Archives for posts with tag: Fine art

Herbes Dix - Open At Six

This Saturday March 2, join us for Herbes Dix/Ten Plants during Montreal’s Nuit Blanche. We are excited to have been selected to be a part of the official programming of Nuit Blanche. The exhibition features mixed media paintings on wood by Natasha Henderson. The paintings depict ten plants that help you survive and thrive through the winter, as selected by Herbalist Tammy Schmidt.

We will open early, at 6pm, to accomodate more people throughout the evening. We recommend coming early (before 8pm) in order to enter our free draw for a painting from the show. We will also offer special discount coupons to everyone who drops by, as well as entice you to play a fun and competitive game “Match The Latin!” So come by before 8pm if you can. See you!

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, unit 917.

Selective Retrospective until November 30

On now at Fleurbain until November 30 is a selection of works by painter Natasha Henderson.

You might know me (Natasha) from Fleurbain. Perhaps you know me from this blog, where I write about art, life, gardening, crafts, DIY, and more. Maybe you have taken a felt-making workshop with me, or joined in a drop-in-painting session in Fleurbain. What you might not know is that I have been a professionally exhibiting painter since 1998.

Changes. Oil on wood

I moved to Montreal from British Columbia in 2007. Since then, I have had a few studio spaces, from home-based ones, to massive industrial ones, to small corners in shared spaces. All the time, I have been painting. Now, I am opting to exhibit a few of my absolute favourite pieces that are still in my collection. Granted there are others that I would have loved to include, but you can pick out your faves from my website, if you would like.

Here is a spin around the exhibition. If you can make it in person, we are open Tuesdays to Thursdays, 3-6pm, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm. Hope to see you!

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, unit 917 in downtown Montreal. Very close to Place des Arts and McGill metros. Open Tuesday-Thursday 3-6, and Saturday-Sunday 12-6.

Albert Einstein

I'm pretty sure Einstein was both a genius and polite

It’s a rocky road, trying to get your art out there. Personally, I’ve submitted hundreds of packets to several types of galleries over the years. A few I’ve found success with, and the rest said “no” or “not at this time”.

One must be persistent in their practice. Persistent and focused… while recognising there are certain bounds that define professionalism and politeness.

I know that many people have a romantic fantasy about artists and “genius”. They feel that a genius should be allowed a certain amount of insanity in their daily behaviour. OK, there are genius artists (and other types of geniuses) out there who are eccentric, who behave differently than many people, and who walk their own path. However, in general, most professionals in the arts are just that… professional. They work. They work hard. They maintain their contacts, their networks, and make sure to not harass nor neglect galleries, writers, curators, other artists, suppliers… they are on time, they follow through with promises, they are polite yet say what they mean (and mean what they say!)

I am not claiming to be perfect. No, I have some work to do, but life is always like that: a work in progress.

some art

I am pushing myself forward to increase my own professionalism, especially as I will soon be curating the art for a new gallery space. Yes, the artist will become curator. I have many artist friends, and I know that I cannot show everyone’s work. I am crafting the artistic vision for the space, and to express a clear vision, one must be able to edit. I will show my own work there from time to time, but I really want to put on fantastic shows of other’s work. The work shown will fit into themes (any artists reading this right now, I’ll announce themes and calls to entry all over the place, you won’t miss out!) and sometimes there will be solo exhibits too.

It’s an exciting venture; and I want to get off on the right foot with this. I am stretching my boundaries, building new comfort-zones, and will soon be meeting new people and responding promptly and professionally to them. I know that I won’t always be met with a similar response… but I’ll be prepared.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

creation during a previous workshop

The brains behind Fleurbain, Tammy Schmidt CHT and Natasha Henderson BFA, are pleased to announce an exciting new service: Customised Workshops.

Combine these two women’s talents for an inventive and innovative experience that is tailored to meet your needs. For groups, clubs, corporate teams, or just a gathering of friends, Tammy and Natasha will craft a unique workshop with the greatest of expertise and care.

Tammy is a Clinical Herbal Therapist with an extensive knowledge of herbal remedies. Outside of her clinical practice, she excels in creative Green ideas for the home, bath, and beauty. Let’s not forget that she is brilliant in herbal/cooking fusion! Tammy will encourage you to grow and create while you learn.

Natasha is a graduate from the Emily Carr Institute of Art in Vancouver, with experience in teaching painting, felt-making, crafting, and general creativity to groups of adults and children alike. Natasha is an empowering instructor who invites the potential in every student.

Fleurbain will come to your location for workshops, or we can meet in our central studio location. It’s up to you.

in the midst of cooking/herbal infusion

A very few ideas for your workshops: Herbal bath treatments and notebook making; Team-building mural painting with a herbal tea session; Puppet-making workshop for kids or adults; Painting with herbal pigments; Informative nature walk while drawing from nature; City-scape walks, seeking nature in an urban environment; Crafting workshops with groups. Check out the two-day experience we hosted recently, in which we steeped herbalism and crafting together to create a unique Spa Weekend.

creative learning through activity

The sky is not even the limit… Give us an email at fleurbain@gmail.com to see what we can do together. Please provide dates and location desired for the workshop, as well as a rough idea of number of participants, their ages, and the purpose or reason for the workshop (eg team-building, fun event, educational, etc).  We will put together a package customized for you and your group.

Please note that we are in the Montreal area.

"Dolce". Oil on canvas. 14"x18". 2010. copyright Natasha Henderson.

Natasha Henderson is a painter who has resided in Montreal for almost four years. Originally from Comox, British Columbia, she graduated with her BFA from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 1998. Her work has been exhibited and collected across North America.

"Ghazal Four". Oil on canvas. 18"x24". 2009.

Her paintings delve into questions about artistic representations of landscape. She uses the language and codes of other artistic forms, such as poetry and music, to examine representations of thought and meaningful patterns within her painting.

"Gathering". Oil on canvas. 20"x30". 2010. copyright Natasha Henderson.

Environmental concerns are touched on in her work, however, those concerns are not forefront. She combines an aching beauty, a seeking of light and meaning, along with the recognition that there is a cycle of life that sometimes just stops.

"Fracture". Oil on canvas. 30"x36". 2010. copyright Natasha Henderson.

In the future she plans to paint using home-made (free range) egg tempera paints and to eliminate toxic chemicals completely from her practice. See much more of her work at NatashaHenderson.com.

"Fermata". Oil on canvas. 48"x36". 2010. copyright Natasha Henderson.

snow painting in herbal pigments

A friend of mine remarked to me a couple of months ago that Arcade Fire’s music is very marchy.  Sometimes when I am listening to them on my Ipod, I test this comment and try to march a little.  Unfortunately, I can usually march along to their music.  This does not really matter to me.  I still like them, even if I am marching to it!  I think this a positive thing to do in March, I have a hunch that there is an Arcade Fire song for any day in March, no matter the weather.  So, get out there and try it!

Coming up in March (the month) in fleurbain:

Resto reviews of three places you really shouldn’t miss in three very different Montreal neighbourhoods (Downtown, St Henri, and The Village).

Herbalism, recipes, photography, cartoons, an art review…

Felted DIY Nesting Bowls and Slippers (it’s still cold outside, baby!)

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, a three-part feature on Canadian Women in The Arts.

Simple herbs for cats… this isn’t your Grandcat’s catnip!

A new web feature: Online Featured Artist. Every Month we will share a new artist with you in this online Gallery, with images of their work, links to their websites, and other cool info about them. Submission requirements will be announced shortly…

A heart-wrenching, mind-boggling, gut-churning anecdotal tale about Professionalism In The Arts.

A Snow Painting and book-making creativity spa workshop! Bringing the web to real life, yet again. Also, we will officially announce our new service: Customised Workshops.

March looks like both a lion and lamb month, so join us as we gear up for Spring!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal

The Author of this post hides behind a rose

by Natasha Henderson, Montreal

A fellow painter, Rick Leong’s work is something that I can appreciate. Nature is the major inspiration for his large-scale oil on canvas works, but he delves into a fairy-tale, mystic and imagined place. The wonder of seeing is ever-present. The shapes and forms that magically appear amongst the trees, moss, sky, and vegetal forms are like a brief reverie within the midst of contemplation. I recall seeing his solo exhibit at the Parisian Laundry just over three years ago… they were intriguing paintings, and they performed that delicate dance between memory, observation, expression, and representation. Good painting, I would call it. So when I realised he was exhibiting at the Parisian Laundry again, I decided to stop in.

I went into the ‘Laundry not knowing what to expect, but my hopes were high. The work of Michael A. Robinson greeted me on the main floor. His work is a grand-scale for a commercial gallery space, and it was effective. The content was perhaps simple (for the serious nature of the work) and highly accessible. I liked it. Visually compelling, visceral, the work made links between stark materials (wood, plaster, simple construction-objects) and bomb imagery, warfare, and the techniques of it. Three large sculptures dominated the voluminous space, accompanied by a few drawings.

A big wall-hanging that was comprised of chiselled plaster-covered wood was covered in scratches and worked-upon images of “falling” bombs. This piece must have been about 12 or 15 feet tall, and massively wide. There seemed to be three juncture-points of the lines, three places where the tension of the composition was highest. It formed a pleasing composition, quite classic in form. Perhaps as “dropping bombs” they would be most effective in this formation, too.

The second large sculptural piece in this show was a selection of thin, flat, jagged edged plaster pieces, carefully arranged in a circle on the floor. There was a sense of “putting the pieces together”, a feeling of trying to figure something out… The individual plaster pieces looked like they were lifted from the large wall hanging, mentioned above.

Also included in Robinson’s exhibit was a series of drawings that appeared to be studies on bombing, attacks, and warfare. They were clearly drawn with an ink pen, using a ruler. There was a graphic, clear, and somewhat spare formality to them, and they seemed like technical drawings that bordered on illustration. Certainly minimalist, cut back to the basics of the forms that inspired them works… again warfare. There were about five or six of these drawings.

The most captivating piece in the show was, hands down, a huge construct of wooden objects. This seemingly exploding form must have been about 20 feet in diameter. I walked well around it, checking to see if there were any eyes poked out by all the projecting pieces of wood. It was comprised of crutches, easels, ski poles, a distinct absence of hockey sticks, and many simple pieces of wood… the type found leftover on construction sites. It was almost a cartoon drawing of an explosion; the drawing made of wood pieces in a 3-D format. The overall effect seemed to be a disassociation from the grit and grime of war.

Overall, the work in Even When Bombs Are Gone spoke more about construction and drafting, layers of building and re-building, and a closeness to materiality than “war“. War was a reference point, with pieces of the visual graphics and planning for war utilised in this work. “War” is isolated as a concept, as a source for dislocated, objective subject matter in and of itself.

After seeing the Main Space exhibit, I went down into The Bunker (yes, it is called that) to see Rick Leong’s show, The Roaming Gloam. This is a space accessible through a staircase underground, and many attendees would need to duck while traversing a certain passage (I did). Once you arrive in The Bunker, however, the ceiling opens up to about 20 feet or so. It’s a great space. Dramatic, no windows, no light but the spotlights on the one large painting on display. It was… a pretty good painting. This painting displayed a magical-seeming forest-scene. The tree-forms were impeccably painted, the bark seemed to glow from within, an ethereal light. Little cute polka-dotted mushrooms added a sense of scale in the bottom. For some reason, though, it all left me feeling a little empty. I think that more context, another couple of pieces perhaps upstairs would have… oh wait… there were two pieces of Leong’s upstairs. In the Upstairs (above the Main Space) Leong showed two pencil drawings, of an accessible scale, approximately 3’ x 2’ . These were exquisite renderings of tree-like shapes, with tendrils and doodads dancing about the treetops and trunks. Very lovely. There was a lot of empty space upstairs…. It was elegant and open, and delightful for some odd reason. I felt that Leong’s exhibit really could have used a couple more pieces. One large painting and two exquisite drawings separated two floors apart just wasn’t enough for me. It should be noted that the gallery suggested in a little text handed out that this large painting would converse with some smaller paintings that Leong was showing (in theory concurrently) up the hill at the McClure Gallery. Not complaining about Leong’s works, rather, I wanted MORE of it.

Having seen the two exhibits at the Parisian Laundry, I was inspired to go up the hill (heeding the instructions of the ’Laundry) to see the additional works of Leong at the McClure Gallery. Alas, that that show was actually set for a later date. Upon re-reading the text provided by The ‘Laundry, perhaps Leong’s exhibit at the McClure gallery is concurrent with one in New York later this fall… well, either way, good job Rick Leong! Three major exhibits in one autumn.

Instead of Leong’s work at the McClure, there was an exhibit of large-scale, beautiful paintings by Russell T. Gordon. It was something of a retrospective/celebration of a fine, fine artist. I loved his paintings. However, I would have cut a couple of the smaller pieces from the show, and one or two of the larger ones as well. Two big pieces were competing with one another on a wall that couldn’t accommodate them. The lesser one I’d have bumped. Just a note, not reviewing that show. But Over Easy – Metaphores en series ran ‘til October 2 and was good painting.

I am glad to have wandered into the gallery today, it’s been too too long. Next gallery I hit up will be the Musee des Beaux Arts. I hear there are some pretty darned stunning pieces down in the contemporary temporary exhibits rooms right NOW…

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