Monday, May 30, 2011

Countdown to Art Fayre 2011!

Check out this story about Art Fayre 2011 in the Seaway Valley News, with lovely watercolour painting by our own Fran Bailey!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Portrait of an Artist - Gerdine van Woudenberg

Today's Art Fayre artist is Gerdine van Woudenberg of Dunvegan, Ontario.

 Gerdine was born in Holland and emigrated to Harvey Station, New Brunswick when she was seven years old. We'll let her tell you about her work in her own words:

"I have spent 16 years in post secondary education, including degrees/diplomas in:  Equestrian certificate from Kemptville College, a paralegal degree from Algonquin College, a Bachelor’s of Arts (specializing in human rights) from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, a Master’s degree from  the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University (specializing in Development Studies) and I have completed 6 years of a PHD in Anthropology at McGill University."

"Since living in Glengarry County since 1997 (when I came to do my Masters at Carleton) I  started working part time with my Master Carpenter partner finishing his cabinetry and furniture. I then moved to the lathe, hand carvings and eventually into building canoe furniture and historic reproductions. Having carved stump men and gnomes for years by hand, the move to the chainsaw enabled me to go larger, quicker and work with unique pieces of wood otherwise too large for the workshop. The passion and love I feel for the chainsaw was unexpected, and has opened a whole new array of artistic expression." 

"This venture has only just begun for me. Despite the fact that my education is in a totally different venue and invested so much time building my intellectual passions on paper (I graduated with top honours in many of my degrees and won several big scholarships), the years my mother spent as a young child teaching us girls the ‘handicrafts of a woman’ (we were 4 girls raised on a dairy farm and had to learn the work of a farmer for economic reasons) came back in my later life. I feel  like I have spent half of my life developing one side of my brain, and now I am giving the opportunity to re-develop the other side (why they used to offer art classes and music in schools.)"


"When it comes to chainsaw carving, no piece of wood is the same, and I have to think carefully about every piece. The mushrooms and fungus have captured my interest as they are so unique and every piece of wood brings a new one alive either through the grain of the wood or the stump I am carving it from. I am now moving into carving some creatures coming out of the wood (all of which are natural /existing branches ) and adding a splash of colour to the carvings. My dolphin carvings are meant as lawn ornaments meant to view the lawn as an ocean. All these carvings are carved from tree crotches, which has the most colourful and beautifully unique growth rings."

Join us at Art Fayre 2011 to meet Gerdine and add one of her lovely carvings to your art collection! You can also visit her website.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not long now!

Just over three weeks until Art Fayre 2011! Tell your friends, tell your family! Great art, fascinating artist demonstrations, refreshments and fun. Please spread the word and make this our best year ever.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Portrait of an Artist - Natalie Rowe

Today's Art Fayre artist is Natalie Rowe of Apple Hill, Ontario.

Natalie is a graphic designer and musician by training, having graduated from the University of Toronto in 1987 with a Bachelor of Music degree, and George Brown College in 1990 with an Honours Design Diploma. She has run her own design business, Grinning Gecko Design, since 1994.

Natalie began hooking rugs after moving to Nova Scotia in 1998. She learned the basics of this traditional craft from her next-door neighbours (a Newfoundlander and an Acadian).

Fintastic Fishies

Fintastic Fishies - detail

Fintastic Fishies - detail

Soon after, she began designing her own rug patterns. Using her graphic design skills and taking inspiration from the world around her, she creates rugs that usually end up as wall-hangings. To Natalie, rug-hooking is like painting with wool.


She enjoys dyeing her own wool, which is not only a lot of fun, but gives greater control over the colours used in projects. She hooks with new and recycled material. Many an old wool skirt has worked its way into her rugs, not to mention a coat that formerly warmed her husband! She particularly enjoys using type in her rug designs (all those typography classes paid off), and writing verse to include in the borders of her rugs.

Fintastic Fishies - detail

 Natalie's mats have been featured in Rug Hooking magazine's A Celebration of Hand-hooked Rugs XI and XII. They have been featured in several shows, including Mat Hooking: From Simple to Sublime (a juried show at the Mary E. Black gallery in Halifax, NS) and the Comfort & Joy Show (at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador), as well the juried show West Coast Textures (held at the FibreEssence Gallery in Vancouver.) Natalie has particpated in Art Fayre since 2009/

Prospect Village

Albino Axolotl and Friends

Bug Rug

  Natalie now lives on a farm in lovely eastern Ontario, but rug hooking is her link to Nova Scotia. She is a "happy hooker!"