Alex Christian – Treedgems

AlexChristian“People love shiny things!”

What and who has inspired your art work?

I learned silver-smithing from my aunt, Marianne Brown, and my mother, Linda Brown.  My inspiration comes from the shapes and patterns found in nature.  I pay close attention to negative space, ‘the spaces in-between’.  I have found numerous other inspirations from metalsmiths around the world.  Anything amazing made by hand inspires me.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

The most important thing is to have an outlet.  The human mind is always striving for creation.  To see your work completed and have others appreciate it is rewarding, but almost secondary to the need to create.

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What role does the artist have in society?

I try to make beautiful things that last, so I hope my work serves as a reminder of the beauty to be found in the world.

What art do you most identify with?

I love all kinds of art, but there is a special place in my heart for all landscapes; carved, painted, photography, amateur, or professional.

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Why art?

I love making, and I think you’ll agree, people love shiny things!


Alex draws inspiration from the math inherent in beauty, and strives to replicate nature’s infinite grace. Perfect imperfections and happy accidents help him in his work. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and visit his C3 booth at Trinity Bellwoods Park, as part of the September 12-13 Queen West Art Crawl.

Giuseppe Pascale

GuiseppePascale“A building is more than a typical shelter; it shapes our behavior and interaction with the space it defines.”

I consider myself a late bloomer in photography as well as being self-taught. My first real experience with the medium was during my undergrad in Architecture where I would rent a camera and use the schools lab facilities to document projects. Prior to that, I credit my enrollment in an after school art program for the development of my sense of composition. Shifting from the brush to camera was natural as I now composed with a lens, light, lines, angles and the environment. My years in film were short, but my love for it allowed me to grasp the critical lessons and thought processes that I have carried through to the digital medium.

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My inspiration stems from the subject matter I compose with. Urban centers with their architecture and grown forms have always fascinated me. A building is more than a typical shelter; it shapes our behavior and interaction with the space it defines. We also infuse the city with our collective sense of self that creates different perspectives within space as time goes on. The process of leaving home with a camera in hand, not knowing where I will end up or what I will bear witness too, is a humbling and therapeutic experience.

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In a digital world, there is an endless source of creativity. Photographs that we acknowledge and or ignore bombard us at all times. As a photographer, looking at the work of others helps to create an internal dialogue. It is a critical path that has helped me to better understand why I press the shutter. I am also enthralled by documentary and photo-journalistic work. The mélange of text and imagery to help convey an emotion, situation or condition is key as I look to share and develop my experience within the medium.


Giuseppe Pascale is a Montreal based photographer with stunning urban work. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and visit his D4 booth at Trinity Bellwoods Park, September 12-13 as part of the Queen West Art Crawl.

Nadia Gurkova

NadiaGurkovaThe deep connection to the world around is integral to the work of an artist.

What and who has inspired your art work?

Painting “Manitoba prairies” belongs to my latest Landscape series “My peace” and was inspired by a childhood memories of a friend: “My place of peace is the prairie landscape. I spent many happy hours as a child wandering in the fields with my dogs. The solitude and spaciousness are, for me, a reprieve from city living”.

Landscape series “My peace”
Within each of us I believe there is a special place of peace and happiness. What would happen if we shared these places with each other? Could they fashion a shield to protect us from invasive stresses of today’s life?
“My Peace” invites you to explore paintings of these special places and share your own, so that I may expand this landscape series in hopes of inspiring others to find peace and happiness within themselves.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

The deep connection to the world around is integral to the work of an artist. Society, individuals, cities and neighborhoods, landscapes etc. have to touch our hearts to then be expressed through art and resonate with that world.

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What role does the artist have in society?

To reflect and inspire. The latter is probably more important in my current work. To inspire living a better life, to be that person you always wanted to be, but never got to it because of a zillion things that happened in your life. Then you read a book, hear a song, see a painting that touches your heart so deeply, brings all those dreams back and alive and you decide “That’s it. I can’t postpone it anymore. I have to do it”. I think art should inspire us.

What art do you most identify with?

Impressionism, its colours and lights make my heart sing. Expressionism, Romanticism, Canadian Group of Seven.

10479421_1600586110200509_7784978860211445884_nWhy art?

Because NOTHING gets me out of bed in the morning like art does. I understood words “to be passionate about something” only after I painted my first painting and I cannot stop since, like literally.


Nadia is a Toronto based artist with a variety of interests such as landscape painting, animal and flower painting. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and also check out her M14 booth at Trinity Bellwoods Park, September 12-13.

Kat Shura – Curious Oddities

CuriousOddities

I am just a romantic storyteller at heart and art is my way of sharing those stories with others.

What and who has inspired your art work?

The world we live in is so rich with inspiration, I feel that I draw from all parts of it. Urban decay, industrial elements and architectural details cross with cherry blossoms, the cool blue harbour and empty lots bursting with wildflowers: these inspire unusual combinations of colour, texture and design. Tales of early explorers, of pirates, and of worlds that never were stir my imagination. Pouring over books of historical costume and volumes of antique jewelry collections excites my creativity and introduces me to unexplored techniques and styles.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

One of the biggest challenges for me as a professional artist is to find an equal balance of inspiration & dreaming time, designing & creative time, and production time. They are all vitally essential in order to remain engaged, creative and productive both personally and as a business. Throw in all of the other necessary elements of a successful business and a personal life and you’ve got a rather exciting juggling act.

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What role does the artist have in society?

Those who devote their lives to art, design and craft help us as a society to stay connected with our stories, our imagination and our history. Artwork and handcraft can trigger nostalgia, bring comfort, excite and generally stir emotion and ideas. We connect with it in a unique way and it can affect us deeply- it is something we can keep for ourselves or share with others.

What art do you most identify with?

It is my hope that the mood and feel of the Pre-Raphaelites echo through my designs, my photography and through my words. I love to incorporate the lush femininity and rich colours of the Art Nouveau era and Arts & Crafts movement as well as the asymmetry and drama of Art Deco. For display in my home though, I am hopelessly drawn to etchings, hand-pulled prints & pressings and photography.

shura-kat-7804Why art?

As a child I was surrounded by artists and craftspeople in different disciplines. My father, who was a scrimshaw artist at the time, gave me free creative range in his studio to try anything and learn anything that my heart desired. My life has always been one of creative pursuits; my occupations have all, in essence, been apprenticeships in different artistic media. Perhaps I am just a romantic storyteller at heart and art is my way of sharing those stories with others.


With her vivid imagination, Kat sees a story in everything and seeks to unveil the magic in all she touches. Check her out at booth J24 at Trinity Bellwoods Park, September 12-13 as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. You can also follow Curious Oddities on Instagram and Twitter.

Andrea Seibt

AndreaSeibt

“The beauty of marine life has always captured me, scientifically and as an artist.”

What and who has inspired your art work?

The beauty of marine life has always captured me, scientifically and as an artist. I became marine biologist, scuba diving instructor and painter. To capture the beautiful effects of the Big Blue, the facets of light and its reflection under water and painting the variety of marine life has become my passion. The results are vibrant ocean views, schools of fish in all shapes and sizes, portraits of sea creatures and whimsical imaginary worlds.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

To be true and honest to your passion and believes. Not to let people educate you on what art has to be or not, but still to stay open minded and in a constructive dialog. Personally, I need to go scuba diving once in a while (or at least snorkeling), that can be in a lake or ocean. I emerge refreshed and inspired for new works. Of huge importance to me is to keep on experimenting, take risks, play with different techniques and mediums and to have FUN with it!

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What role does the artist have in society?

Art tells stories, creates emotions and feelings, sparks imagination, starts conversations, sends messages, educates, creates friendships and reminds one of special moments in their lives…In my opinion those are all integral roles in our society.

What art do you most identify with?

The ones that make me stop and think. I don’t identify with a certain style, it depends on my mood and I get inspired by old masters as well as urban modern art, as long as it makes me imagine….!

andreaseibt1Why art?

My work is a very personal expression of my passion for the marine environment. The conservation of our threatened oceans and reaching awareness is my driving force and is reflected in my work.


Andrea Seibt aspires to raise awareness for the conservation and protection of the marine environment. These efforts are her driving force and are reflected in her work. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and visit her at booth D10 at Trinity Bellwoods Park, September 12-13, as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. 

David Thomas Tomlin

DavidTomlin“The visceral experience of creating art renews my spirit and I seek to convey that renewal and joy to others.”

What and who has inspired your artwork?

The beauty of nature with its interplay of colours, light, shapes and textures, has always been a source of inspiration for me as a painter. To capture something of this mystery in a painting and through this medium, to be able to express my own gratitude and appreciation for what I have experienced, has provided me with moments of great joy. When others view my work and communicate their experience of this encounter with me, I am gratified and affirmed as an artist, that another has appreciated what I have expressed. I was first inspired by the work of the Impressionists in their use of colours and exploration of the effects of light, which created almost dreamlike interpretations of reality moderated by human experience. Monet’s great water lily paintings are representative of this style, which became studies of water and how it reflects light and the world above it. I encountered the paintings of our own ‘Group of Seven’ and particularly admire the work of Lawren Harris, with his abstracted landscapes, infused with a spiritual dimension. ‘North Shore, Lake Superior’ comes to mind as a painting that represents the stark reality of a Canadian landscape bathed in an ethereal light. Most recently, I have discovered the work of our First Nations artists, particularly Norval Morrisseau, in his use of colour, line and shape to communicate the sacredness of nature. As I came to realize my interest in Canadian landscape painting, I now feel most influenced by these latter Canadian painters, as I develop my own artistic voice.

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What’s integral to the work of an artist?

All artists’ work begins, I believe, with acknowledging and respecting the internal voice that urges him/her to create, after an experience of living that has engaged the artist’s heart and mind. Thus everyone is potentially an artist if we listen to and observe our experience of this encounter in order to express something of its truth, as the artist understands it.  By using the tools and media that an artist favours, he/she creates what is beautiful or disturbing in order to communicate this to others. This personal exploration of one’s creative inclinations combined with a growing knowledge and skill with the artistic medium, become intertwined with the personality of the artist, resulting in the creation of an artistic voice. My inspiration to create comes from a myriad of sources, mainly through travel, observing nature and people, and my own spiritual life. I have discovered that my artistic journey is about honouring these inspirations, listening to my own inner voice and allowing them to compel me to capture on canvas something of their meaning for me.

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What role does the artist have in society?

The artist’s role is to convey the truth of the human condition as he/she sees it using the artistic medium with which he/she is most comfortable.   This ‘truth’ may be a profound expression of beauty, of sadness, of joy, of anger or some other emotion, which resonates with our human experience. For the artist, it is important to communicate this vision with others; for the viewer, the work of an artist often soothes, comforts, celebrates and/or challenges his/her views of the world, him/herself and others. The communication between the artist and the viewer, through the content of the artistic medium, can be a very effective means to develop and advance the human conversation about how we experience our lives. As an example, Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ comes to mind as a disturbing condemnation of human savagery. As a good friend of mine reminded me, ‘conversation’ is not simply the exchange of statements but often includes questions, unresolved issues, disagreements and incomplete thoughts that can produce some contradictory, confusing and challenging portrayals by an artist. The artist’s role, then, becomes prophetic when he/she is able to reach the hearts and minds of people and compel them to rethink the spiritual and moral boundaries of their life experience.

What art do you most identify with?

I mainly identify with paintings of landscapes and of portraits, old and new. Both painting styles challenge my perceptions of the world and people, the relationship between them, and the contributions each makes to better understanding the nature of the human experience.  My landscape paintings, both abstracted and realistic, become a conversation between myself and the creator of the scene I am observing. Portraits convey the subject’s mood and capture something of the beauty of what it means to be human. Van Gogh’s self-portraits with their expressive use of colour and brush strokes challenge the viewer to look into the mind of a genius. The interplay of light and dark in a portrait fascinates me as a metaphor for the dynamic of good and evil in human experience. Rembrandt’s portraits are particularly appealing to me in his use of this artistic style.

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Why art?

From my earliest childhood, I have always found painting to be gratifying and the sensory experience of creating art compelling. The variety of colours, the texture and thickness of paint, and the interplay of colour, shape and form were the vocabulary of another language of expression I found intriguing. I did not understand then that my paintings were my attempt at communicating something of myself to the world, not bound by language barriers. I simply enjoyed the experience as I do today. However, as I began to study painting, I came to realize that visual art is indeed another language of communication; another means to share in something of the mystery of the human condition, our appreciation of life and our role in creation. I decided that I wanted to know more about this language of colour, shape, texture, and form that comes together in an interplay of light and shadow on a canvas. The visceral experience of creating art renews my spirit and I seek to convey that renewal and joy to others.


Through his paintings, David conveys his love of the world’s natural beauty while expressing his belief in the innate spirituality of creation. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram, and also check him out at booth D01 at Trinity Bellwoods Park, as part of the Queen West Art Crawl on September 12-13.

Alexander Barattin Illustration

AlexanderBarratinWhy art? Because it’s impossible not to!

What and who has inspired your art work?

Everything! I’m pretty versatile in terms of style and I like trying new things, so my list of inspirations is long and meander-y. I think that getting inspired is something like detective work, you’ve got to see where the leads take you. Right now I’m really interested in 60s children’s illustration and folk carving.

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What’s integral to the work of an artist?

A sense of curiosity, a willingness to try and the ability to hold down a boring day job.

Joking aside, I think I make my best work when I’m feeling the most at ease with myself and trying to cultivate that sense of gentle inquisitiveness is integral to any kind of making I do.

What role does the artist have in society?

I think there are many different and equally important roles that artists play in society. Mostly I just want to make my little part of the world a bit more pretty and playful; I want to make people smile or, in the case of my fine(r) art, say “hey, that really speaks to me”.

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What art do you most identify with?

I tend to favour art that looks spontaneous and expressive, plain ol’ drawing is what resonates with me the most, regardless of the medium or style.

Why art?

Because it’s impossible not to! I’m always looking for that “zone” in creating where time is very still and everything is immediate.


Alexander Barattin Illustration can be found at booth C4 on September 12-13 at Trinity Bellwoods Park, as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. Make sure to check out his website and follow him on Twitter. 

Jordan Dunlop

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“I find my greatest artworks are the pieces where an accident occurred, shifting perspectives to a whole new approach to work from.”

What and who has inspired your art work?
In order for me to fully invest in my art practice I need to escape the studio and travel, walk or simply use movement to process creative thoughts. “Never trust an Idea you had while sitting down”.  I think my method to arrive at my artwork also comes from my unique learning style, spiritually and philosophy of living simply and in the moment.

jd1What’s integral to the work of an artist?
What I find integral to the work of an artist is perseverance, patients and using failure as a source to learn from.  I find my greatest artworks are the pieces where an accident occurred, shifting perspectives to a whole new approach to work from.

What role does the artist have in society?
Artists are agitators, for some reason or another they have developed a way of working that is their own discipline independent of any other hierarchal structure governing them.  Simply artists create something new to learn from that represents a personal view of where we all fit into or do not.

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What art do you most identify with?
This might be a difficult question for me to answer; Expressive/abstract art has been a recent source to explore simply because I come from a very traditional, formal arts training.  By breaking the image of representational imagery, it has truthfully connected me to my medium, painting and drawing.

Why art?
I have never fit into any formal education and art has provided freedom to explore my own learning style where I make the rules!  I keep coming back to art as a creative learning medium because how art can represent a 3-d dimensional way of learning with many different sides of meaning.


Jordan’s art practice is focused by observation and being physically engaged with urban environments. Follow his work on Facebook, and visit him on September 12-13, booth I07 at Trinity Bellwoods Park as part of the Queen West Art Crawl.

BlackIris Design

leather_statement_necklace“A world without art would be lifeless and boring.”

What and who has inspired your art work?

My work is inspired by many things and people, from my surroundings, my love for world culture, sub-culture, sci-fi movies, fairy tales, design, architecture and more. It is a tapestry of an array of visual influences. A theme in my work I continue to explore is the juxtaposition of natural element vs man-made materials.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?
To keep an opening mind, experiment and keep creating. Sometimes you need to try a different approach or technique to get the desired result, other times these experiments take you to places beyond your imagination.
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What role does the artist have in society?
To spark conversations, evoke emotions and to inspire.

What art do you most identify with?
I am particularly drawn to sculptural art, ceramics and mixed media work. Anything with texture, interesting form or pieces that bear the imprint of the artist’s touch. Crafting jewellery is like creating mini sculptures to be worn on ones body. Some of my jewellery are one of a kind miniature models made first from wax then cast in sterling silver or brass. They are made to be admired as mini sculptures.


BlackIris Design features Unique creations by Iris Lee. These goodies are designed and handmade with LOVE by Iris in her studio in Toronto. Nothing is mass produced, each item is one of a kind or produced in limited quantity. Visit her J11 booth on September 12-13, at Trinity Bellwoods Park, and follow her Facebook and Twitter.

Lorne Wisebrod

LorneWisebrod

“If you allow yourself to be receptive, art has the ability to influence your emotions positively, negatively or leave you feeling indifferent, but can leave an indelible impression on your mind.”

The urban landscape and its energized state, the sense of order and chaos simultaneously present. I find this endlessly fascinating to paint and decipher.
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It’s important to be receptive to new ideas both as a artist and as a person. You can keep what seems useful and discard or set aside some things for future reference, but there are always things to learn.

The Artist role is in the creating of things, whether there’s any relevance is not for the artist to decide that’s decided with the passage of time. It’s interesting to look at the art that was being created at certain periods in history or under certain conditions. Art definitely can change the way we look at the world and ourselves, and influence both.
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The art I most identify with says something about the world we live in. Visually expressive color wise, compositionally, there may be some social or political commentary or not, it retains some mystery and doesn’t reveal itself all at once.

Art is for me a way recording things that are important, and make permanent what can be rather fleeting and impermanent.
If you allow yourself to be receptive, art has the ability to influence your emotions positively, negatively or leave you feeling indifferent, but can leave an indelible impression on your mind.


Follow Lorne Wisebrod’s latest urban landscape, mixed media paintings on his website, and make sure to visit him at the Queen West Art Crawl, September 12-13. He will be at booth M45 at Trinity Bellwoods Park.