(Above) 'Dockside' by pastel artist Carol Schloss. (Below) 'Another Collection' by James McDowell.

(Above) 'Dockside' by pastel artist Carol Schloss. (Below) 'Another Collection' by James McDowell.

Images art show returns with new work from painters and potter

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A common theme of landscape runs through many of the Images Art Show and Sale painters’ descriptions of their work in 2013. The weather was beautiful to be outside in.

Our guest painter this year is Alison Masters. I had the opportunity to visit Alison at work in Blairmore, Alta., in the Crowsnest Pass, in late September, where she was the artist in residence, chosen by the University of Lethbridge. Karen Arrowsmith and I found Masters and her sister-in-law painting side-by-side in the small home they were given for a month. Coleman, looking down on the rooftops, will be featured in some of Masters’ large acrylic paintings, which were rapidly filling the small home.

Gunda Stewart’s experimentation with glazes on her wood fired pottery always has me coveting pieces.

We look forward to seeing you at Rotacrest Hall from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 23 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 24. Admission is free, and door prizes (artist cards by Images artists and tickets to Footlighters Theatre Society’s Almost Golden) will be offered.

We all bring our best and recent work to show in a widening variety of mediums each year:

Alison Masters: “As I become more skilled as an artist, I realize how little control I have of the paintings I consider my best. It is as if my work is tempered by another force, similar to how fire changes a pot for a potter. I will be showing large acrylic paintings from three ongoing series: orchards, hill views of Creston and town scenes of Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass.”

Ute Bachinski: Aside from landscape pastels of this gorgeous valley, Bachinski has branched out a bit lately. With the Harris family’s permission, she’s been drawing cows, piglets, fields and barns at their farm in Lister. Watching piglets run and eat and squeal and push (and eat some more) delights her. They swoop so quickly, almost like a flock of birds.

Bachinski says she’ll need more time — months, maybe — to really get the images she’s after. But in the meantime, standing in the big, lofty barn, hearing pigeons cooing way above her head, watching cows munching steadily is a most wonderful drawing experience.

Karen Arrowsmith: She has been painting in watercolour for over 25 years. This summer has she focused on plein air painting in both the East Kootenay and Southern Alberta. Arrowsmtih loves the freedom that watercolor gives when on location. Plein air painting allows her to be close to her subjects and experience many of the senses (smell, hearing and sight) that she tries to convey in her work. Now that the weather is changing, Arrowsmith will focus on studio work, which requires detailed drawings and a more intense painting process. Both ways allow her to give a fresh approach to her work.

Elaine Alfoldy: “I took opportunities to paint outdoors, resulting in watercolours of our area and in the Crowsnest Pass just inside Alberta. Being outdoors in our beautiful area painting is a direct opposite from the indoor work of creating fabric batik wall hangings using melted wax as a resist. I did this on our hottest days! I have always enjoyed the strong rich colours dyed fabric produces.”

Gunda Stewart: “The wood-fired kiln continues to fascinate and inspire me. Ongoing exploration of ash glazes this year has yielded a variety of lovely surfaces for the subtly changing forms that evolve through this steady practice. There is joy in making the most beautiful pots I can for our table and for yours.”

Carol Schloss, Pastel Society of America: “A trip to Banff last fall was a humbling experience in the presence and majesty of all those mountains. Who wouldn’t be inspired? I’ve always had a fascination with rocks, and have tried to capture a little of that expansiveness and scale of the Rockies in some of my paintings this season.

“I’ve also been exploring the relationship between nature and manmade objects, how nature eventually reclaims all as her own, turning the mundane into something nurturing and beautiful. What’s shiny and new soon wears the patina of age, or our best efforts at fencing here on the farm are thwarted by a fallen tree! Entropy and chaos and nature prevail. Our lives are never dull!”

James McDowell: He continues to enjoy painting the landscape and beauty surrounding him on the family farm in Creston. This year, McDowell’s work is in oil and acrylic, primarily on hardboard (right). Summers find him in his garden, and fall and winter find him painting or building octave mandolins in his studio gallery, McDowell’s Hilltop Gallery. He is self-taught but brings the experience of a mature artist. He has exhibited in shows and venues in the Western United States and Canada.

Eileen Hirota: With Hirota’s paintings, there continues to be a combination of realism along with abstract qualities, as well as more experimental abstract ones without the realism. Viewers will likely see a variety of possibilities — all of which is OK.

This year finches from the garden found their way into a painting, A Moment of Stillness. Many birds provide much enjoyment all year long. Other paintings develop on their own, after randomly texturing and applying paint, as far as subject matter or theme goes. Hirota says it’s always a delight to see what will surface next. The students taking the summer college mixed media course keep creating amazing paintings through this process.

Andy Alfoldy: “After having done a fair bit of traveling this year, seeing many wonderful sights, I return to discover that we live in as inspiring a place as this planet has to offer. I hope to keep reflecting this in many of my works.”

—BY ELAINE ALFOLDY