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

Saturday, April 10, 2021

At the Elizabeth Bishop House Great Village, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia artists Joy Laking and Susan Patterson sent a week together at the Elizabeth Bishop House in early February 2021. In their own very distinctive styles, they captured the week in paintings. They painted out of the windows, as well as the interior of the historic old house. To learn more about both painters, go to their websites.


Susan Paterson (https://susanpaterson.ca) obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University in 1980 and has been a practicing artist ever since. She has exhibited extensively across Canada, is represented in private and corporate collections around the world, and has won many awards for her work, including a Purchase Award in Art Renewal Center’s 15th International Salon; second place, Still Life, in Art Renewal Center’s 14th International Salon, and second place, as well as finalist in several BoldBrush online art competitions. She was awarded an Elizabeth Greenshield grant, several Artist‘s Residencies, Nova Scotia Arts council grants and a scholarship to study at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto. She is a juried member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour and has been featured in various publications, including International Artist magazine. Her work was included in “Terrior, a Nova Scotia Retrospective” at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2016; ‘Capture2014, Nova Scotia Realism’, juried by Tom Smart, and ARC 14th Salon Live Exhibit in Barcelona, Spain, 2019. 

“I was so pleased to be able to spend a week with my good friend Joy Laking at the Elizabeth Bishop House last winter. We were quite lucky to arrive just before a major snowstorm which provided us with beautiful views from the house. We painted from inside looking out, because it was extremely cold that week, too cold to work outside. Besides the landscapes I was very inspired by the house itself. Early in my career I did a lot of paintings of my grandmother's house and being in the EB house reminded me of that. It brought back memories of the warmth, coziness and history of an old, well-loved home. I loved the light in the house and painted it coming through lace curtains, reflecting off glass, hardwood floors and papered walls. Joy and I worked long hours and the week went by quickly, but it was such a joy to spend time in the home and, through drawing and painting it, come to know it better.”


Joy Snihur Wyatt Laking (www.joylakinggallery.com) graduated from the University of Guelph with a Fine Art Major in 1972. Since that time, she has lived and painted professionally in Nova Scotia. Joy has had a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia which subsequently toured for a year and was an instigator and a part of Capture 2014, an exhibition of realism curated by Tom Smart at Dalhousie Art Gallery 2014. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. She received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012, the Halifax Woman of Excellence Award 2009, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marigold Centre 2020/2021.She has been featured in many magazines and books, Including International Artist.
In 2020, Joy’s book The Painted Province, Nova Scotia through an artist’s eyes was published. Joy’s play “Invisible Prisons” has been performed around the world, and in 2020 was performed virtually by the Zucker School of Medicine in New York. ““The Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village is a cultural treasure, and I am proud that I am a volunteer on the committee to help make it sustainable. Although it is only ten kilometres from my home, it was an absolutely wonderful experience to spend a week there painting with my friend Susan Paterson. We started early and painted late and enjoyed the surrounding of the old house, the window views and the friendship. Artists are generally solitary people, and it is always a special treat for me to have time to chew the fat with Susan.”

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Nova Reads Elizabeth Bishop

The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia will host a Zoom reading of Elizabeth Bishop's poetry by Nova Scotia writers on 14 April. You can find out more and how to register and attend by clicking here. One of the principals involved is Brian Bartlett, well-known and prolific Halifax writer and big EB fan. Nice to see the WFNS doing this for National Poetry Month.