"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“Painting the World”: Conversations with Visual Artists at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival

One of the afternoon events at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival in Great Village, N.S., on 8 August 2015 will be a conversation with four exceptional visual artists: Emma FitzGerald, Carol Laing, Joy Laking and Linda Rae Dornan. This conversation will be moderated by writer and Mount Allison Fine Arts professor Anne Koval. We will be profiling all these artists as the winter and spring progresses.

This post features Portaupique, N.S., artist Joy Laking (check out Joy’s website: http://www.joylakinggallery.com/).

To say that Joy loves to paint is an understatement. For forty-one years she has painted Nova Scotia and captured her view of the world on watercolour paper and in oil and acrylics. She is inspired by all of  the beauty that is Nova Scotia.
Joy’s studio paintings are developed from on location paintings, photos and actual objects and flowers. Sometimes an idea is thought about for a number of years before a painting is started. The actual painting may take several weeks. In all cases the reality in the painting is Joy's. She happily changes or moves objects within a painting.  Strong compositions and a wide range of tonal values are a constant in all of Joy’s paintings. Her watercolours make full use of the white of the paper and her oils and acrylics are full of rich colours.

One of her most recent paintings of Great Village gives a vivid sense of what this winter has been like in Nova Scotia:
In addition to her studio paintings and when ever possible Joy paints on location. It is an exhilarating challenge to set out, find a subject and complete an entire painting in four to seven hours. These paintings are loose, spontaneous and depict the tides, the lighting and the moment. Besides painting on location throughout the Maritimes, Joy loves the landscape and history of England, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Japan and all of South America.

Joy was one of the principals involved in organizing several events during the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary in 2011: a Paint Great Village Day in June; an exhibit of Bishop inspired artwork at the McCarthy Gallery in Truro, N.S., in July; and the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Arts Festival in August. She has been a member and supporter of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia for many years.

Joy has a number of exhibitions in 2015:
1. Fraser Cultural Centre, Tatamagouche, N.S., “Forces and Vagaries” with Steven Rhude (opening early summer)
2. J. Franklin Wright Gallery, Port Hawkesbury, N.S., solo exhibition (opening 17 July, 7 p.m.)
3. Main and Station Gallery, Parrsboro, N.S., "Painting in situ: seven artists, seven days, one environment" (opening 21 August, 7 p.m.)

You can find out more about The Elizabeth Bishop Festival at:

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