Site Blog - AnneLaviolette.ca
More Around the County
In the spring, I did a number of studies and paintings of flowers, and floral rrangements, the gallery is called "Summer Flowers". (What else do you paint that time of year?) Of course lilacs were prominent, as well and peonies, lilies and roses. (That's mostly the extent of my garden.) I hope you enjoy their fragrance.
I worked on the series entitled "Scenes in the Garden" over some time. I particularly delighted in the opportunity to design rich foliage as a backdrop to the figures of the couple, not limiting myself to a particular genre, but imagining a variety of settings. My goal was to create an atmosphere in keeping with the mood of each element of the story. While I know that figures immediately command the focus of a painting, I needed the foliage to give a sense of the untouched profusion of such a place, initially, gradually lessening in splendour, until the last scene is quite cool and moderated, hopefully matching the tone of the event. I elected canvasses 30"x40" for the first and third and 24"x48" for the second. These had been started in acrylic so were thus completed.
"More Around the County", my favourite route home from Goderich to Bayfield is Orchard Line, at some point passing through old overarching maples adjacent to a sugar bush, so these were a joy to commit to canvasses. I never tire of the dappling of light and shadow in woodlands. I chose a panoramic view of the overarching trees, 20"x40" (the first oil painting I did) and a 36"x30" canvas for the sugarbush.
I had taken the photo for one of the "Autumn Scenes" (the lane in Bayfield) several years ago, and my newly acquired confidence with colour that oils have given me allowed me to approach it with more confidence. The other two smaller works of autumn beech saplings were in answer to my longing to portray the appealing late fall brightness lent to a woods by these beauties.
My latest group of paintings "Farm Life", and "Waterside" includes various birds: gulls and a rooster. I find birds appealing - trying to capture their characteristic attitudes, stances, and expressions. I particularly enjoyed trying to find the arrogant 'cockiness' of that old rooster.
Wild Mushroom's and Indian Pipes
Anne speaks about her recent paintings, "An old friend and I like to make an annual pilgrimage to her 'back bush', a 150 acres of woodland wilderness, in celebration of our summer birthdays. On one such jaunt, my friend pointed out to me the Indian Pipes, a small unobtrusive species on the forest floor which are unusual because of their lack of chlorophyll and resultant saprophytic lifestyle. I was also attracted by these small Amanitas, a generally poisonous species of wild mushroom that can be recognized by the whitish collar that surrounds their base. I found both of these unpretentious subjects very appealing to work with." Anne submitted both 'Wild Mushrooms' and 'Indian Pipes' in the 2009 Huron County Art Show which ran July - December 2009 at the Huron County Museum. Her painting 'Wild Mushrooms' won 3rd prize.
Zehr's Country Market
"I wanted to depict some local agriculturally-based businesses, and so asked if I might watch and take photos of apple picking at Zehr's last fall. Given permission, I then thought that it would be good to expand this to the industry in the kitchen which happens every morning. Spending an hour in the kitchen with the pastry chefs was a delight to all my senses. It was hard to choose among the many and varied processes. I thoroughly enjoyed both this time and the studio work of composing typical scenes from both venues."
Sunset on Snow
"We are used to thinking about Huron County as the place to come to see Sunsets on the Lake. It seemed like a good idea to think about how beautiful a sunset can be on fresh snow. The reflections on snow are quite different, and maybe not as spectacular, but have a shimmering soft glow. Anyway, I had fun doing them and hope that you'll enjoy."
A Day at the Ploughing Matches
I decided to attend this year's ploughing matches with the hope of photographing some colourful, 'moving' subjects, and to learn a little about the art and finesse of the 'turned furrow'. I was not disappointed. I asked Doreen, a lifelong friend, and experienced farmer to accompany me on my journey and we had a thoroughly pleasurable day. I hope these paintings will convey something of this delight, both in watching the skill of the ploughmen/women, their kinship and the enjoyment of the onlookers. I also hope my paintings convey the beauty of Huron County Farm country, and particularly the gracious host farm.
What did I want to do with the Ploughing matches? I wanted to show: the leading horse, or the tractor in the trough of the previous furrow, which is important for a properly ploughed row. Also I hoped to illustrate: the different horses Belgians and Percherons, a little idea of the variety of tractors in attendance, and yes, to give a sense of the onlookers casually exploring the wonderful farm that hosted the event. Beyond that I guess is the deep sense of the very fundamental significance of the turning of the soil and pioneering agriculture, and all this in quite representational style.
Right now I think that message has very little to do with the style used in this particular collection. I look for example at Ian Roberts' work, quite representational, and yet highly spiritual. It is certainly for me about trying to say something very fundamental, as I think it is for each of us… this passion to reach out to another human being through their eyes into memories, associations, their imagination, and somehow into their muscles and joints perhaps even into their very heart as they perform an activity they purely love.