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‘Art, in its many forms, exists in every community, every culture, and every country in this world of ours’

About art, by Janice Guinan
I love taking a walk on the beach, exploring the countryside, setting sail to watch the whales and just relaxing to admire the beauty and complexities of life.

An oil painting by Gordon MacDonald called "The Woman From Everywhere."

We are surrounded by so many opportunities here in Nova Scotia to observe and appreciate our unique homeland, the animals, the land, the sky and the sea. We are rich in diversity of people too, a beautiful palette of different skin tones, hair and eye colours. No wonder this province has such artistic appeal. Landscapes, seascapes, portraits, rural and cityscapes, still life, there is no limit to our subject matter.

            Art, in its many forms, exists in every community, every culture, and every country in this world of ours. Children, the world over, instinctively make art as it is part of our fundamental human behavior. For some it may become a past time or hobby, for others it becomes their passion, their job, their livelihood, but who will not admit to experiencing joy in art. Whether we remember finger painting as a child or still drawing doodles as we talk on the phone, art is a part of who we are.

Maybe you are someone who feels they cannot draw or maybe it does not even interest you, but art surrounds us and if we don't take time to appreciate it we rob ourselves of a very precious joy. Take a moment, pick a flower and really look at its design, analyze the colour, the texture, the tiny lines and dots. Isn't it incredible? So fragile yet so complex. Sometimes I think it is that childlike wonder that compels us (at least some of us) as artists to try to capture what we see and or how it makes us feel. The things we view compel us to closely examine what is really around us to gather a deeper appreciation of all that surrounds us. The subject matter is endless and exciting.

            I believe art can and should encourage us to learn more about life. Don't let life just happen, explore, discover, analyze and learn more while having fun doing so. Take time to  enjoy all those every day things that make up a painting . We all walk and live in the subject matter that becomes a painting. We can relate to what we see and gather a greater appreciation for what the artist has captured or conveys. Albert Einstein once said, “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.”

            In the exhibit Across the Surface coming to the McCarthy Art Gallery on Sept. 5, the viewer will see examples of contemporary portraiture, still life, seascape and landscape by renowned artists; Tom Forrestall, Paul Hannon, Ed Huner, Joy Laking, Gordon Mac Donald, Shelley Mitchell, Susan Paterson and Steven Rhude. Look closely at their creations and you will relate to what you see because it is a part of us, our time and place on this earth, meant to be shared, enjoyed and experienced.

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column will appear each week in the Truro Daily News. Guinan also writes a weekly column for the Colchester Weekly News. Both can be viewed online at www.trurodaily.com.


Organizations: Truro Daily News, Colchester Weekly News

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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