Paintings reveal talent of art council
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 10:38 am
Admirers of local art have the rare opportunity to view the work of artists who are not often showcased.
Few people have viewed paintings by Sheep Creek Arts Council members Jackie Brassard and Tina Winistok, but during the next two months the painters’ creations will be displayed on the gallery walls of the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley.
“I’m excited,” said Brassard. “It’s always good to see what other people think of your art. Constructive criticism is always good.”
Brassard, who lives on an acreage west of Okotoks, has been creating art with acrylics and watercolours for eight years.
“I always had a little bit of artistic flair in me but I never did anything with art,” she said.
Things changed when Brassard took a watercolour workshop in 2001. The following year she joined the Sheep Creek Arts Council workshops with experienced artists such as Brent Laycock, Vivian Wiebe, Neil Godfrey, Rex Beanland and Michael Downs and the opportunity to dabble in various mediums of painting opened Brassard’s eyes.
It’s these workshops that gave Brassard her inspiration and helped her hone her skill.
“It gives you ideas you might not have had before,” she said. “You apply them to the way you do your style. There is always something new and different to learn.”
However, Brassard has never shown her work in a public venue. Her landscapes, prairie scenes and floral paintings decorate the hallways of her home.
“My house is a gallery,” she said. “I like the beauty of it.”
Among her favourites is a sunset painting of granaries in a field she photographed while driving to Saskatoon.
“This is right now just something I like to do,” she said. “If someday it turns into people really liking it and wanting to buy my paintings that would be awesome.”
Winistok, who lives in Turner Valley, dabbled in paints several years ago but it wasn’t until recently she began taking workshops and developing her own style as an artist.
“I’ve always loved art and I’ve always been interested in art,” she said. “It’s like an escape. It’s like you’re in another world.”
The oil and acrylic painter favours landscapes, still lifes and people. She is currently working on a painting of her husband playing his guitar.
“I love people watching,” she said. “I just find people very interesting. I did my first portrait of my daughter two years ago and it just turned out fabulous.”
Although Winistok has received requests to paint portraits, she isn’t ready to take on the task.
“I haven’t really pursued that,” she admitted. “I just don’t feel like I could do what somebody else envisions. When I paint it’s intuitive.”
Winistok is learning as much as she can from fellow council members and local artists.
“I just feel like my work is constantly changing and progressing,” she said. “I’ve been trying to take classes with artists whose style I really like and learn more about colour and what makes a good painting. I feel like I’m just beginning and I’m really excited about progressing from there.”
While Winistok used to be afraid of starting a new painting her confidence has improved with experience and the company of fellow painters.
“I like painting with other people because you get their input and inspiration,” she said. “I love looking at others and what they are doing and get really inspired. I enjoy the camaraderie in the group.”
Inspiration is not hard to come by in a community like Turner Valley.
“There is a real variety of talent out here, musicians and artists, and it’s an inspirational area to live in,” she said. “The skies and the views are amazing out here. It’s a great area to live in for an artist.”
As for showcasing her artwork, Winistok said that is something she is getting used to after displaying her paintings in conjunction with other artists at the Foothills Country Hospice art sale twice.
“It’s so personal and it took me a long time to let people see my paintings,” she said. “I know I’ve got a long way to go so I feel like I don’t want people to look at it. Everyone is a critic when they are looking at your paintings.”
Winistok and Brassard’s artwork will be on display at the Sheep River Library until Feb 27. An artist’s reception will be held on Feb. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.