an exhibition by John Gibbons, Nancy Kravalis, Paulette Robertson & Maggie Robinson
Self taught, I began photography in the late 1970’s. My enthusiasm for the craft led to a wondrous preoccupation with photography and in the early 1980’s I had my first one man show at the old Ingersoll Fire Hall, the previous location of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.
Though I exhibited very little for many years, photography gave rise to teaching basic photography skills along with black and white film darkroom techniques with the Oxford County Board of Education. That continued for 18 years and 5 years with the Audio-visual; Department at the Oxford Regional Centre. My most recent one-man exhibition was, again, with the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre in April, 2007, and further exhibits with fellow members of the Arts Centre and in juried shows.
I enjoy and admire the many visual subjects captured by photography and many of the visual arts have influenced how I see the world and what stimulates my senses. One photographic subject has been most rewarding, that of the train yards and its borders. The weathered surfaces of the train cars reveal symbols and markings to identify some aspect of their use and capacity. The texture of iron, the panels of dried wood, the many layers of paint, the marking of those who work the rails, the tar and grease, and the elements of time all give rise to a perception of landscapes, faces and forms and the intentional abstracts that I find compelling. And, of course, the rail cars are now a canvas for the “taggers”. Their paintings and drawings are full of personal, political, social and playful commentary.
I hope you enjoy the photography that is presented here.
An Artist Statement
In the act of making my artwork I experience as sense of satisfaction that I have not found in anything else I have done in my life particularly in the last two years. I am aware that I have been given a very special gift to be used for my own enjoyment but also as a way to connect with others.
It is an awe-inspiring privilege to be able to communicate the JOY and PEACE evoked by the beauty in the colour and shapes of the small pieces before me as I work.
People have told me that they see a spiritual quality to my work and that is something about it that makes them feel good. What better compliment could I receive than that?
The technique I use is one that requires skill but also the element of chance. It is an organic thing that responds to my direction. Knowing how to utilize what chance has provided as I spread and scrape the paint is at the heart of how I paint.
First I make an abstract painting on a large sheet of paper. Once it has dried I can begin the process of looking for the interesting things and cropping those sections to cut out and work on. The curt out pieces may or may not need something more done to it. If I find something is missing I will work in a collage type approach with small pieces cut from the original painting. Using a circle or little squares I make embellishments to the piece. Some days the process might happen in only a few minutes but most time I spend longer working on something.
I choose to work in small because I like the way that causes a viewer to really look at the pieces. It creates a kind of intimacy that I find rewarding. Causing the viewer to really look hopefully helps communicate what I am saying about the work, which is “Look are what I see. Is it not very beautiful and wonderful to look at?”
I do not put too much planning into the piece choosing instead to working intuitively. When I reach a point where I am not sure what to do next I usually stop and step back from the piece. I check for a good over all design and that my eye is looking at all corners. The piece seems to tell me when it is enough. Usually I have to good sense listen.
Colour is nearly everything in my work. I like to use bright colour, which makes the work vibrate. It creates the character of the piece.
Often when I show my work to people they will tell me they have never seen anything like before. I think that speaks to the fact that my work is spontaneous and one of a kind.
Perhaps my love of folk art and whimsy stems back to my maritime heritage but another dominate theme presents a certain oriental flair which I attribute to a previous life that transpired in the Far East. I feel I am an “Old Soul” and many of my works and beliefs seem to retrace my steps back to that time and place and now- for you to enjoy- my MONKS!
Maggie has dabbled in doll making for many years with special little people in mind.
Upon retirement from the “day job” and, along with her husband, successfully launching 4 children from the nest…it was time to get serious.
Maggie began her own business called Magpie’s Collectables in 1984.
In the beginning she studied with artist David Johnson, Regina, Saskatchewan. she continued to study oils and water colors with various local artists, which eventually led to her own shows and sales. Chosen subjects were seascapes, landscapes and portraits, the latter being a favourite.
Painting was set aside to pursue doll making. Some workshops with different doll artists was just what was needed to stimulate the creativity in that direction.
Maggie has developed her own style which always leans toward the lighter side of life. character dolls and whimsy is usually the subject of choice.
Along with dolls she has a passion for quilt making. miniatures made to scale is what she enjoys most and belongs to various guilds in the area.
Recently some new things have been added to her list of interests which include beading, traditional rug hooking and creating scenes with wool rovings. The love of working with threads and fabrics continues to stimulate her imagination in many directions.
Maggie’s work can be found internationally as well as across Canada in private collections.
Her thoughts……A day withought creating is like a day without sunshine!