists are so giving, putting themselves into their work and sharing that vision, but I know you know all about that.

Crafty Green Poet said...

sounds like a wonderful way to spend time, we have similar projects in the rural areas of Scotland.