Just a friendly reminder here, that the tour is indeed this weekend. I am all set to welcome art viewers here in Otterville!
Tomorrow, since it looks like the weather will be nice, I’ll be keeping my double doors wide open all day, for an almost outdoor experience indoors. In fact I may spend most of my time outside the doors! Of course I will be available for questions, conversation, and purchases.
Hopefully Sunday will be equally cooperative, but even if it isn’t, we can all enjoy the day safely by making sure we don’t breathe on each other, right? Your patience, self-protection, and consideration of others’ comfort and safety is encouraged and appreciated!
It will be so nice to see you. 🙂👩🏻🎨 If you need a map, visit our website’s home page for links. Thanks for reading!
It’s spring, and new things are happening. One new thing that happened is my son released his second music album! It’s called Adaptation, by Vile Trait, and has 12 original songs. He’s been working very hard on this and I am so very proud. The music is complex and speaks to the experiences and challenges of his generation and exposes the full range of emotion. Stylistically, it is quite varied, but the main genres are rock and metal. One of the songs has been running around my head for the last few days. Here are all the ways you can listen to this young Canadian musician. Your support by listening, sharing, downloading or buying is greatly appreciated!
The other new thing happening is I am getting ready for our Oxford Studio Tour! Yes, we are having a real life tour this year after a 2 year hiatus because of COVID. It is April 30 and May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I am at Location 3 (my home). Visit www.oxfordstudiotour.ca for details and maps. Here I am with a couple of pieces that will be available.
Sue and I got together last week for this photo, and we have been ”making the papers” with it and the press release which is below. We hope you’ll be able to visit and enjoy the art, and maybe get some of it to spruce up those walls you’ve probably seen a lot of in the past year and a half. 🙂
Visit the historic village of Otterville for the 25th annual ‘Welcome Back to Otterville’ Studio Tour November 20 & 21. Each year the artists of Otterville open their studio doors to exhibit their original art, photography, art cards and original mixed media pieces as well as steel and wood works and unique floral creations. Treat yourself to a quiet day in the countryside while you experience a world of creativity.
Rooted in Floral, a shop in Otterville owned by Annette Lilley, creates original floral designs inspired by nature using dried and artificial products. When in season, flowers, herbs and botanicals from her farm are a favourite for that special event. Rooted in Floral will be open for the tour on Saturday only.
Sean Kilbourne is a millwright by trade and creates unique wood and steel pieces. Commissioned by someone to make legs from steel for a live edge piece, he was impressed with the finished product. “I set out to find my own live edge wood so I could play around with different styles of legs. Steel will always be my go to but I have found a way with wood tools. By working with the two combined mediums my knowledge is always increasing.”
Sean will have available some amazing pieces of functional pieces and furniture.
Sue Goossens, Lianne Todd, Marlene Long, Trudy Verberne and Shirley Hokke are professional artists compelled to create with completely different styles – artists who welcome you into their home studios to share their passion.
All are welcome to visit each studio in Otterville on November 20 & 21 from 10am to 5pm. Watch for yellow flags at each location. A special thank you is extended to the Township of Norwich for their support.
The artists appreciate your support and ask that everyone wears a mask and socially distances. There will be a limited number of visitors allowed at each location so please be patient.
During what I tend to call “the COVID times” I have chosen not to participate much in the virtual world of posting art, writing blog posts, etc. This whole situation, the virus, unrest, etc., has proven to be very uninspiring for me. And I felt virtually overwhelmed ;). While I did paint a few new pieces, my soul was not drawn to the studio the way it usually has been. A few upcoming art shows were cancelled, and it really took the wind out of my sails. I focused on other time-consuming activities instead! (In contrast, my son has been very creative –he released an EP! – see my previous blog post).
But now that we are opening up, somewhat, I have an actual art show coming up! I will have two pieces in the “Oxford Studio DETOUR” coming up at the Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre. It is meant to be a sampling of the participants in the annual Oxford Studio Tour which was cancelled in May 2020 and will be held May 2021 instead.
Allow me to introduce a completely original piece of work – it is a solo project (and by this I mean the writing, playing, vocals, recording, mixing, and album cover design were all done by one person) by an artist called Vile Trait. This is their debut album, Forfeit Refuge.
It’s metal – to be specific it might be described as death metal, doom metal, sludge metal… Metal may not be your thing. Try it anyway! Tracks 1 and 3 (Sacrificial Matter and Washed Out) are pretty mellow, and are quickly becoming my favourites. Tracks 2, 4, and 5 are energetic and heavy. While they do contain the guttural vocals typical of the genre (I’m not normally fond of those ones), I find them very listenable. Elusive Explanation has more of a hard rock sort of feel compared to the other two. Parasite is more of a headbanger. The album ends on an epic note with Hypothermia. There are great complex rhythms and guitar riffs throughout. The vocals, both the melodic and the harsh, are amazing! You really need to listen to the whole album in order at least once to appreciate all of it.
Let’s be clear: I am not really qualified to do a critique of an album of this type (I am neither a musician nor a music critic, and I’m not even a good example of the target audience) but since I was introduced to the genre about 11 or 12 years ago by my son, I’ve learned what I do like, and what I don’t like. I like this.
Also, I love the album cover!
If you’ve read this far, thank you. If you’ve listened to the album, even better!
I should probably now mention for the sake of full disclosure – Vile Trait is making me a very proud Mom 😉
Before the holidays (yes, I know they were two months ago already…), I finished a commissioned piece, a portrait of a cherished doggie, below:
Chevy. Watercolour on Paper. 15×22″. Artist Lianne Todd
Since then I have spent very little time in the studio, just doing a few practice pieces here and there to stay in touch with the skills. I had thought this would be a very creative year. I could ‘feel it in my bones’! Perhaps I will be like the flowers, emerging in spring triumphantly.
I’ve been focused on other things this winter. When not working at my new part-time job as an agricultural research assistant (which I quite enjoy), I have been busy sorting through old things, completing items on my to-do list, cleaning up after two new kitties in the house we rescued from the outdoors, and researching and compiling the family genealogy and history.
That last one has become a bit of an obsession, to the detriment of many things. I’ve discovered a rich and varied connection to past centuries that I never expected to find! I was never much of a history student, but now it has new meaning.
I am finding creative ways to preserve and share with my family a visual record of what I’ve learned, for future generations to refer to. Much of what I was originally able to put together was compiled by family members in previous generations who took the time to collect information and photos and document it. I would like to thank them profusely but, of course, they are not here for me to do that. Instead I will thank the current family members who were willing to share with me what they had!
The rest of the information has come from the many historical documents and records available at Library and Archives Canada, and sites like it in other nations. And finally, some crucial connections came from other people who have been investigating their own family history, on platforms like Geni (which also has curators working hard to connect it all and keep everything as accurate and logical as possible, while also documenting historical genealogy) and MyHeritage. I’ve also been able to verify some of the connections using a DNA test.
Last weekend’s Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour was a great success. We had beautiful weather and a constant stream of activity in our galleries and studios. It was wonderful to meet so many newcomers! Thank you to everyone who took the time to come out.
Here are a few photos of my gallery last weekend, in case you’ve never been here or it’s been a while:
I have a new online presence at a site called ParkBench.com. They did a promotional video for the tour which didn’t exactly air prior to it, but if you’ve never met me… well, I am the one being interviewed in my gallery.
Here is my profile page on the site: https://parkbench.com/directory/naturaliart. As you will see, there are hours posted to the side for my gallery. Don’t be discouraged by the number of “closed” days – I am, as usual, open by chance or appointment after 1 pm on most days. But not all of them! I am starting a new part-time job which will take me away a bit more often. So, I am going to try to post “definitely open” times, on a week-by-week basis on the ParkBench site. They will appear at the bottom of the daily hours as special dates. You can also check my artist page on Facebook or my Twitter posts for these special times. Otherwise, just contact me or drop in if you’re in town and you would like to check out the art.
Just a reminder – this weekend is our 23rd Annual Studio Tour here in little historic Otterville. The weather has cooperated to make Otterville look exactly as it does in the image on the postcard. That was not my intention when I designed the postcard! Sorry folks… but guess what? The forecast for the weekend is – SUNNY! So the snow currently present should at least look pretty. And most of all, you shouldn’t have any trouble driving here!
Once you arrive (here is a map of where I am), if you haven’t acquired a postcard from the multitude of places we’ve all left them, or printed a map from either here or the website, just look for the yellow flags to show you where participating studios are. There is no admission charge, and each of us will have some postcards available. Sometimes there are extra places open in town just for the weekend, which is great too, but the yellow flags indicate those who have actually paid for our advertising, so we hope you will definitely visit all those with flags. You never know what unique and perfect item you might find if you go, or miss if you don’t!
Just click on the image below, and then save and/or print:
Look for the yellow flags!
This is my most recently completed painting. It’s what some of the countryside around here looked like earlier this fall. I shared it on social media as soon as it was finished, and had interest from more than one potential buyer. It has now sold, and they’ve chosen to frame it themselves. They’ve even been kind enough to leave it with me until after the tour, so that I can have it on display. Although… I’m not sure where I am actually going to do that, as I have so many other recent paintings and fractals to show you! It’s been a very creative year.
Three Kilns. Watercolour on Paper. 11×15″. Artist Lianne Todd. SOLD
Lianne Todd, Annette Lilley, and Sue Goossens with their creations.
Visit the historic village of Otterville for the 23rd annual ‘Welcome Back to Otterville’ Studio Tour November 16 & 17. Each year, the artists of Otterville open their studio doors to exhibit their original art, photography, art cards and original mixed media pieces as well as bird houses, steel and wood works and unique floral creations. Treat yourself to a quiet day in the countryside and enjoy some hot apple cider or cranberry wassail and homemade cookies while you experience a world of creativity.
Ralph Moore & Sons specialize in birdseed and seed mixtures. They offer a variety of bird-feeders including Droll Yankee, Squirrel Buster, Perky Pet, Pinebush, Going Green, Chapelwood, and some handcrafted by local artists. Stock up on quality bird seed while in their shop.
Rooted in Floral is a new shop in Otterville. Annette Lilley creates original floral designs inspired by nature using dried and artificial products. When in season, flowers, herbs and botanicals from her farm are a favourite for that special event. Rooted in Floral will be open for the Tour and the following Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Christmas. The Shop will be open by appointment as well.
Sean Kilbourne is a millwright by trade and is new on the tour with unique wood and steel pieces. Commissioned by someone to make legs from steel for a live edge piece, he was impressed with the finished product. “I set out to find my own live edge wood so I could play around with different styles of legs. Steel will always be my go to but I have found a way with wood tools. By working with the two combined mediums my knowledge is always increasing.” Sean will have available some amazing pieces of functional pieces and furniture.
Sue Goossens, Lianne Todd, Linda Hoffman, Marlene Long and Mae Leonard are professional artists compelled to create with completely different styles – artists who welcome you into their home studios to share their passion.
Sue has a large collection of watercolours both on paper and canvas. Landscape, architecture and a few florals! Her subjects represent scenes from northern Ontario, British Columbia and visions from her trips to Scotland and Italy.
Lianne Todd creates vivid watercolours and digital art reflecting nature. She depicts beautiful scenery from her travels and the life within it, as well as abstract-looking fractal ‘scenery’ and ‘life forms’ from her travels through digital ‘realms’ she creates, using vibrant colours on many different kinds of surfaces.
Linda Hoffman paints what is familiar and emotionally connected to her imaginative mind. She works in a variety of mediums and styles.
Trudy Verberne will be sharing Linda’ studio space. She handcrafts unique and meaningful greeting cards.
Mae puts her whole imaginative spirit into her acrylic paintings. Truly unique! Follow the garden path to Mae’s display in her barn in the village.
Marlene (Young) Long has just moved to Otterville and this is her first year on the tour! She previously lived in the Niagara region. She paints landscapes and various other subject matter in oil.
The tour website www.welcomebacktootterville.ca has photos of artists’ work and a map to all the studios. For more information call 519-879-6352.
All are welcome to visit each studio in Otterville on November 16 & 17 from 10am to 5pm. Watch for yellow flags at each location, as these denote participants who have contributed to advertisement of the tour. A special thank you is extended to the Township of Norwich for their support.
It’s been a busy and and also at times very difficult fall so far, so I haven’t been doing too much blogging. But I do need to publicize some shows I’ve got coming up.
This year, I’m actually participating in Oxford Creates again. It’s been a while – I just checked and the last time I did that show it was 2011! Where did that time go? This year Oxford Creates is two weeks before Welcome Back to Otterville, making things a bit easier for organizing. It is also at a different venue, so if you regularly go to that event, note the new place.
I will be around for Welcome Back to Otterville this year, and we have a few new artists/artisans on that studio tour as well. More on that later! For now I will present you with the advertising poster and postcard for the two shows. If you are on social media, we’d love for you to share these images. You can also email your friends with the link to this blog post if you like, or share it as well.
Oxford Creates Art Expo is November 2nd and 3rd (see hours) at South Gate Centre, 191 Old Wellington St. S., Woodstock.
Welcome Back to Otterville is November 16 & 17, 10 am to 5 pm, at various locations in Otterville (visit our website for a map)