Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lake Landscapes inspired by Jamie MacLean

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 “I want the viewer to look – relate and then look again.”

-Jamie MacLean

Jamie MacLean is 62 years old and from Toronto.  He started painting in 2003 after a 30 year career as an engineer, plant manager and consultant.

He decided to develop his painting career after a seminar series that challenged his dreams of becoming a professional artist.

His oil landscapes are about capturing the emotional energy and enjoyment from being outside.  He connects with the viewer through the use of strong colours and shadows.  His art conveys his enjoyment and awe of the rugged outdoors by using motifs such as crashing waves, luminescent birches, mossy rocks, and wind-whipped leaves.

Our senior class at Kingsway College used a variety of acrylic paints and blending techniques to create their lake inspired art.

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Frida Kahlo inspired Hummingbirds

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One of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico.   Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident in 1925.

Frida Kahlo is best known for her surrealist imagery and her self-portraits that express the pain, loss and tragedy in her life. Frida’s art dramatises the pain in her life while cultivating an image as a bold survivor.

Frida Kahlo loved pets which is evident in her self-portraits with monkeys, birds, cats and other animals.

Students were inspired by her painting, Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. They used collage, oil pastels, watercolours and acrylic paint to create their paintings.

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Mother’s Day Celebration

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Recently Art in Action was invited to a private event to celebrate Mother’s day. We lead the guests through two projects, the first was inspired by the Canadian painter, Tom Thomson. We used chalk and oil pastels, watercolours and acrylic paints to create our own Muskoka-inspired landscapes.

The second project was inspired by American artist, Lisa Congdon and her birch tree paintings.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate all that Mother’s do to create happy families.

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Bikes Inspired by Michael Valenti

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Michael Valenti has been creating images and advertising campaigns as an Art Director, Designer and Illustrator for more than thirty years.

Michael Valenti works for Fortune 500 companies as well as small wineries in Michigan, creating advertising and design solutions for clients like Allstate, McDonald’s, Eli Lilly, Hallmark, Disney, Morgan Stanley, Pillsbury, Kraft, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble.  Valenti has also worked with smaller clients, including Timberland, Carnival Cruise Lines and the Round Barn Winery.

This summer, Michael Valenti plans to follow the Tour de France and draw each day. He will post daily on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Students did a great job drawing their bikes and creating the landscape background. It’s time to go out for a bike ride…

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Spring Tulips Inspired by Judith Leyster

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Judith Leyster was born on July 28 in 1609.  She is one of the few female artists of the seventeenth century to have emerged from obscurity. Among her known works are portraits, genre paintings, and still lifes common in the Dutch Baroque period.  She is best known for her happy scenes of couples, families, and Dutch social life, with her subjects singing, dancing, and enjoying themselves.

In the late 1630’s, a strange phenomenon occurred in the Netherlands, which had been brewing for a number of years.   It became known as Tulpenwoede (tulip madness) which saw the price of tulip bulbs rocketing.  In some cases, one of these bulbs was worth the cost of a large Amsterdam house.  Many people, who watched the rising value of the tulip bulb, wanted part of the action.  People used their life savings and other assets were cashed in to get money to invest in these bulbs, all in the belief and expectation that the price of tulip bulbs would continue to rise and they would suddenly become rich. Alas, by the end of February 1637 the price of a tulip bulb had crashed and many people lost their savings.

However the rising value of the tulip bulb came as a boon to floral artists.  If people could not afford the actual tulips for their gardens or pots the next best thing was to have a painting of them and even better still would be to have a book full of beautiful depictions of different tulips.   Judith Leyster realised that the public’s love of tulips could be advantageous for her and she produced her own book of tulips.

Students used palette knives and acrylic paint to create their dramatic background. Next a variety of techniques were used to paint their tulips. Our classrooms were filled with visions of spring!

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Inspired by Tim Gagnon

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“I find nature to be the most beautiful thing in the world. My style is defined by my mood. I can paint flowing clean landscapes, if that is how I interpret it, or, I may paint think, slashed paintings, that have emotion and energy.” – Tim Gagnon

Tim Gagnon is an award winning, internationally collected, published artist from Maine. Tim Gagnon was born and grew up in a small town of Washburn in July, 1980. As a young boy his mother would draw pictures and tell Tim stories to go with the drawings. As he grew older he began to enjoy drawing on his own and would draw every day; sometimes cartoons and animals. For Tim, drawing was a way to express emotions in a nonverbal way.

Tim Gagnon paints full time and today he’s a professional artist having sold of 1,000 paintings and licensed prints of work in more than 30 countries. He also teaches online art courses and travels around the world teaching seminars.

Students used liquid watercolours to create their sunset skies and painted the barn and landscape using a variety of acrylic paints.

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