By Janice Guinan
A special show that features the works of renowned artists will take place in September at the NSCC McCarthy Art Gallery, 36 Arthur St., Truro.
"Across the Surface" features several original paintings by each of the founding PLANS artists. PLANS, their group name, stands for Professional Living Artists of Nova Scotia.
The International Artists Association defines a "professional artist" as one who fulfills at least one of the following criteria:
• Earns a living through art making.
• Possesses a diploma in an area considered to be within the domain of the fine arts.
• Teaches art in a school of art or applied art.
• Whose work is often seen by the public or is frequently or regularly exhibited.
• Is recognized as an artist by consensus of opinion among professional artists.
Anyone can print up a business card and claim to be a professional artist, but these distinguished artists have documented proof that they are indeed highly regarded in their profession.
They are well-educated individuals making a living from their field of study and expertise. They have received awards, prizes, grants and honours. Their works are represented in galleries, museums or institutions and are in permanent private, public and corporate collections. Publications that verify their many achievements can be found online, through books, catalogues, art magazines, newspapers and so on.
A strong passion for painting, talent, continued study, determination, persistence and years of hard work has made these painters the great masters they are today.
From a selection of paintings by each of the eight artists in "Across the Surface," the viewer will get a solid sense of what the artist is intending.
Tom Forrestall has become an icon of Canadian painting. His egg tempera paintings and watercolours capture the minute detail of everyday life.
Paul Hannon moved to Nova Scotia in 1989 from the United States and his oil paintings capture both vast landscapes, folksy rural seascapes as well as urban life.
Ed Huner is a figurative artist working primarily in oils. He often combines ideas into a shared space, creating a tension of observation and expectation.
Joy Laking responds to the beauty that surrounds her. Her oil paintings, acrylics and watercolours capture life and light.
Gordon MacDonald's oil paintings recreate his emotional reaction to vast skies and landscapes, while Shelley Mitchell tends to capture small incidents in life on large canvases in oil; such as the oak tree pictured with this article, the lighting on the crest of a wave or the reflection of a boat.
In the studio, Susan Paterson creates meticulous small oil paintings from still life subjects. In the field, she often captures the lighting on a bit of bark or fern in watercolour or pastel.
Steven Rhude shares his philosophy of life and art in the subjects he chooses to paint. One of his series features sheds decorated with images of a historic painter, blocking Nova Scotia roads.
Each artist has their own individual style reflecting superior creative abilities as well as mastery of their chosen medium.
One does not always have the opportunity to meet an artist and discuss their work while viewing it or before purchasing it. These eight artists of Nova Scotia will be present at the opening of their show on Friday, Sept. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.
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.