Goward HouseHome Away From Home
Gail was born and raised in Winnipeg where she enjoyed art classes and summer art camps. She grew up being involved with the visual and performing arts.
While living in Toronto, Gail honoured her creative side and pursued her studies of Interior Design. She graduated with a four year diploma from Sheridan College. Her passion for the visual arts was renewed.
Gail had dreamt of learning to paint and completed a Certificate of Visual Arts from Vancouver Island School of Art. She continues to study with other teachers to broaden her artistic horizons.
Always a spiritual seeker, Gail became a Reiki Master, and practises yoga on a regular basis. She was introduced to Jungian psychology and became immersed in the symbolic life and the subconscious. Gail’s healing work, meditations, and dreams all influence and inspire her art work.
Gail maintains a regular studio practise focusing on abstract acrylic painting and ambiguous figurative collage.
Born and raised in Calgary, Mike Lathrop moved to Victoria to earn a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria from 1990-94. After working in graphic design, motion graphics video, and internet programming in Vancouver, he returned to Victoria in 2006, and then to painting in 2016.
Mike lives with his spouse and two children in Victoria, BC. He works at the Open Studio at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre, and sells original paintings and limited edition giclee prints.
And while I am at it, an Artist’s Statement:
The Artist’s Work
Mike has always felt the impact of the landscapes that surround him, and enjoys exploring the outdoors on Vancouver Island. In his paintings, he captures his feeling of a moment in nature; and attempts to document the motion, the colour, the light, and the overall experience of taking in our natural environment.
“I am an abstract landscape painter. I paint images from places near where I live, on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, on Vancouver Island, in Victoria. When I paint, I communicate my feeling from a place, at particular point in time, within the landscape.
My process begins when I am struck by my environment. I take it in, and feel how I am reacting to it. I focus on the motion, the sounds that surround me, the colour in the skies, the movement of of the wind in the air that I breathe. I take a photograph. I use it as a visual reference, but more so, it reminds me of my experience. As I paint, it helps me remember what it felt like to be there.
I try with every finished work to create an experience for the viewer that evokes what I felt. I document my experience, and create a connection with the viewer by communicating my personal impression of the moment that my painting represents.”
After graduating from Sheridan College School of Design, Barb worked in fibre art (weaving, surface design and assemblage) for 30 years, as partner in Baas Design, Toronto, creating commissioned art works for private and corporate clients in Canada and internationally.
As co-owner and director of Baas Studio Gallery, located on King St W in Toronto’s theatre district, she showed the work of over 60 artists in a wide range of media from 1980 – 1992.
From 2009 to 2017; as founder, director and instructor at ArtSpark; she ran workshops in art, craft and photography with 6 other artist/teachers at studios in Thornbury and Collingwood. In May 2017, Barb moved to Victoria BC where she continues to explore her own art.
The Artist’s Work
Barb enjoys working in a variety of media that include acrylics, textiles, sculpture and dyes, and often combines more than one in any piece of her artwork. Capturing the beauty of colour, light and texture is the essence of her work.
Maureen grew up in Victoria British Columbia and has spent most of her life developing her interest in art and began painting at the young age of eight years old. Maureen has been fortunate to study painting over the past ten years with a few expert painters both locally and in France.
The Artist’s Work
Maureen Ness explores both realism and expressionistic approaches to her paintings. Her work reveals her fascination with colour, contrast and nature. The vivid contrasts and well cast imagination are blended with an up close view which creates a scene of dreamy glazing. Her work captures the varied moods of the coastal area and way of life with a unique perspective.
Her painting inspirations come from her beautiful west coast travels around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
As a young girl in Thailand, I loved to draw and paint. Later, when I became a journalist, there was little time for art. I worked as an advocate for women’s and children’s rights, writing a daily newspaper column, which led to opportunities to publish books and to travel abroad.
Slowly I recognized that I was often working from a place of anger, as were many of my activist friends. Although I had rejected Buddhism throughout my youth because of its view of women, I was eventually introduced to meditation through an unusually egalitarian monk.
And as I began to practice meditation, my priorities shifted. I began drawing again, and participated with other women artists in a couple of art shows. I left the crush of Bangkok for an experimental community in the countryside.
Soon the thread of events led me to Canada, and to Victoria. Here, surrounded by incredible natural beauty and so many professional artists, I turned intensively to art. It is my passion. In the past fifteen years I have studied with Anne Hunter, Bill Porteous, Alan Bruce, Gail Speckmann, Caren Heine, Marney Ward, Ruth Ralston, and Kilesa Wong.
The Artist’s Work
My favorite subjects are floral watercolors and landscapes. I draw and paint for no real reason other than feeling pulled by it. I like to create things that are beautiful, to please my eyes, and to share.
Painting has always intrigued me. Capturing the spirit of nature and people on canvass seemed wondrous to me. However, when I began painting after I retired I soon realized what a challenge this was.I immersed myself in courses at the Vancouver Island School of Art where we painted in Acrylics. I found it both frustrating and amazing simultaneously.
Now I paint as much as I can in oils at Cedar Hill Arts Centre. This studio provides a state of the art inspiration for artists. The facility itself is beyond belief in providing the environment for creativity. I have found over the years that I appreciate the other artists who share their expertise and critiques of my work if I request it. Also, the companionship and senses of humour of the other artists make this place seem like home. So we struggle together and are inspired by each other and I consider them my friends.
Because of all of this, painting has become a wonderful way of spending my retirement. Always reaching for that perfect subject to paint, struggling with the composition and light, trying to capture something soulful on canvass and hoping it will all come together as something you might like, fills my days with a great escape from some of the realities that are difficult to accept in my life.