Four women, members of the Rideau Lakes Artists’ Association, have come together to show their work at the WAG this month. They first discovered their shared passion when they joined “Local Colours”, a small community of artists who paint together once a week in Perth.
Dawn Fortin, the founding member of the splinter group “Four Brushes”, works in watercolour, liquid acrylic and batik. During the hanging of the Four Brushes Fine Art Show she spoke to me about her practice, in particular her love of batik. Because the process involves adding layers of wax, one for each colour, the final result is obscured until the wax is ironed off. “I like surprises,” said Dawn. Working with liquid acrylic offers more opportunities for surprises, one of the reasons she has also chosen this medium.
Barbara Jordan, who runs a photography and graphic design business, Bark Productions Inc. (barkinc.com), not surprisingly creates punchy, graphic images in acrylic. Her favourite painting in this show is entitled Future Past—a large, intriguing, somewhat haunting depiction of the rusting hulks of sea forts built at the mouth of the Thames River during WW2 to protect the city of London. Barbara also works in batik, which she describes as “fun” because mistakes—unintended blobs of wax—can become features. As a graphic artist who can’t embark on a project without a plan, she welcomes a medium that allows her the freedom to change and adapt an image.
Like Barbara and Dawn, Christine Martin has chosen batik as one of her preferred mediums. She likens it to drawing, but with hot wax, and she approaches dyes in the same way as she does watercolours, namely in a painterly fashion. She uses silk, canvas and waffle cotton as supports. Christine also paints with alcohol inks that flow, wet on wet, like the dyes in batik. In this show she has included ink paintings on tile and on smooth-surfaced Yupo paper.
Inspired by sunlight, shadows and colours, Linda Svarckopf makes representational as well as abstract paintings in acrylics. Sign of Spring depicts two swans, harbingers of a season that reminds Linda of her childhood in the Long Point area of Lake Erie, a migratory route for many birds and a favourite stop for bird watchers. Her favourite painting, Red Koi Fish, has swirling shapes emerging from a textured vibrant red background. What appeals to Linda is the movement and the vitality of the sinuous koi.
Four Brushes Fine Art Show runs from July 31 to August 25 with an opening reception on August 11, 1-4pm.