The Okotoks Art Gallery is delighted to count the following artists among our members.
Diane Baher, author of three puzzle books, loves to share her passion for pic-a-pix. She has been creating them ever since she discovered them on the Internet. Very popular in Japan, where they originated, pic-a-pix puzzles are spreading throughout the rest of the world. Combining art with math, these puzzles feature an empty grid and number clues for the columns and rows, indicating groupings of squares that need to be coloured in. The big reward is an image that will evolve as you solve! Solving these puzzles provides an excellent cognitive activity which may improve brain health, and the act of colouring has been compared to meditation. Diane donates $1.00 from every book she sells to the Alzheimer's Society of Calgary.
Visit her website at http://learnpicapix.com or find her on Twitter @LearnPicapix.
Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Rosemary has resided in Southern Alberta since the 1970s. An avid interest in the landscape of Western Canada and the people, animals, and flowers that inhabit this area is expressed through her work. Rosemary is a self-taught artist.
Regarded as a representational artist, Rosemary interprets landscapes and florals in brilliant colour, and old western buildings in their rugged historical settings. She is proficient in many mediums, such as oils, watercolours, acrylics, and soft pastels. She is also active in the craft community as a respected stained glass artisan.
You can visit her website at www.rosemarybennettfineart.com
An avid outdoorsman, Jack has had a lifelong love affair with nature from a very early age. A hunter, trapper, and fisherman throughout his adult life, photography has become his most recent passion, beginning in the summer of 2015. He became a member of the Okotoks Art Gallery in the summer of 2016 and has also recently joined the Turner Valley Camera Club.
For Bob Boyko, painting has always been a challenge. He is colour-blind with browns and greens, so traditional landscapes are out of the question. As a result, he has developed his own techniques with occasionally vivid backgrounds and silhouettes. As he is painting, he looks at each picture from a different perspective until he is comfortable with the outcome. He prefers to use acrylics.
As a young adult, Cheryl Boyko studied art under local artists in her hometown in Manitoba. She gave up painting for a while after marriage and children, packing all her supplies in a box where they stayed for years until she retired. Having always enjoyed watercolours, Cheryl signed up for workshops at the Leighton Art Centre before studying under artist Eleanor Lowden in Calgary. She enjoys vibrant, bright colours and loves creating landscapes with that technique. She paints for the enjoyment of it, and often surprises herself with the results.
Janifer Calvez lives in Southern Alberta surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains, prairie, and wind. Her original acrylic and watercolour paintings portray her connection to her natural surroundings and her love of the outdoors. Janifer captures her impressions in a bright and bold display using colour and whimsy. She encourages you to notice the magical in the normal of our everyday lives, and to be aware of the beauty that surrounds you.
New to the field from a lifetime of experimentation and self-directed studies, Shelley's art is inspired by all that surrounds us, simplified and focused. Designed for a world overwhelmed by excess, each piece is curved and sensual, following smooth, flowing lines to help invoke calmness.
The art she creates is modern; original sculptures using concrete, aluminum, and copper materials. The metals are hammered and guided by hand to create their form, then hand buffed to enhance glow. Concrete sculptures are designed using handmade moulds, then embellished with paints and stains. She also enjoys drawing, painting, and designing artwork with image editing software.
You can visit her website at http://shelleycox.shawwebspace.ca/
A native of the Alberta foothills, Robyn has always felt a strong connection with animals and the land on which she lives. It is through this connection that she finds her inspiration to draw and paint. She is particularly drawn to the animals common to the foothills area. It is her hope that, through her art, people will see the hidden magnificence of the animals and land that surrounds us.
Visit her website at http://www.robynfeluchart.com/
Bethany Harris is an emerging Canadian artist who works in a variety of media. Since joining the art scene, her work has won many awards including Wildlife Habitat Canada's Youth Stamp (2011), and "Best in Show" Calgary Stampede Western Showcase Gallery (2014). She has been featured on Calgary's Breakfast Television, on Shaw TV advertising, and on countless blogs and magazine articles. She presently resides at her studio in Millarville, Alberta, where you can find her completing numerous pet portrait commissions, and creating works of art for competitions, exhibitions, and sales. She is a graduate of University of Waterloo (BA 2015).
For more details on her art, education, and awards visit www.bethanyharrisartist.com or her Facebook page: The Artwork of Bethany Harris -Artist.
Sandra's life as an artist started in January 2012, when she had the honour of taking art classes from Nan Haas Feldman -an artist from Boston -while on an Oceania cruise. Nan offered instruction in mixed media and acrylic painting classes. Although she enjoyed these classes and learned a lot, she left acrylics behind and took up watercolours with Connie Sidebottom in Nanton, Alberta.
In February 2013, Sandra met fellow artist Hans Scholz, who introduced her to the OAG Tuesday Art Group in Okotoks. This wonderful group helps her in every aspect of watercolours, inks drawings, and mixed media. She continues to take classes every chance she gets. Bringing her drawings and watercolours to life is what she enjoys most.
Natalie has been a full-time artist since 1996, when she retired from teaching. In addition to eleven solo shows, she has participated in over eighty group shows, including one in Kingston, Jamaica. Her fifteen minutes of fame came in 2004 when she showed her artwork in New York City.
Natalie is mainly a process painter, who enjoys experimenting and incorporating found materials into her artwork. Her paintings begin with a strong, personal feeling or idea; she then allows each piece to change through the 'subtraction-addition' method. Her work often portrays strong pattern, repetition, and script. Her paintings hang in private collections in Canada, Jamaica, and the USA. She continues to give workshops in mixed media and image transfer to art groups around Calgary.
You can see her work at www.nataliekurzuk.ca
Liba has been creating art since her early childhood. She studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary (BFA Painting Major) from 1998-2002. Since her graduation, she has continued creating art full-time. Her latest work explores time and its impact on life.
Liba is a member of the International Encaustic Artists, a full member of the Alberta Society of Artists, an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, a member of the Leighton Art Centre Gallery and Museum, a member of the Okotoks Art Gallery, a member of Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in Edmonton, and a member of Visual Arts Alberta Association and Canadian Artists Representation.
You can visit her website at www.libaartstudio.com
A full time artist new to Okotoks, Gordon works in graphite and acrylics. He also does portraits, figuratives, animals, landscapes, abstracts, and weird creations. As a retired fine-arts teacher, among other occupations, he loves seeing people enjoy his work. His art is in collections from B.C. and Alberta, to Newfoundland, the U.S., and Holland. He has shown his art in over 60 northern Alberta shows, several of those being solo shows. You can find him on his Facebook page 'Gordon Mackey Art', or email him at email@example.com
"I believe that jewellery 'speaks'. When the right piece catches your eye, it draws you in. It is a reflection of you!"
Laura's sterling silver jewellery designs are an expression of her artistic journey. As a painter, musician, and metalsmith, Laura applies the influence of each art form in her designs. Hand textured finishes catch the light, much like the highlight stroke of a paintbrush. Semi-precious stones, crystals, and pearls provide a palette of colour, and a studio filled with music provides the inspiration. Laura's designs come from the heart, and she strives to marry form and function to ensure a quality piece of wearable art.
Visit her website at www.lauramcivordesigns.com
Colour, shapes, and texture inspire Valerie McLenahan to design vibrant watercolour and acrylic paintings. Valerie conjures an artistic idea, gathers her reference photos, adds imagination, and then creates stunning pieces of artwork in a variety of styles. Experimenting and exploring new techniques keeps her busy.
She is a member of the High River Art Society, the Okotoks Art Gallery and the Blackie Artist Guild. Near the hamlet of Blackie is where Valerie resides with her equally creative family. She teaches lessons in watercolour. You can often find her in the company of fellow artists.
Visit her artwork at www.valeriemclenahan.ca
For Canadian artist June McMurdo, painting is a journey of self-expression. It allows her to express her inner self, the sights and sounds of nature, and the world around her in visual form. She enjoys the challenge of interpreting the subject, the freedom of expression, and the opportunity to convey a message.
June has experimented with several different mediums, but she prefers to paint in acrylics. She finds this medium lends itself to her eclectic style. Her subjects include landscapes, still life, portraits, and abstracts. June has been trained by many talented artists and continues her education through workshops and private instruction. You can find her paintings at the Okotoks Art Gallery.
Inspired by the beauty that exists in everything, Jana tries to emphasize the vibrancy and spirit sometimes overlooked in our busy lives. Her artwork is a 'moment in time' forever captured on canvas.
Her work can be found in private collections throughout North America and Europe. She is currently represented by Lando Gallery -Edmonton; Latitude Art Gallery, Galleria Inglewood, and Avenida Art Gallery -Calgary; Blue Rock Art Gallery -Black Diamond; Okotoks Art Gallery -Okotoks; Different Strokes Gallery -Olds; Gust Gallery -Waterton; and Fallen Leaf Gallery -Canmore.
E. Joan North's original watercolours portray Canadian ranchlands and the Rocky Mountains she fished, hiked, biked, and skied for six decades. These days, Joan drives an electric scooter along the pathways, still collecting stories to paint.
Joan paints for the joy of immersing herself in the process, shutting out all daily worries, to concentrate on creating a picture with as little 'fuss' as possible. Legally blind, Joan cannot make corrections, nor see her own work clearly, which liberates her creativity.
North originals brighten a children's cancer hospital in Thailand, and homes and corporate walls throughout Europe and the Americas. She has won awards in the United States and Canada.
See her work at http://northwatercolors.shawwebspace.ca
Shirley was born in High River, Alberta, and after living in Norway, Turkey, and Scotland, now makes her home in Okotoks, and has for over 25 years.
Shirley spent 4 incredible years at ACAD, 1.5 years apprentice silversmithing with Bob Olrich in Banff, and many years of other work and travel experiences with numerous great artists and metalsmiths. Shirley now uses her time to create art in a wide variety of mediums.
"If I can create affordable art that people will buy, then I am able to buy more raw materials, have fun creating again, and sometimes even pay the bills! My philosophy in life is to always smile, grow, change, and become more creative and happier everyday through art and humor. I get by with a little help from my friends!"
Annette’s passion for photography and observing nature began at the age of twelve. Her box camera recorded many memories which are still being used as resources. Her painting career began in 1998 after taking a general art course. She began with watercolours, but has since discovered a love for acrylics. Studying and painting faces became a challenge and an obsession.
Annette was raised in Lethbridge, Alberta, but now resides in Okotoks. The proximity to the Rockies and the diverse landscape provides her with photos and painting subjects. While spending numerous winters in Yuma, AZ, Annette was intrigued with the flora and fauna of the Arizona desert. Many of her paintings depict that region.
Alberta-born artist Annette Resler credits her mom for nudging her into the world of creating original art. Personal moments during visits with her mom, who at the time was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, gave Annette time to reflect on exploring a road not taken.
Her background as a graphic artist has helped her to understand the many parallels between commercial design and painting with brush in hand. Although oils are Annette's preferred medium, she continues to hone her skills in a variety of mediums and styles. Now a full-time artist, you can find Annette in her home studio in Okotoks with an eclectic selection of music playing in the background. She also paints en plein air at every opportunity, enjoying nature's soundtrack!
You can visit her website at www.areslerart.com
Turner Valley's Crystal Salamon loves to excite and inspire creativity! In 2015, she dove into the world of self-publishing on a quest to make art more accessible. Armed with an Art and Design Degree, 10 years of instructing art, and a lifetime of creative passion, she poured her heart and soul into her first book, Awakening: Artful Colouring, which is quickly taking the world by storm. In only three months, over 5000 copies of her hand-drawn colouring book sold worldwide. Her whirlwind journey has been covered by dozens of news outlets across Canada including Alberta Primetime, CTV News, Canadian Press, and Mercedes-Benz Magazine, and her passion for the art of colouring is wonderfully contagious.
Virgini is an Okotoks-based artist who enjoys working in acrylics and oils. She is inspired by the natural environment, and mostly chooses to paint landscapes, trees, florals, and animals. Alberta is blessed with a multitude of gorgeous critters and breathtaking landscapes that she loves to explore year-round. Virgini cannot go outside without being intrigued by the beauty surrounding us. She is especially captivated by the way that light can create a special atmosphere in both large and tiny spaces. Her style can be defined as a kind of graphic realism. She enjoys exaggerating the brightness of colour to produce a cheerful image. She hopes to make people smile, not take things too seriously, and to enjoy life.
Light and colour are the ultimate joy for Marg, as she creates her art both in her studio and 'en plein air'. Her work captures a moment of 'WOW!' and she attempts to evoke that emotion in the viewer through her oils and acrylics.
Primarily a self-taught artist, Marg has taken workshops from Andrew Kiss, Roger Arndt, Murray Phillips, and Doug Swinton. Smith is an active member of the FCA and belongs to the VAAA, CARFAC, the ASA, the Leighton Centre, Canmore Art Guild, Okotoks Art Gallery, High River Art Society, and Sheep Creek Arts Council.
Her artwork can be seen at the Highwood Art Gallery in High River, the Okotoks Art Gallery, the Canmore Art Guild Gallery, and the Leighton Art Centre, or on her website at www.margsmithfineart.com.
13 years ago, Jeanette took art lessons from a friend, who taught her the basics of oil painting. After excelling in her classes, Jeanette moved on to teaching for several years, offering instruction in mediums such as charcoal, chalk, watercolours, and oils.
She eventually left teaching to fulfill her dream of creating art that she feels reveals God's heart and nature. Jeanette defines her body of oil paintings as 'God's Love Story'. She believes that the Lord has drawn her into a deeper relationship with Him through the art He has impressed upon her heart to paint. She is happy to share her art with others.
You can see more of Jeanette's work at www.brushedbythespirit.com
"We are so lucky to live in an awe-inspiring place; to live where the prairies meet the mountains. This is what inspires me."
Mady breathes life into her paintings with her brush and palette, and draws from her many experiences hiking and skiing this beautiful country. Her work tends to create a mood. It captures a glimpse that is familiar but also thought-provoking. The colour is all there, and yet there is more. Painting is how Mady records what is around her. Her work reflects what is current and chronicles the magic of the natural world, which is precious and deserves respect.
You can visit Mady's website at www.mady.ca.
Natalie VonRaven is an acrylic painter and artisan from Alberta, Canada. She likes to create hi-contrast characters with bold, dramatic features and big, gleaming eyes, a favourite style which has been evolving since her youth -faces with 'personatalie'!
Over the past few years, hundreds of paintings have emerged from her easel. Thanks to wonderful fans and supporters, most of them have made their way into homes and private collections across the globe. She now has over 300 original paintings in 7 countries.
View her art at http://natalievonraven.blogspot.ca