See you in fall – we hope!

Normally we artists would all be doing our last minute preparations for the Oxford Studio Tour, which would usually take place next weekend.  Instead, we are all cooperating with the efforts to subdue the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Our tour has been postponed until this new date:

November 21 & 22, 2020

We know you all understand and hope that in the meantime, you are all staying home and staying healthy.

You may wish to visit the websites of all the artists on the tour and leisurely plan out where you might go this year.  Or, perhaps some of them are capable of remotely accepting payment and shipping their art to you if you see something you really must have.  In any case, visiting their websites, and their social media accounts, liking and sharing their posts and their work, helps them more than you might realize.

See you in the fall!

Oxford Studio Tour 2020 – mark your calendars!

The website is now completely updated with all the information you need for the 2020 Oxford Studio tour.  This will be our 13th annual event and takes place May 2 & 3 (always the weekend before Mother’s Day weekend).  Participating studios and galleries will be open 10 am to 5 pm on both days.

The Home page contains links to all of the other pages either on the menu or within the text, pertinent information about the tour, as well as a direct link to a Google Map of the whole tour, and a slideshow of the kinds of art you will see as you travel around.  It also gives you a visual idea of what to look for when searching out our brochures.

Check out who is on the tour this year on the Studios and Artists by Location page.  At the top of that page, there is a link again to a Google Map of the whole tour.  Each Location entry shows who is there, provides a blurb about each artist’s work, a sample image provided by each artist, links to the artists’ websites and/or contact information, and a link to a Google Map of that specific Location.

The Brochure Maps page provides digital versions of the maps found on this year’s  brochure.  It also contains links to the aforementioned Google Map.

Thank you for spreading the word about us any way you can!

 

Next Weekend!

We are in the last week before the 12th Annual Oxford Studio TourForty artists all around Oxford County, Ontario, Canada, are busily framing and putting the finishing touches on their carefully created works.  Some will be packing them up soon to take to host studios and art centres, others will be madly cleaning their houses and especially their display areas to make sure everything is in shape to host at their own studios and galleries.  While many of us show at various exhibits all year long, the tour weekend gives us a real chance to meet the art lovers in our region and hopefully make a few sales.

There are 16 Locations on the tour this year.  You get to decide which ones you want to visit, whether it is based on what kind of art you want to see, where you want to go, how long you can sit in the car, or which ones you’ve already been to in previous years.  Admission is free, as always, and the website has a complete guide with links to maps.  You may have already picked up a brochure at one of the many locations they are available.  Many businesses have been very kind to us and we appreciate it so much!  They are also available at each studio.

If you can’t do the tour this year, or if you can, but you are not in the market for a piece of art, you may wish to consider other ways you can support your favourite local artists:  visit their websites, subscribe to their blogs, ‘like’ their posts, forward their art event emails to your friends, share their posts or their websites on social media or just simply tell your friends and relatives about them.  Every little bit you do means new eyes will see the art.  We will love you for it!

Creative visions – Oxford Studio Tour 2018

Lesley Penwill can be relentless in bending a subject’s will to her vision.
“I have a variety of hammers and a torch and a kiln,” smiled the Beachville-based artist, who forms, shapes and etches silver, copper, brass and stone into one-of-a-kind jewellery. “It happens, I just keep at it until it happens.”
“The piece makes promises to you and you have to hold it to them,” interjected Otterville painter Lianne Todd.
The transformative process is one Penwill’s husband Mike is familiar with, if not subject to.
“It doesn’t work that well with people,” Lesley laughed. “Fortunately, I think – I really like individuality.”

Original art resulting from unique creative vision through diverse media lies at the heart of the 11th Annual Oxford Studio Tour, Saturday May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. Supported by event sponsor Bossy Nagy Group and a list of featured advertisers, a total of 37 artists in 19 locations are participating, showcasing unique oil, acrylic, watercolour and encaustic paintings, pen and ink and graphite drawings, mixed, digital media and photography, jewellery, weaving and fibre arts, gourds and pottery.

A full list of artists and studios by location, detailed tour Google maps and related information down to parking tips may be found at oxfordstudiotour.ca. Glossy full-colour brochures also featuring maps are available from the Station Arts Centre, Tourism Oxford, Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, libraries throughout Oxford County and at southwestern Ontario tourism offices. During the two-day tour, each of 19 sites will feature distinctive red signs.

Those seeking more information are invited to call the Station Arts Centre at 519-842-6151, email office@stationarts.ca or access the ‘contact us’ option on the tour webpage.

“The quality of the art is amazing,” said Deb Beard, General Manager of Tillsonburg’s Station Arts Centre which acts as umbrella coordinating organization and host for several exhibitors. “It’s a perfect tour to begin or expand your collection.”
Oxford’s geographical diversity and the unique nature of its communities are definitely part of the experience says Beard, but due to its size, some tour participants may choose to focus on different areas of the county in alternate years. She also suggests advance research, allowing concentration on specific areas of interest.
“Having said that, don’t be afraid to try new things,” Beard encouraged. “And you will learn Oxford’s artistic community is vibrant.”

One does not have to be an artist to appreciate the latter, but it certainly has been the experience of painter Paul Walker, who has been working with acrylics for 15 years. A two-year resident of Tillsonburg via Restoule (exhibiting on the Country Roads studio tour) and a working career as an engineer in Hamilton, he is one of four new exhibitors to embrace ‘an exciting opportunity’ within a community of Oxford artists whose number and diversity surprised and impressed him.
“The quality of the work is excellent and the variety is amazing too,” says Walker, who as a painter, has particular interest in that form of expression. “But it’s nice to see the others as well.”

Otterville’s Todd both ‘bends’ and is bent by artistic inspiration, creating fractal art, capturing and printing snapshots on brushed aluminum of a striking moment during her exploration of the geometrical patterns in nature within a digitally-generated realm; and conversely, more traditional watercolour interpretations, not so much a precise rendering, but conveyance of their artistic essence.
“I try and remember what it was about the scene which originally inspired me.”

Paulette Robertson exhibits her own version of artistic diversity, a whimsical combination of primitive rug hooking reflecting her Maritime background, and hand-built pottery evolving from years of teaching children’s pottery.
“I like folky, funky things,” she smiled. “And the pieces I do are very folksy and funky.”

Like Robertson, Woodstock’s Keri Axon has experienced a journey, hers from sewing and weaving to decorative functional and non-functional wheel and hand-built pottery as retirement allows her to more fully explore her creative side.
“You do grow, you change as you work through the artistic process.”

Otterville-area artist Sue Goossens’s traditional, yet innovative watercolour style will also be on display, including a series on Scotland and an exploration of Vancouver Island.
“And playing around a bit with new colours,” said Goossens, who as one of the tour’s founders, remains pleased not only with its longevity, but continued evolution and growth while remaining true to its core principles.
“It’s original art for everyone,” she concluded.

~by Jeff Tribe

The 11th Annual Oxford Studio Tour is scheduled for Saturday May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, featuring 37 artists at 19 locations throughout the country, including (left to right) Sue Goossens, Paulette Robertson, Lianne Todd, Paul Walker, Lesley Penwill and Keri Axon. A full list of artists and studios by location, detailed tour Google maps and related information down to parking tips may be found at oxfordstudiotour.ca. Those seeking more information are invited to call the Station Arts Centre at 519-842-6151, email office@stationarts.ca or access the ‘contact us’ option on the tour webpage.

Photo credit: Jeff Tribe

Please feel free to share this press release and help us spread the word about our studio tour.  The artists appreciate your help!

The 2018 Oxford Studio Tour

Spring is on its way, and with it, anticipation of this year’s studio tour!  Our dates this year are May 5 & 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so be sure to mark your calendars now as you don’t want to forget and plan something else by mistake.

The website is now completely up to date with all of this year’s artists, their locations including Google Maps, and samples of their work.  We also have the maps that are printed on the backs of the brochures on this site.  Our printed brochures will not be ready for another couple of weeks but feel free to request that one be sent to you by contacting us through the site, or by contacting any individual artist.  We will be happy to mail one to you.  Otherwise, they will be available in the usual locations around the county (libraries, kind and helpful businesses, tourism offices, etc.).  Speaking of kind and helpful businesses, be sure to check out our sponsors and their websites.  A huge thank you to all of them!

Unlike other years, we will not be posting about the artists or locations on this blog on a regular basis leading up to the tour dates.  Instead, we will be relying on each artist to promote the tour (and of course their stop on it) themselves, using the Facebook page, and their own email mailing lists or their own blogs or other social media accounts.  This spreads out the work and probably also reaches a wider audience.  Anything you readers can do to help us is much appreciated.  As artists, our advertising budgets are limited and sometimes our knowledge of where to advertise or simply broadcast the news is also limited.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and we hope to see you in our studios this May!

 

Digital Artists and Photographers on the Oxford Studio Tour

Good morning and welcome to the day before the tour!  It is a rainy Friday, with not much promise of sunshine for the weekend.  Let’s face it, your best option for brightening up your weekend is a fun trip with a few of your favourite people to see all kinds of art!

Our last featured media are probably the least messy and the youngest of the lot.  Photography has been with us for over a century and a half, but digital art is as new as it gets, blossoming with the computer age.  Digital art can be created with software from scratch (much like painting with a brush), it can be mathematically based, or it can be photography based, which is why these media have been put together.  Sometimes people even create digital art and then use that as their reference for painting!

Check these artists out:

Bruce Hartley   Hartley B 1sm

at Location #17

Fine art photography reflecting a passion for travel.  “See the world through my lens”.

519-469-3781

brucehartleyphotography.weebly.com

 

 

Ocean

Edser Thomas

at Location #16

Photographic art with a unique perspective.

519-421-7335

edserthomas.ca

 

 

Butterflire, digital, fractal, Lianne ToddLianne Todd

at Location #3

Vivid watercolours and digital art reflecting nature’s patterns with depth and unique vision.

519-879-9903

liannetodd.wordpress.com & fractaliart.com

 

This concludes our series of guides to studio tour artists according to the media they use.  If this is your first encounter with these guides, be sure to have a look at the others in the blog.  Along with each artist listing, their Location numbers are each linked to an individual map.  A summary of all artists by location is also available.  You may wish to find them on the entire map of the tour, and plan accordingly.  If you are familiar with the tour, maybe try visiting some locations you’ve never been to before.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

See you tomorrow and Sunday, 10 to 5 pm.  Admission is FREE!  Look for the red signs and sometimes red flags.

Encaustic, Mixed Media, and Collage work featured on the Oxford Studio Tour

This is our fourth installment of artists grouped according to the media they work in.   While these particular artists don’t all work in the same media, they do all incorporate more than one medium in their work!

At Location #7, we find

Heather MacIntosh, A.O.C.A.  macintosh2-jpg

A painting style that walks the edge between representational and abstract.

519-536-3163

heathermacintosh.com 

 

 

and

Linda Yeoman  yeoman

Unique gourd sculptures retaining organic integrity and mixed media washi & vintage collages.

519-424-3612

facebook.com/LindaYeomanFineArt

 

Heading further south brings us to

Jared Smith  jaredsmith2

at Location #5

Mixed media landscapes and satire on weathered wood and metal.

519-842-9443

applesauceman@rogers.com

And then, with perhaps a few stops in between, back north to

wassink2-copy

Gracia Wassink

at Location #2

Unique mixed media and encaustic art canvases – hidden layers, textures and depth.

519-463-9969

graciawassink.com

 

Remember, no matter how you choose to do the tour, you’ll probably find something that you love.

Artists on Oxford Studio Tour who use Acrylics

This post features the artists on the tour who use acrylic paints as either their main medium or as one of their main media, alone.  There will be a separate post for those who often use mixed media.

Starting again from the last number in locations and moving toward the beginning number, we have:

Kate Innes  kate-innes

at Location #18

Contemporary acrylics defined by texture and bold strokes of colour.

519-537-3290

kd.innes@hotmail.com

 

 

Rita Milton  rmilton

at Location #17

Acrylics on canvas featuring a kaleidoscope of colour.

519-290-4744

ritamilton.com

Skipping a Location, we then have

Phil Littlephil-little2-480x640-480x640

at Location #15

Watercolour and acrylic paintings of local, western Canada and Florida landscapes.

519-421-0083

andreaaikenhead@hotmail.com

 

 

along with

Susan Fenlonfenlon-jpeg-02

Vibrant impressionistic paintings inspired by the landscapes and people of here and abroad. Commissions welcome.

519-290-1770

suefenlon10@gmail.com

 

 

And skipping another Location there is

julie-hawkins-10Julie Hawkins

at Location #13

Original art made with passion and paint.

519-539-3796

juliehawkins.ca

 

 

Next, it’s

debelleval1Michael de Belleval

at Location #12

Acrylic abstracts and realistic watercolours of Ontario and beyond.  Studio open with a phone call.

519-462-2902

mdebelleval@hotmail.com 

 

 

It’s a few Locations until the next one, and then we have several in a row:

dgardnertriptychDanielle Gardner

at Location #9

Legacy artist of the Group of Seven, painting the Ontario landscape.  Commissions/lessons available.

519-857-8210

philosopherswalk.ca

 

David Gifforddavegifford2-800x600

at Location #8

Vibrant, vigorous and evocative paintings by an artist using autism as a gift of expression.

226-973-8058

website temporarily unavailable

 

Frankie Armitage  frankie armitage

at Location #7

Original paintings in acrylic and oil in a variety of styles and subject matter.

519-475-4004

artbyfrankie.ca

 

Sue Simpsonsimpson3

at Location #6

Representational and abstract intuitive paintings expressed with colour, texture and mixed media.

519-272-4331

suesimpson999@gmail.com

Valerie Zadowvzadow

at Location #5

Realistic and vivid watercolours and acrylics of flowers and the English countryside.  Commissions welcome.

519-842-9167

vzadow5@gmail.com

 

 

Rhonda Franks the-call-of-spring-rfranks

at Location #4

Realistic wildlife and nature paintings in acrylic and watercolour with beautiful attention to detail.

519-424-2516

rhondafranks.com

And finally, one more at the first Location on the tour,

gpayne-1-copyGary Payne

at Location #1

Playful, colourful, expressive non-objective painting with a sometimes unexpected twist.

519-454-8590

dgamcove2@gmail.com

 

So, if acrylic paintings are your favourite kind of art, you have a wide selection to choose from here – but don’t limit yourself!  Stay tuned for more media featured in this excellent trip around the Oxford County countryside on the weekend of May 6 & 7.  And if you are just noticing us, check out the previous post regarding watercolour artists, as well as the rest of the site which is full of information for you about this event.

Insights on what inspires some Oxford Studio Tour artists

Every year we have a little help from a good friend to the tour in promoting it.  The article that follows is his writing, and the photo credit goes to him as well.

The balletic beauty of dance captured in crystalline pendant.

Contrasting dark and light windows into the yin and yang of an artist’s soul.

Creativity fired by imagination and a 1,650-degree oven.

And playful technique generating abstract vision from a natural scene.

The 10th Annual Oxford Studio Tour Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. features 38 individual artists, including nine new exhibitors at 18 locations throughout the county. Glossy brochures available at art galleries and tourist sites both in the country and beyond, and the website http://www.oxfordstudiotour.ca contain a complete listing of artists, descriptions of their work, locations and detailed maps. Those seeking further information may call 519-842-6151.

The collective works in double digits worth of distinct media ranging through various painting styles and photography to pottery, jewellery and fibre arts, journeying disparate artistic routes along a linked quest for creative expression.

“She looks like she’s on point,” explained Judy Feskun of a rose quartz heart crystal pendant combination topped by a tourmaline (“flower in her hair”) she refers to as ‘The Ballerina.’

“I see something (in her mind) and I make it,” continued Feskun, who began creating sterling silver and copper wire and semi-precious stone jewellery 15 years ago after reading an article on wire wrapping. “All I was thinking was ballerina, because she dances on point.”

Each component is meticulously selected to fit her original vision and composed using pliers and wire-cutters, a simple, elemental process bringing Feskun close enough to her work to personify each piece, be it the ballerina, or a related compilation using doubled, darker hearts.

“I call her the belly dancer.”

‘Darker’ vision may not have been Tabitha Verbuyst’s goal. But exploration of broken, abandoned and forgotten things took her down that road in an oil painting of a derelict white house surrounded by starkly dead trees and foreboding storm clouds, ‘yin’ to a contrasting ‘yang’ featuring a bright, yellow residence set off by a field of sunflowers.

“My daughter thinks the one has ghosts in it,” Verbuyst laughed, admitting the paintings illustrate elements of her own psyche.

“I’m drawn into that,” she admitted of an approach, both subject and colour, contrasting light and dark to create dramatically-emotional work intended to help the viewer bring a restored narrative to abandoned shells.

“You kind of draw your own conclusions to them.”

Janet Whittington’s process concludes with two hours at 1,650 F. It begins with precious metal particles, a binding agent and water formed into artisanal jewellery using hand-built pottery techniques.

“I liken it to pottery in miniature,” said Whittington.

The firing process leaves hollow pure silver or other precious metal forms with individually-patterned exteriors.

“I love all the textures I can create,” said Whittington, whose recent work is informed by a South-East Asian journey. This summer, Africa is on the horizon, physical experience she anticipates will translate into tangible results.

“It will be interesting to see what comes of that.”

It is interesting to see what has come of Gary Payne’s 30-year exploration of thinking and creating outside of the artistic box. A 1982 painting of a windmill reproduced in detail from a postcard contrasts sharply with a more recent ‘playful, colourful, non-objective’ view of the same. Placed side by side, the inspirational elements are clearly visible in an interpretation accomplished through contemporary techniques including a paintbrush with the bristles removed and stub honed via a pencil sharpener, knife blade, sponge, or a random piece of paper retrieved from the floor.

“This is the same thing,” smiled Payne, indicating the distantly-related pieces. “I love to play, I love to play.”

Those are but four of the creative visions on display throughout the two-day tour. Participants range from enthusiastic amateurs to seasoned 30-year professionals like Ontario Society of Artists member Cathy Groulx, whose work is featured in Ontario government collections. Regardless of experience level, or whether artists approach their work as livelihood or part-time outlet, there is a shared passion for the creative process.

“It’s a part of me that I can’t turn off,” said Groulx. “Every painting is a new challenge I look forward to.”

Every tour is a challenge looked forward to by organizers including Sue Goossens, a distinctive and well-known Otterville-area watercolour artist. The tour truly does offer something for everyone, says Goossens, a cliché, but accurate nonetheless.

The collected works represent a broad body of work both creatively and geographically that Goossens says is beyond the scope of two days. Rather than making the tour a race, she suggests previewing the brochure or website, narrowing down some preferences, including a new medium or two for variety, and spending some time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the art.

“Talk to the artists,” she concluded. “Spend some time.”

 

The 10th Annual Oxford Studio Tour Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. features 38 individual artists, including nine new exhibitors at 18 locations throughout the county. Pictured here, are: (front row, left to right) Janet Whittington, Cathy Groulx and Judy Feskun. In the back, are: Tabitha Verbuyst, Gary Payne and Sue Goossens. Glossy brochures available at art galleries and tourist sites both in the country and beyond, and the website http://www.oxfordstudiotour.ca contain a complete listing of artists, descriptions of their work, locations and detailed maps. Those seeking further information may call 519-842-6151.