Meet Tanya Cunnington, a contemporary painter who balances life as a full-time artist, gallery owner and mother. Her vibrant landscape paintings radiate with gorgeous colour and strong lines!
Read ON to discover more about Tanya and her work ...
You are a gallery owner, working artist and a mother, how do you balance those dynamics?
Red wine. Lots of it. But in all seriousness, it is hard to shut things off in your mind when you are passionate about them, so I had to create a balance. I genuinely love being a mom and owning my own business and of course being an artist. I’ve designed my life so that our son can be a part of all of it. Because I own my own business, he can join me at the gallery anytime he wants to, and he has his own studio so he can create when we do. It also really helps that I have a supportive partner who is also an artist and understands how important studio time is. When I get really overwhelmed, I do yoga.
Tell me about your gallery, Lee Contemporary Art?
Lee Contemporary Art is a curated rental gallery that exhibits emerging and mid-career artists. I opened it three years ago with the help of the Business Enterprise Research Network Program when I realized that I wanted to work in a creative industry, side by side with artists. I had done some curatorial work in the past and loved it. I get really excited when I see a great submissions from a new artist, so a gallery just seemed like a natural fit. I tend to exhibit work that is more abstracted and less traditional because that is what I am drawn to as an artist. I’ve exhibited artists of different disciplines from all across Canada and recently from the U.S. as well.
How has your art practice evolved over the years? What is your main creative focus now?
My art making practice just underwent a huge shift. After working in abstracted grid-like collage for almost 20 years, I recently moved into landscape. I didn’t realize how much I was being influenced by my surroundings in Toronto until I moved back to Orillia 6 years ago. Being a really nostalgic person, my work has always been about the passage of time and memory, so I am enjoying finding new ways to express that. Most recently, I began work on a series of “rocks and trees” based on my childhood in Northern Ontario. I don’t think that I have exhausted this subject yet, so I plan to continue with it until I do. I will also continue my explorations with colour.
You currently have a new exhibition showing at Loop Gallery in Toronto, what are the details and what is up next?
Dream, comfort, memory opened at Loop Gallery on September 15 and runs until October 7. It is an exhibition of ten new paintings all based on Northern Ontario. The title is borrowed from Neil Young’s Helpless. Loop Gallery is located at 1273 Dundas Street West (at Dovercourt) in Toronto, open Wed-Sun.
Upcoming is a two person show of works on paper with Jill Price at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario. It opens December 6 and runs until March of 2019.
Dream, comfort, memory runs until October 7 at Loop Gallery, Toronto
Tanya's gallery Lee Contemporary Art is located at 5 Peter St. S. in downtown Orillia's Arts District. Currently on exhibition is Sean Rees: Imperfect Precision and up next is Annie Kymta Cunnington: Plan B, October 4 to 27, 2018. Interested in showing at the gallery, contact Tanya!
AND, discover even MORE about Tanya' work here!
Nancy Jones with her ART. (image source: Lee Contemporary Art FB)
MEET Nancy Jones, a contemporary painter who creates luminous and vibrant paintings that hover between abstract and landscape. I am always drawn by the subtle layers that Nancy creates, her paintings sing - SO beautiful and oozing with atmosphere.
READ on to discover Nancy's creative process and more!
Your works have an ethereal quality, yet are strong and energetic - could you describe a bit about your creative process and what inspires you?
I create contemporary landscapes. My paintings are about colour. There are endless combinations. I have worked with the same palette of primary colours for many years mixing yellow, red and blue in varying proportions to create colour harmony. I achieve luminous colour by glazing thin layers of colour over top of one another on the canvas.
My paintings are also about the contrast of dark and light. They have strong value contrasts. They are moody and this evokes emotion in the viewer.
Describe your artistic journey? How did you arrive to painting?
I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by art as my parents were both artists. From day one I was painting and drawing in sketchbooks rather than colouring books. Drawing outside the line was encouraged. As my children grew older I took up painting again and have never looked back. I now work in my home studio and offer workshops on colour mixing and value compositions.
You are a participant in the upcoming Images Studio Tour, Thanksgiving weekend, do you have any other upcoming exhibitions or workshops?
I do not have any upcoming exhibits at this time. People are welcome to contact me through my website to visit my studio at Art by Nancy Jones.
I will be offering Studio Classes every Tuesday beginning October 16 and finishing on November 6, 2018. The first Tuesday of the two day workshops will focus on composition using “NOTAN”: the Japanese term for light/dark. During the second Tuesday participants will transition from value studies to full colour paintings. Max. participants is five.
Where may people find your work, online and in-person? Do you take commissions?
Currently I post images of my new paintings on Facebook and Linked-In. I usually have a few paintings at the Shadowbox in Orillia. I am not an artist who takes commissions. That process just doesn’t work for me!
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