12th Annual Oxford Studio Tour May 4&5, 2019

The 12th Annual Oxford Studio Tour will feature 40 artists including seven newcomers in 16 locations Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Representing the group, are: (Ieft to right) Sue Goossens, Vonnie Snyder, Alex Smith, Lesley Penwill (front), Tabitha Verbuyst (rear) and Kate Innes. Information on the tour is available in glossy full-colour brochures available in area artistic and tourist sites, via the website oxfordstudiotour.ca, or by calling 519-842-6151.

A taste of the tour:

Artistically, Kate Innes is ‘bi-painter.’

She thoroughly enjoys structured floral brushwork, but also finds meaningful excitement in the passionate disorder of contemporary landscape.

“I call it commando painting,” the Woodstock-based artist and 2019 Oxford Studio Tour participant explained. “I mix up all my colours and apply them in a very distinctive way.

“Spontaneous is probably the best way of describing it, it’s a very spontaneous process and not so much painting, it’s more different applications of paint, experiencing or playing with paint.”

Innes is one of 40 Oxford-based artists sharing their passionate vision at 16 locations through the 12th annual tour Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oil, acrylic, graphite, watercolour, mixed media, photographic, digital and encaustic images will be on display along with pottery, artisanal jewelry, weaving and fibre arts, woodworking, garden metal work and gourd sculptures.

“Everything but the kitchen sink,” smiled Tillsonburg Stations Arts General Manager Deb Beard. “We have a great mix this year.”

Oxford’s ‘group of 40’ features seven newcomers says founding member Sue Goossens, an Otterville-area based watercolour professional displaying a series inspired during a recent Italian journey. From comparatively humble beginnings, the tour has become a spring fixture for the county’s artistic community, dynamically mirroring individual progression.

“It’s been an awesome growing experience.”

Oxford is geographically as well as artistically diverse, and Goossens encourages potential patrons to help plan their day or weekend by reviewing a map and descriptive list of individual artists and their locations in glossy full-colour brochures available in area galleries and tourist sites or the tour website oxfordstudiotour.ca). Interested persons can call 519-842-6151 for more information, and may also wish to consider lunch at sponsor JP’s Barbecue at Otterville’s Otter Creek Golf Club, an award-winning Gunn’s Hill Cheese selection or dining experience at Woodstock’s Six Thirty Nine or Ingersoll’s Elm Hurst Inn.

Those with time may choose to ‘do it all’ Goossens continued, encouraging others to research both route and personal preferences – still leaving time and space to explore outside their artistic comfort zone.

“Be prepared for some great discoveries.”

Innes’s own epiphany came during a course in New York with artist Robert Burridge, and has led to canvas reproductions of her work on offer with retailers in the U.S., Great Britain and Europe.

“It just exposed a whole new way of working with paint,” said Innes, who employs pallet knives, credit cards and blue shop towels as application implements. “It’s not literal, it’s more interpretive.

“For me, it’s light on the landscape.”

Although too young to recognize Eddie Rabbit’s musical musings, Tabitha Verbuyst does love investigating the darkness of rainy nights through oil, ink and water colour.

“I’m drawn to dancing of light across rainy surfaces,” said Verbuyst, whose work embraces motion, life and architecture, new looks at locations familiar to Tillsonburg and area residents. “It’s a pretty fun series.”

Beyond fun, art has been restorative for Vonnie Snyder, who will be showcasing acrylic florals and landscapes at a location shared with Linda Yeoman, Sue Simpson and Heather McIntosh. Snyder’s return to art three-and-a-half years ago has proven therapeutic response to personal loss and physical challenge, her 2018 tour debut the direct result of encouragement resulting in enjoyment and expanded learning.

“Friends kind of provided the push I needed to get things moving in my life, creatively.” A fan of nature and playing with colour, Snyder hides a heart in all of her paintings, representing emotional commitment to each piece.

Alex Smith is a newcomer to the tour, but certainly not to woodworking. A childhood affinity for working with wood and building things was sustained through a career as a professional engineer and accredited photographer. Beyond doing his own home renovations and building furniture, Smith has close to 40 years of experience on a lathe.

“Real wood has a feel and look that makes you want to touch it, rub it and hold it in your hands.”

His creations in spalted (discolouration caused by fungi) and exotic woods range from bowls and cutting boards to beer can holders and drink coasters.

“These things are just fun to make.”

Exposing tour participants to a wide variety of items in equally-diverse price ranges is certainly part of the exercise. But echoing Smith’s words, artisanal jewelry creator Lesley Penwill says it’s also about fun, for all involved.

“It really is still an exciting experience,” she said, looking forward to reconnecting with familiar faces in her sixth year. “And we get so many new people too.”

Penwill’s jewelry has evolved over those years, and she finds welcome reaffirmation of her own creative journey through personal feedback tour participants provide, illustrating artistic interpretation is not limited to artists.

“Good or bad,” Penwill smiled in conclusion. “People’s ideas are wonderful – I love their thoughts and opinions.”

Watercolour Artists on the Tour

Our 10th Annual tour is only a couple of weekends away, May 6 & 7, and for the next couple of weeks we’ll be featuring the different media represented in our selection of artists.  Today, we are featuring the watercolour artists on the tour.

Some of these artists use watercolour as their primary medium, while others do watercolours as a complement to their primary medium, so the art featured in this post may or may not be painted in watercolour.  In either case, all have their own unique ways of expressing themselves through this very challenging medium which has a rich and varied history.

Starting with Location #15, we have

Kristi Osinga  OsingaKristi1sm

A complement of watercolour and natural colours including coffee and walnut ink on canvas and paper.

226-228-2761

kristiosinga.wordpress.com

Phil Littlephil-little2-480x640-480x640

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

519-421-0083

andreaaikenhead@hotmail.com

 

 

 

At Location #14,

kellybradley2-jpgKelly Bradley

Bright and bold watercolours depicting nature.

519-421-2171

kellybradley-art.com

 

 

 

Skipping to Location #12, we find

debelleval1Michael de Belleval

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

519-462-2902

mdebelleval@hotmail.com 

 

 

 

Then, at Location #11, warner2

Bunny Warner

Realistic and detailed drawings rendered with pen and ink, graphite and watercolour.  Commissions welcome.

519-295-0054

www.artworkbybunnywarner.com

 

 

Several stops later, 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 

 

 

 

then at Location #6, we have

Valerie Zadowvzadow

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

519-842-9167

vzadow5@gmail.com

 

 

and

Tabitha Verbuyst  verbuyst3

Mystery, vibrancy, beauty and emotion expressed through ink, watercolour and oil works.

519-859-6765

tabithasmithd.wix.com/tabitha-develter

 

 

 

Skipping to Location #4, we have

Rhonda Franks the-call-of-spring-rfranks

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

519-424-2516

rhondafranks.com

(Rhonda is also the designer of our tour brochures, available in many places around the area or from any of our artists.)

and

suegoossensSue Goossens

A distinct watercolour style….. Gallery in her home is open all year by appointment.

519-879-6352

suegoossens.ca

 

(Sue organizes and carries out most of the tasks involved in making the Oxford Studio Tour a success – just about everything except the brochures and the website, though she also gathers the information necessary for them.  A large round of applause for her comes from all of the artists! )

and finally at Location #3, it is

Lianne Todd

 

 

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

519-879-9903

liannetodd.wordpress.com & fractaliart.com

 

(Lianne has been responsible for updating the website for several years now, and is the writer of this blog.  She also happens to be one of the Co-Representatives for the Canadian Branch of the International Watercolor Society (IWS).)( IWSCanada)