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Hot Hot Hot (Posted On: Wednesday, June 01, 2011)

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June’s show, HOT! HOT! HOT!, at the Mad & Noisy Gallery in Creemore, promises sizzling colours, whimsical themes and joyful experiences.   Painter Kai-Liis McInnes and glass artist Eleanor Brownridge are celebrating the arrival of summer with a show based on their travels to hot climates, as well as hot lazy days in Southern Ontario.
Brownridge, who works in kiln-formed

glass, has created new 3-dimensional wall hangings that will transport you to an underwater tropical paradise.  “I’ve always been fascinated by fish,” she says, “whether snorkelling or viewing them in an aquarium, because of their bright colours and unbelievable shapes. Over the past year, I’ve been working on building greater depth into my scenes through layering, multiple firings and slumping.  I learned that by mounting my glass a few inches out from the wall, changing light and shadows add movement to the viewing experience.”
 
The chameleon nature of wind, captured by sails and trees is another favourite theme of Brownridge’s that can be seen in her molten movement sculptures and stained glass windows. “When manipulating red-hot glass you don’t know how it will look until it cools. A few months ago, one of those ‘eureka’ moments, when I opened the kiln, resulted in an award-winning piece that will be included in this show.”

Kai-Liis McInnes’ imaginative watercolour and mixed media paintings are inspired by travel to Africa, Mongolia, Peru, the Arctic, Greenland, Australia, and her own farm where she keeps 15 alpacas with personalities, 2 Icelandic horses, a mini donkey, 2 collies and 6 cats. “Sometimes, though, I’m inspired by just by the colours and shapes on the paper,” she says.  “The paintings are imaginative and seem to evolve by themselves, surprising me all the way – until I put down the brushes & exclaim to the cat or dog who’s listening, ‘That’s it!  I’ve said what I want to say!’”

McInnes’ paintings are primarily watercolour, but she does enhance them with other media, such as India or acrylic ink, gel pens, powdered charcoal, coloured pencils, gouache and stencils. Although the final multi-media painting often looks like a collage, it isn’t. McInnes applies discipline to ensure a pleasing balance in composition, design and colour.

Both artists work independently – McInnes on her alpaca farm in Mulmur Hills and Brownridge in an apple orchard south of Nottawa – yet their backgrounds are surprisingly similar.  Both started out in health care careers – McInnes in physical and occupational therapy, Brownridge in dietetics – before switching to right-brain art careers through a series of workshops and self-taught experimentation.  It was only when the two artists, independently, submitted work to the Mad and Noisy Gallery based on African sisterhood that the similarities in their style and love of colour became apparent and the two were partnered for this show.

HOT! HOT! HOT! will be featured at the Mad and Noisy Gallery, at 154 Mill St. Creemore, from June 4th to 27th.  The artists will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, June 4th from 2-5 pm.  The gallery is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11am to 5pm., Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from noon to 4pm. For more information contact the gallery at 705-466-5555 or info@madandnoisy.com.

Photo Credits

1)    Glass artist Eleanor Brownridge opens kiln after final fusing of piece for June show at the Mad and Noisy Gallery in Creemore.
2)    Eleanor Brownridge’s fusion glass sculpture – Autumn Reflections
3)    Eleanor Brownridge’s fusion glass wall hanging – Tropical Paradise
4)    Kai-Liis McInnes painting – African Women
5)    Kai-Liis McInnes painting – African Animals
6)    Kai-Liis McInnes painting - Birds 

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