On Sunday January 8th at the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM), the Civic Centre was buzzing with excitement as the set up for VAM39 was well underway! Bubbling artists strode into the AGM, carrying their work with pride, eagerly waiting to see their assigned wall space.
This annual exhibition and art sale has been hosted by the Art Gallery of Mississauga since 1987! The collaboration between the AGM and Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) has been a successful means of exposure for residents of the City of Mississauga to appreciate local artists while also providing artists with the opportunity to present their work.
The artists practice different techniques and gravitate toward divergent styles! This is the kind of assortment that VAM and the AGM drives to show-case in their juried show every year.
I was fortunate enough to conduct a few interviews with some prominent artists who have been participating in the VAM juried show for many years. James Glen, Inge Kjeldgaard Tajik and Susan Clark, took the time to answer a few questions about their work!
3rd place winner
Summer in the prairies
24 x 30 In.
Casein on canvas board
Sale price $2400.00
Glen’s mentor, Allan Collier inspired him to approach painting while he was attending OCAD University in the 60’s. He generally prefers repeating patterns and using big shapes in his paintings!
“It creates the illusion of movement in the picture!” said Glen.
When I asked Glen what kind of paint he used for Summer in the Prairies he replied, “casein paint”.
Having been a fitness buff for many-a-year, my mind immediately went to casein protein… which is half right!
As Glen explained to me, casein paint is quite a difficult medium to use because of its quick drying properties. Compared to oils, which take days to dry and acrylics, which are very flexible, casein is a milk based substance—derived from milk protein – that dries in minutes!
I asked Glen why he prefers to use casein paint as opposed to other, more manageable mediums.
He replied, “I like the tonal differences that I can achieve with casein, a lot of people give up on it because of the difficulty of its application but I find the flatness adds to my subject matter, which is predominately based on central Canadian landscapes.”
The detail in Glen’s work is quite remarkable, I wondered how long it would take to complete such a delicate work. I was surprised to discover that it only takes a few days for Glen to get the majority of the painting completed, “when I go back I see things that I could have done better and I work on those areas.”
“The beauty of casein paint is that you can always go back and buff it up to give it a nice shine.” – James Glen
Inge Kjeldaard Tajik
16 x 24 In.
Egg tempera, varnished on primed board
Sale price $1200.00
Tajik was trained in fine arts at the Fünen Art Academy in Denmark. Her subject matter tends to be still life paintings. She revealed to me a very interesting process that she practices when putting together her still life arrangements:
“When I studied fine arts at the Fünen Art Academy, I was exposed to sculpture, design, painting and many other mediums. Building my own arrangements became an integral part of my practice. I found that I preferred to work from life as opposed to working from a photograph”
The artist tells a story with her work, “whether or not there are figures present.” Her current work, Subtle Reflections, allows the viewer’s eye to travel all around the painting.
She likes to handle objects that she is familiar with; ordinary household items that may not seem to carry much significance, but once Tajik has arranged them and painted them, they seem otherworldly, fascinating, and anything but ordinary.
I had a wonderful time discovering all the little details that are brought to life by a single brush stroke!
For more information on Tajik’s work click here to visit her website.
36 x 24 In.
Oil on panel
Sale price $1900
Susan Clark was born in Montreal, Quebec and studied at John Abbott College for a short period of time but preferred teaching herself. Having been mostly a self-taught artist, Clark tells me that, “it would have been nice to have a mentor!”
She has previously won first place in the VAM juried show; holding the first place title in the years: 1999 and 2015.
Her paintings typically depict enigmatic tableaus that feature the use of line and colour.
“I like to take my paintings a notch away from reality. I want to create a sense of mystery and wonder; to take something relatively ordinary and change it into a curiosity.”
I thought November Light had a similar style to Canadian artist, Alex Colville. To my delight Clark tells me she is a big Colville fan and has looked to his work for inspiration in the past!
“I have always looked up to Lauren Harris, Christopher Pratt, and Alex Colville.” – Clark
Clark works predominately with line work, generally using masking tape to help her keep a straight line. She likes to stick to her style so that she can gain a sense of recognition in the community.
For more information on Susan Clark click here to visit her personal website.
The 39th Annual Visual Arts Mississauga juried art exhibition and sale runs until February 18 2017! The people’s choice award will be announced on the closing of the exhibition, so make sure you vote for your favourite work!