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Amy Boyle

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    The work of Claudette Castonguay celebrates an enthusiastic love of life. From an afternoon cocktail party to relaxing with friends on the beach, Claudette's paintings pull you in and convey a feeling of being light as air and unapologetically happy. Claudette's elegant, painterly style easily conveys the delight she feels while painting and communicates this to the viewer through wonderfully saturated colours and delicate brushwork. Warm, charming, and cheerful, her paintings entice the viewer to share in a wonderful world of her imagining where painted gardens offer beautiful fragrant bouquets to decorate tables and send to loved ones.
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    A new collection of paintings honours the season of gardens and gardeners. Painters from across the country have captured brilliant bouquets and fields of flowers bringing a welcome riot of colour inside for this eclectic group show. Participating artists include: Claudette Castonguay, Joanne Gauthier, Elena Henderson, Raynald Leclerc, Josée Lord, Gerda Marschall, Robert Savignac and Victoria based artist Elka Nowicka!
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    Paul Jorgensen's playful landscapes feature bright colours, intricate patterns and joyful vignettes. His unique approach to painting is enhanced by skewed perspectives and a prolific use of intertwined shapes and forms, revealed as lush gardens, secret paths and distant locations. Paul's narrative style further encourages the viewer to immerse themselves in his paintings and dream of travels and adventures to come. In the time of Covid-19 I have had more time in the studio to reflect and expand on my process. I have been excited to experiment with different paint applications and palettes and am revisiting the places I hope to see again, one day soon.
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    Drawn to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Dana finds inspiration in the quiet grandeur of the rainforest. Influenced by the painters of the 1930's including Canada's own "Group of Seven", Dana's unique style has been described as "Emily Carr meets Dr. Seuss". Living in Vancouver, where nature cannot be ignored, Dana turns her artistic expression toward the spacious forests of ancient trees, emerald green rivers and the moody weather around it all. Dana is a noticeable presence in the North American art scene. Nature has always been an influence in Dana's life. Having grown up in rural northern British Columbia she was exposed to hunting, fishing, canoeing and hiking throughout childhood and as a young adult. Her travels and work experience have taken her to the tops of mountains in the Kootenays, to the frozen prairies in northern Alberta, to the Rocky Mountains and across Canada to Ontario and Quebec. Dana has developed a reverence for the natural majesty of this country and it is evident in her painting. At the West End Gallery, 1203 Broad Street, Victoria
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    Alain Bédard's passion for painting started in 1976 and led him to pursue art studies at Cégep de Ste-Foy in Quebec. He then traveled to New York to continue his studies and gain experience in illustration. Never one to res, Alain's desire to push his own boundaries led him to further his eduction at Laval University where he completed his Baccalaureate in 1984. While attending Laval University he had the privilege of studying under renowned Canadian painter Claude A. Simard, who became a great friend and mentor. Having worked as a professional painter for many years, Alain has developed a distinct style based on his travels, love of architecture and brilliant use of colour. ARTIST STATEMENT What I Live... Each painting that I paint, I have lived it and represents a place where I stopped to take the time to live and admire what surrounds me... In this exhibition, you will find sometimes the countryside, sometimes the small villages or the big cities which all had different things to say, to see and to do. My subjects are meant to be a message of hope and freedom. It is a pleasure for me to share these memories with you and to bring them to you in turn. Each of you has already experienced unforgettable moments and I want my paintings to make you live happy and beautiful moments. A figurative painter with an impressionist touch, that's who I am.
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    Victoria artist Ron Parker captures the beauty of southern Vancouver Island with a keen eye. His magnetic scenes bring landscapes to life and invite the viewer to walk into nature. An accomplished artist for over 35 year, Ron's career started in wildlife painting. Driven to depict realistic images of wildlife in their surrounding environment, Ron was working with landscape imagery even before he consciously decided to dedicate himself to it. After 10 years of working with animals it was natural for him to challenge himself with a new direction. Ron's landscape paintings envelop the viewer and draw you into the heart of the scene. When he started working on his new direction he striped back his style to produce paintings that were more about form and essential elements rather than true representation. As he progressed on this new path his focus evolved to incorporate atmospheric light and attention to detail. Ron's paintings are now masterful renditions of photorealism that maintain a painterly authenticity. Just as I have never hiked the same trail more than once , I like to look at my art as a journey where I am always going forward and taking a new path. -Ron Parker
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    West End Gallery Victoria is pleased to welcome Sacha Barrette! Sacha has been delighting collectors in our Edmonton location for over three years and we are very excited to bring his work to our Victoria clientele. Sacha obtained his Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from Université du Québec à Montréal in 1982 and went on to work successfully at a number of advertising agencies. Having also worked teaching private art lessons Sacha's love of painting intensified and he made the leap of faith to devote himself entirely to painting. Inspired by his travels across North and South America, Sacha's colour palette is a rich combination of deep ochre, burnt orange, rich burgundy, and vibrant blue. Enticing viewers down familiar alleyways and tranquil landscapes Sacha's paintings offer a vibrant invitation for your eyes to travel throughout the canvas,
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    Vancouver Island artist Steven Armstrong's latest collection of paintings explores the rugged landscapes and windy skies of Vancouver Island and offer an opportunity to investigate a deeper relationship with the natural environment. Every painting becomes an individual communication on perspective and paintings become as much about presence as they are about place. Understanding a place enough to convey its essence visually is never instantaneous. In his attempt to translate an immediate experience of place through paint on canvas, we enter a dialogue on an emotional and enduring level. Lone objects come to represent more than simply trees, rocks, earth, and sky - they suggest places that carry meaning for us as individuals, and we relate to them over the passage of time.
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    West End Gallery presents Peter Shostak's second major solo exhibition of twenty-five new paintings in Victoria. Born in 1943 in Bonnyville, Alberta, to Ukrainian immigrant parents, Peter Shostak grew up on the family farm working and playing pond hockey with this brothers. When the time came, he moved away to study at the University of Alberta and graduated with a Master's Degree in Education. Since 1979 Shostak has been working as a professional artist painting vignettes reminiscent of Alberta's past and present. In 2003, Peter Shostak received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his outstanding exemplary contribution to Canada. This exceptional collection of twenty-five new paintings captures the essence of life and seasons on the prairies. His paintings depict children cavorting in snow, the endless and endlessly rewarding toil and ritual of prairie life and highlights traditional Ukrainian heritage. For Shostak, little has changed on the land and in the hearts of those descendants of the first hardy settlers in the West. "The game was played by many on countless frozen ponds, farms and schoolyard rinks. These hockey players played in the daytime, by the light of the low winter sun, and in the evenings, by the light of the bright moon and stars. They used homemade or store-bought hockey sticks and played with or without skates." - Peter Shostak
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    Mary Ann Laing is a Victoria based artist who has been painting for over 30 years. Inspired by the landscapes around Vancouver Island her colourful and playful renditions of beloved places bring joy to the viewer. Using oils, her colour palette is a rich combination of complementary blues and oranges with the ever-present lush greens associated with the West Coast landscape. With each painting she tells a story and Mary Ann is able to bring the viewer on a visual journey where you can bring your own experience and layer it with hers. A signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Mary Ann's work has been included in many exhibitions over the past 25 years. ARTIST STATEMENT This collection of works was inspired by memories of places I visited with my husband and children over the past decades. I hope to draw people into the world of peace and joy I recall as we explored these various spots on Vancouver Island. My works are not to copy the physical, but to communicate the spirit of those glorious moments that remain in my heart for my rest of time.
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    Elaine Brewer- White was born in Saskatoon in 1961 and studied at Emily Carr University, she now resides in Vancouver. Known for her provocative personifications of real and imaginary people, her sculptures have been widely exhibited across North America. They feature in many corporate collections and public art installations. In her latest series, Elaine’s sense of humour and whimsy shines the spotlight on some of the great Canadians we are proud to represent our country both home and abroad! ARTIST STATEMENT In these strange times of worry and isolation I began reflecting on my country and which people have helped shape my Canadian life. This show is a small collection of past and current Canadians who have helped define Canada as the remarkable country it is. Scientists, naturalists, politicians, writers, actors, astronauts, painters, musicians, these people have all contributed in some way to make our country a better place. Emily Carr showed me to look inside and beyond when creating, Margaret Atwood helped me to love story-telling, David Suzuki taught me to champion the environment, Chris Hadfield helped me to look up to the sky in wonder, KD Lang showed me the awesomeness of the human voice, Oscar Peterson gave me a reason to stick with my piano lessons, Ryan Reynolds showed me how humor and social activism go together, Gord Downie thrilled me with his songwriting and taught me about grace and courage. A Mountie, a beaver and some Canada geese somehow always make me proud, Pierre and Justin Trudeau demonstrate how hard it is to steer this country through troubled waters, Dr. Bonnie Henry taught me empathy, humility and calm when facing great unknowns, and Michael Buble a singer of jazz and a joyful soul remind me that it is still a wonderful world. This small series was created in 3 months. There are so many more remarkable Canadians I would like to portray. I plan to expand on this collection of Icons as well as lesser known Canadians. Oh Canada - we stand on guard for thee - and each other!
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    The West End Gallery is pleased to be resuming regular business hours! Starting August 1, 2020, the gallery will be open Monday-Friday 10-5:30pm, Saturday 10-5pm and Sunday 11-4pm. At this time, we are limiting large group visits to our gallery. If the number of visitors are above our comfort level, we kindly ask you to wait until we can accommodate safe physical distancing. We want to thank our community for supporting our small business! We truly appreciate the patience and compassion shown to us over the past five months. Our family has been working hard for the past 45 years, showcasing the best examples of Canadian art. We have strived to create a safe and inviting environment for you to visit our gallery. We hope to see you soon!
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    Big Cities, Private Moments is Fraser Brinsmead's hotly anticipated collection of new paintings at West End Gallery in Victoria! Based on landscapes from his travels, Fraser captures the private moments that bring the immensity of the whole down to the intimate of the individual. Capturing iconic cities such as New York and San Francisco, Fraser has also set his artistic eye to the more familiar cities of Vancouver and Victoria. Drawn to the urban landscape in its varied forms, he's persistently drawn to capture the humanity within the space. In some instances the buildings loom large and overpower the people around them while in other, there is a sense of balance and peaceful co-existence. A constant muse, the urban landscape offers an endless source of inspiration to capture Fraser's attention.
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