Persuasions of Colour
Donna Ion and Mary Wolfe
4-20 December 2020
Donna Ion - Artist Statement
My latest paintings draw their creative inspiration from our magnificent natural environment on the West Coast. Within minutes we can be walking and communing with nature amongst the tallest of trees or on windswept ocean beaches. Most of us are urban dwellers now, but we make an effort to connect with nature in our own ways. I try to connect viewers with the intrinsic beauty of the living world that surrounds us not by painting ‘scenes’ but by creating a mood, a vignette, that stirs an artistic appreciation. I want my paintings to make the viewer feel the beauty and magic of standing in the forest among the great trees or looking through them to the ocean beyond.
Whenever I am walking in nature I look for the essential elements that evoke the spirit of the place, its basic structure. There is a quiet beauty in the environment everywhere, so I take lots of photos and from these I choose a good composition to capture the moment. My oil and acrylic paintings are impressionistic and distil the multitude of elements into a creative canvas. Composition, light, colour and pattern are all important in creating the desired effect.
My paintings have been described as uplifting, spiritual, peaceful and joyful. For the Chapel Gallery I am showing a variety of large to small format oil and acrylic paintings. I hope you will enjoy them.
Donna was born in Belleville, Ontario into an air force family. Postings took them to bases in Ontario, France, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Donna graduated from high school in Kamloops with a passion for geography and studied for an honours geography degree at UBC. Upon graduation she obtained a job with the Census of Canada where she met her husband Bob. She took time off to raise their two children, then went back to school at UVIC to obtain a teaching degree. For 20 years Donna taught French Immersion in Victoria elementary schools.
She has travelled extensively in Canada and in Europe, mostly in France where her daughter lived for nearly 20 years. This permitted a great exposure to many wonderful works and styles of art.
Upon retirement from teaching, she took her lifelong interest in art and took up paintings in acrylic and oils with a strong leaning towards interpreting our local Vancouver Island environment. Her work has evolved for over 15 years and in the process has become a distinctive signature style.
Donna’s work has been shown several times at the juried Sooke and Sydney Fine Arts Shows. She has had three solo shows at Eclectic Gallery in Oak Bay. Viewers may have seen her art in many venues in Victoria including Padella Bistro and the Oak Bay Marina. For over 15 years she has been a twice annual participant in the Oak Bay Studio Art Tours. Finally, her art has been shown for 8 years in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Rental Program.
Mary Wolfe - Artist Statement
Preparation for “Persuasions of Colour” began early in my life. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it was my family who taught me to see. My grandmother taught me to love colour. My father, architect, photographer and artisan of wood, taught me to see light, form, and composition. My mother, a knitter and weaver, taught me the tactile pleasure of working with fabric and fibres. Embracing the beauty of the natural world in its four seasons was a priority, a way of living. It quietly informed my awakening sensibilities and became the primary source of my artistic impulse. Today that same source of nature, as stunningly displayed here on the West Coast, offers me an unending visual feast of inspiration.
In my current work I am exploring yarn as a medium. Although a single strand of fibre is only a simple line, by layering many strands a body of material is created that when sewn together under netting, presents as colour, shape, and texture.
The images in my work are impressionistic, more suggestive than realistic – sky, sea, and landscapes, as well as abstract probings into the essence of colour, light, and texture. Some pieces can hang horizontally or vertically, inviting different engagements by the viewer.
Making art kindles my deep listening. In addition to fibre art, I write prose poetry, play the harp, grow a garden, and use photography to capture moments of numinous beauty. The process of creating asks to where I am being pulled and to what I am being persuaded? It encourages inner-journey reflection and offers wonder at what may lie beyond the visible. Making art fills me with hope and keeps me growing at the edge.
I am grateful for the opportunity to share this show with Donna Ion.
Born in California, Mary immigrated to Canada with her family when she was 10. Through her teen years they lived in a small isolated community at the north end of Kootenay Lake. She returned to the States for university, graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.
She and her husband raised their two children on a small homestead in the Okanagan before moving to the Coast. Earning a certificate in Kodaly Pedagogy from the University of Victoria, she taught music at the Vancouver Academy of Music and out of her home until they retired to Sooke in 2000.
Inspired by pieces in the Sooke Fine Arts Show, Mary combined her sewing skills with her interest in art and began creating art quilts. As a founding member of Fibres & Beyond, Mary has been continually encouraged over the past two decades to develop her skills as an artist. She now lives in Victoria where she is a serious gardener, has a vocation as a Spiritual Director, and creates fibre art.
Her art appears regularly in the Sooke Fine Arts Show, in ‘Consider the Lilies’ shows, and hangs in private collections across Canada, USA, UK, Japan and Australia.