That Which Inspires Us, May 2024

Opening May 2024! That Which Inspires Us is an upcoming exhibit featuring P. Annie Churchill, George Rutherford, Heather Bennett and Maureen White. These four artists have joined together to explore the elements, subjects and scenes that inspire them. 

Annie Churchill’s artwork often reflects living and painting in Collingwood, surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Georgian Bay Area and Niagara Escarpment. Her goal is to interpret and share the world as she sees it, encouraging the viewer to engage in that vision, creating an appreciation for conservation and preservation of the land and all it sustains.

George Rutherford, an exclusively acrylic artist, finds inspiration from his many excursions in the Southern Georgian Bay region, as well throughout the more northern regions associated with Georgian Bay – Parry Sound, Killarney and Sioux St. Marie.

Art Quilter Heather Bennett finds her muse in color, texture and her environment, often working with a concept in mind that will be conveyed in the work at hand, but at other times impelled to create something abstract. 

Maureen White traverses a constantly changing style and subject matter in her artistic renderings. Many energies emerging into a style of shifting degrees, depending on the time of day, the weather, the place and the direct stimulus of the environment. Inspiration can emerge from the most unlikely sources!

Drop by The Gallery at L.E. Shore on Saturday, May 4 between 2-4pm for the show's reception. Several of the artists will be in attendance and this will be a wonderful opportunity to explore the motivation behind this beautiful collection of work – all while enjoying complementary refreshments and wine. Following the launch on May 4, the exhibit will be open at The Gallery at L.E. Shore until May 29.

George Rutherford

Although George has always enjoyed drawing and painting, his busy career as a Head of School permitted him very little time to do so. Since retiring and moving to Collingwood, he has devoted more of his time and energy to painting, exclusively in acrylics. 

His inspiration comes from his many excursions in the Southern Georgian Bay region, as well throughout the more northern regions associated with Georgian Bay – Parry Sound, Killarney and Sioux St. Marie. 

The genesis of many of his paintings is a scene or a feature that catches his eye. Often a photograph is taken for reference. From there, the idea is translated in a sketch. The intention is to create a pleasing composition. It is at this stage that elements in the photograph are eliminated or altered to suit. Once accomplished, then other preliminary decisions are made – time of day, season of the year, weather conditions, the size of the painting and the like.

Once the painting is started, constant decisions are being made and at times, the composition departs from the original mental concept and sketch. Painting often results in happy accidents, which catch him by surprise and add to the composition. But there are the not-so-happy accidents that occur which prompt him to pause the work and walk away. Returning to the work with new insight and a new challenge is invigorating even though it feels like a bit of a battle at times.

George also enjoys chatting with other artists as they too inspire him. Well known artists that inspire him include Andrew Wyeth, The Group of Seven, Ken Danby and Philip Craig.                  

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Heather Bennett

Heather loves to create art quilt pieces that are colourful and conceptual, with lots of texture and embellishments. She began as a traditional quilter and gradually moved into Art Quilting, loving to experiment with new techniques to challenge herself. Heather belongs to two international Art Quilting groups and has exhibited in Europe, USA and Canada.

Maureen White

“Soon to be famous, not dead yet” has been assigned rather affectionately to a great portion of Maureen’s artistic renderings. Over 60 years, and probably the same among of art workshops with renowned local and international artists, has led to a vastly developed and constantly changing style in her artistic renderings. Many energies emerging into a style of shifting degrees, depending on the time of day, the weather, the place and the direct stimulus of the environment. 

Maureen has studied at The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal; Three Schools, Toronto; The Armory Art School, West Palm Beach, Florida; and The Boca Raton, School of Fine Art, Art Workshops in the Villages, and has enjoyed a vast experience of many instructors. 

P. Annie Churchill

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire... 

Canadian/American visual artist P. Annie Churchill has had a lifelong passion for art and beauty. Inspired in childhood by her mother and great grandfather, both fine artists as well as decorative painters. Influenced and intrigued by the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, Abstract and Surreal artists, Annie studied and imitated their paint styles from an early age. Being educated in the arts in both the US and Canada, Annie has lived and traveled extensively throughout the diverse North American landscape, which has given her a deep appreciation of the incredible terrain from coast to coast. 

Annie's experience working as a scenic artist on movie sets, as a graphic designer and as a colour consultant and decorative painter to clients, contractors and designers has helped to cultivate her current style. She has managed a Toronto gallery, participated in various gallery shows and festivals in Canada and the US (selling work in both countries) and always welcomes commissions. Her medium of choice is presently acrylic. She appreciates its quick drying time, layering and textural abilities, as well as its vibrancy in colours and non-toxic properties. 

Annie's artwork reflects living and painting in Collingwood surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Georgian Bay Area and Niagara Escarpment. Biking the trails, hiking, nordic skiing & kayaking not only inspire but have a calming effect on her mood. Traveling with camera in hand, she photographs and documents her experience for future works in the studio. 

As an artist, Annie's goal is to interpret and share the world as she sees it, encouraging the viewer to engage in that vision, creating an appreciation for conservation and preservation of the land and all it sustains. Putting paint to canvas, capturing the light, shadows and colours, using a variety of layering techniques - all to achieve an expressionistic effect.

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