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TiaValerie"ABSTRACTIONS "– Tia Walters & Valerie Nichol

May 2 to June 25

Opening reception Sat. May 7 from 2:00-4:00 pm

"Abstract art is art that does not attempt to to represent external reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, form, colors and textures." Remaining true to this statement, our inspiration is derived from nature, feelings, places, people, life interpreted – often subtle and other times dramatic.

Tia Walters: At first I embraced realism in my painting, but over the years this has evolved into a love of abstraction – the joy of letting paint, movement and mood dictate the finished piece. I crave a unique, strong composition that comes from Mother Nature. The awe of the world around us is my constant inspiration and what I strive to convey through each painting.

Over the years I have found my way by studying with many different teachers, experimenting with watercolors, pastels, and oils before finding my favorite medium, acrylic paint. It allows me to convey the abstract vision that comes from within.

I have been a member of various groups, involved in numerous shows over the years and represented by many galleries. My work hangs in several provinces in Canada and the United States.

Valerie Nichol: My art is an intuitive, ongoing search for the essence – the spirit or energy in form. It's a spiritual search – an attempt to understand my own essence. This quest is the motivating force behind my obsession for creating art. I believe this "essence" is in all living things and connects us to our environment and all life forms. I think that the feeling of "oneness" is crucial at this point in time as humans continue to see nature as separate from themselves and therefor are at ease with polluting and destroying our environment.

In this series, I've focused on the forest. I've always been at home in the woods and for me it's an extremely peaceful, wonderful, magical world. Everything is growing, some are dying and some are decaying. The whole transformation process is happening. In whatever stage something is at, it's beautiful. The old rotting tree stumps with their rings - years of growing now visible – and the intricate amazingly beautiful patterns they form. In several pieces, I've taken clay imprints off of bark or a tree stump and transferred them onto the canvas or plywood to be part of the finished painting.

Molding paste on canvas is the material used for creating the textures in my paintings. Plaster and cement on plywood are used for those pieces that have ventured off the canvas. These materials create a very physical quality – you want to touch it. The acrylic colors express the energy – the spirit.

Creating art for me is a journey – an adventure - into the incredible mystery of who we are and how we connect to this amazing planet we live on.

source: media release, Meaford Hall Arts & Cultural Centre

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