August 2, 2016 One of my favourite summer events in my local town of Oakville is Art in the Park. I hadn’t been in a few years but one of my friends, Laurel Best was exhibiting this year and I wanted to go to support her. Am I ever glad I did because not only was it a spectacular day, but there was an amazing array of talent on display! Here are just a few that caught my eye.
First and foremost, my friend Laurel Best – Artist and Art Teacher. I very much enjoyed seeing her booth. She has been busy adding lots of new artwork to her collection. Unfortunately her most recent paintings of Kinky Boots were already sold but I was able to buy some birthday cards with the images on it along with some funky shoe ones. See below for a brief description from Laurel’s website.
Laurel Best is a professional artist who loves to capture nature in her photography and paintings. As a young person she attended the University of Waterloo. She earned a Bachelor of Math and worked for a number of years as a computer programmer and business analyst, but creating was always an essential part of Laurel’s life. She loved drawing pictures as a child and took up watercolour painting in her 20s. Today Laurel specializes in watercolour and also enjoys photography and painting in oils and acrylics. She shares her love of art by teaching art to kids and adults through paint parties, corporate painting events, watercolour classes and individual lessons. Her work has been viewed in 68 countries and sold in the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada. You can view her work online at www.laurelbest.com . You can connect with her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LBestArt/
I was pleasantly surprised by the next artist I met named Lara. Â Her artwork is as beautiful and bright as her disposition. For more information on Lara’s paintings, you can view her website at www.larapaints.com. See below for a small excerpt from her about us page.
Lara grew up in the cozy town of Bracebridge in the heart of Muskoka on a winding country road inhabited by numerous talented and successful artists. Her house was sandwiched between two potters, across the street from a musician, and around the corner from a weaver, glassblower, cabinet maker and a painter. Creative energy flowed and swirled through the air in that neighbourhood and if anyone had the tiniest inkling toward creativity, its influence was nearly too powerful to resist. Lara’s passion for painting began at a very young age and for the past 18 years she has worked with acrylics on canvas as well as painting wall murals, floor designs and furniture. She sees beauty in nature’s details and is especially inspired by light, colour and water. Lara hopes to delight her audience with a beautiful moment or whimsical scene, caught by her eyes, or conjured up in her imagination and captured through her paintbrush.
I was immediately drawn into another artist’s booth too. Her name is Marie Blanchard-Thomas and her artwork was so colourful and whimsical that I couldn’t help having a long conversation with her. She is a very kind sole that had some very inspirational words for me on being creative. See an excerpt from Marie’s website below and visit her portfolio at www.marieblanchardthomas.com.
In terms of work experiences, I have designed both personal and professional representation; illustrated commercial books and excerpts; illustrated for fashion design; dabbled in production, special effects and prop-building for YTV children shows; worked part-time for Taylor Manufacturing (background painting, mural work and many unique avenues). In 1993, I launched a mural and specialty painting company, working for hundreds of residential and commercial clients. My murals and trompe l’oeil work have fuelled a successful and adventurous career to date.
My canvasses are nurtured by my love of the spectacular essence of floral, the passion and awe they evoke and the symbolism through history some hold. I love the meaning behind some plants and carry that through in chosen works.
Just down the way from Marie’s booth was an artist’s whose art was one of the most creative and whimsical I have ever seen. Perhaps it’s because of my fondness of gnomes as he had the cutest collection of gnome pics I have ever seen! Unfortunately I never did get to meet the artist because he had leave his booth, but his name is Morgan Jones and he’s a mixed media artist. www.morganjonesart.com. Because of my fondness for all things lavender, the gnome in the lavender field was my favourite! Followed closely by the gnome on the beach, the gnome in the rain and the gnomes holding hands in the fall. Priceless!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the art I saw in the park this past long weekend. It was a very well attended, successful event in it’s 51st year and is one of the largest and longest running outdoor art shows in Ontario. Even though I only featured a few, there were more than 180 featured artists there. I will definitely be going back again next year!
About Felicia: Felicia Gimza is an award-winning Interior Decorator offering custom interior decorating and design in her home town of Oakville and surrounding areas of Mississauga, Burlington and the west end of the GTA. Felicia prides herself in creating rooms for her clients that are not only eye-catching, comfortable and functional, but are completely customized to suit their own styles.