As we enter June, we get closer to the final stages of the NGAG benefit canvas project. Just two more original paintings are left to showcase the varied talents of the ten Guild artists who participated. In the end, there will be ten co-painted canvases up for charity auction. The NGAG hopes to raise enough money from the auction to assist the North Grenville Public Library with a donation to their outreach programs.
The first canvas is the product of the following seven artists: Barb Buchanan, Lisa Mackinley, Caroline Marshall, Meredith Luce, Mary Moore, Aleta Karstad and Ann Gruchy.
Barb Buchanan began this painting by, “using a sponge to apply both yellow and green acrylic paints to the bare canvas that I was given. I layered the paints in some areas to blend them and left other areas in their original, bold colours. I wanted to give an organic feel to this canvas, with hints of nature showing through.”
Lisa Mackinley says, “I was second in command of this one. The abstract came to me as a yellow and green canvas. My thoughts were spring then. What better than a flower in a vase.”
Caroline Marshall noted, “third on this canvas, I wanted to build on the flowing shape of the vase and flower. I added water dripping off the leaf into the vase, swirling and then dripping out. I love that in the final painting, the water flows both inside and outside of the window, playing with the viewers’ perception.”
Meredith Luce added, “for this canvas, I wanted to carve out some lighter areas of negative space to add more contrast within the background. The flower and vase were a similar value to the background. By adding areas of light blue sky and carving out some soft tree shapes, I was able to bring the vase more clearly into the foreground. Once done, I felt that some contrasting shapes and angles would further draw focus to the soft curves of the vase. I added a white window frame to achieve this.”
Mary Moore said, “I was third to last on this one and added the blue wall, and pushed back some of the yellow-green background to a cooler tone using the same cerulean blue colour.”
Aleta Karstad said, “this painting used to have a garden lattice, with trees showing on the left, as well as through the lattice, as if all outdoors, but then it was changed to indoors with the addition of a blue wall so the lattice now represents a window. I thought of adding a tiny wallpaper pattern, but decided on a real vine, to support the leaf that is already dripping into the pot. I added a leaf to the rose and added deeper red shadows to the petals. Last thing, I highlighted some of the leaf edges with red, to make them look crisp and three-dimensional.”
Ann Gruchy, who was the last artist to contribute, never actually saw a before and after of this canvas, but stepped in to finish it. She “added some shaping, colouring and texture to the flower, and put a bit of a curve into the stem, as well as shading it.” She also shaded the bars on the window.
The second canvas was painted by: Rose David, Leahbeth Harding, Tammy Keith, Mary Moore, Meredith Luce, Anne Gruchy and Aleta Karstad.
“I decided to leave an open painting field for my fellow artists,” said Rose David. “I drew on Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception” for inspiration. I did a simple keyhole, leaving the possibility of a view through it outside, or a view of the inside of the door, as a way to leave the result up to the rest of the artists. I was very curious to see if in the end, it would be a look out through the door, or an internal concept. I was not disappointed with the outcome.”
Leahbeth Harding added, “when I got this canvas, it had an intriguing “keyhole” shape in black and white. I changed the white to blue to suggest sky through the keyhole, and then added green vines and leaves growing through the edge of the hole. I love how this idea of fantasy and the unknown has stayed with each successive artist!”
Tammy Keith said, “I was very excited to receive this piece. A keyhole, secret garden, the possibilities are endless. It already had the blue colour within the keyhole and the climbing greenery when I received it. I added pearlescent flowers, the hummingbird and a smiling snail. It turned out a little differently than what I pictured in my mind, but that’s what is great about a collaborative effort, we each see and add a little of ourselves.”
Mary Moore remembered, “I received the painting as the keyhole (painted a light blue) and the shape around the keyhole (black). Having been to Ireland a few years back, I envisioned one of the ancient graveyards. I added the lichens and moss, and the Celtic design in the corners. Fun!”
Meredith Luce contributed with her innate sense of whimsy and love of nature.
Anne Gruchy says, “I did a bit of shading on the grass and walkway as well as on the wall. Added the ‘Celtic Tree of Life” to tie it in with Celtic symbols ”
Aleta Karstad added, “this painting came to me with a smooth misty green lawn, path, wall with gate, and leafless tree, visible through the keyhole. The size of the plant, as well as the snail and the hummingbird indicated that the keyhole must be a doorway rather than a regular-sized keyhole. I enhanced the leaves to give the plant more contrast against the metal or stone, and added some detail to the lichens-looking splotches, and some pits in the surface, as well as shadows at the edges of the Celtic knots in the corners. I wanted to paint a stag on the lawn, but Fred wanted a hare. A hare could be closer to the viewer than a stag, so I painted the hare and detailed some foreground grass for it to munch on. Lastly, I darkened the upper sky, blushed in a sunrise, and made it blush the clouds, which had been white.”
This leaves the Guild with only two canvases left to showcase. Please stay tuned for the last of this series and check in with the NGAG Facebook page for the whole story.