Monday, August 22, 2011

Inspired Art Studio Fall Session

At Inspired Art Studio we are dedicated to providing a positive and encouraging environment for creativity to flourish in our community. We provide a high standard of art education for all ages and skill levels. We not only support and cheer on our students but also our instructors. We are here to inspire creativity in life.

Inspired Art Studio
I am very pleased to announce that Inspired Art Studio is finally open! The studio is open from 12-9pm Monday to Saturday. We offer weekly classes for all ages, workshops, model and artist sessions, and art supply sales.
Here is our website where you can find the list of courses offered, info on our instructors, and upcoming events at . We will be at the Tri-Leisure Centre Registration Night this Thursday the 25th from 6-9pm.  Inspired Art Studio will also have a Registration and Open House this Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th from 12-7pm where you can come and check out the studio/classroom, register for classes, meet our instructors, and even try your hand at painting.
If you have any inquiries please contact me at [email protected]  

A bit about Inspired Art Studio...
   The Inspired Art Studio was just a sparkle of an idea that started fleeting around my brain when I was graduating from University.  In University I started to tutor and instruct private art classes and workshops. People were continuously asking if I would teach them how to draw, paint, or teach kids art projects.  Then things spread by word of mouth. People seemed to enjoy my teaching style and projects/curriculum. I kept getting offers to instruct and things seemed to fall into my lap. I truly enjoyed instructing and it helped me understand and develop my work even further. The creative energy that would surround me while instructing would propel and inspire my own work habits. This lead to instructing and giving demos for the past 10 years along with creating and selling my own work. The sparkle of the Inspired Art Studio then turned into a dream.
   A few years ago I bought a house in Stony Plain (30min west of Edmonton). It is where I grew up and in a town that I love. I bought this house for it's location and for the basement which I turned into a studio and classroom. At first I just taught a few classes here and there when ever requested. I also have a portion of it that is designated as my own working studio area. I started getting models in as well and inviting other local artists to join me in order to share the cost of a model. I started artist sessions because it gets to be a bit lonely and daunting when you are the only one you know in the area that is painting and it's hard to work without some sort of critique or input. I found it more cost effective to teach out of my home as well. It is extremely expensive to rent space in Parkland County.
   Soon, I found that every week I was getting calls or emails requesting art classes. I looked at my community and saw that there was very little offered in the way of art education. There are a couple of craft workshops offered here and there but there is no real weekly on-going fine art education, let alone classes that use the history of art and design. I see a need in our community and I am more than honored to fill it. One of my main problems and concerns is that I have small children and even if I was single and lonely there was no way that I could teach all the classes that this community needs without getting very burnt out. So I have come across some wonderful instructors over the years that are very passionate at what they do. I couldn't do it without them. They have education and/or fine art and design degrees and are artists themselves. So this fall Judy Smallwood and Ashley Hout, two very talented and creative ladies, will be joining me in instructing.
I hope you can attend our Open House and celebrate my dream come true!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Whyte Avenue Art Walk 2011 and catching up to speed

I have been fortunate to be very busy lately. Busy enough to keep me away from blogging. Which is always hard to do in the summer. Sorry but I would rather be outside.
It has been raining for a week now allowing the spawning of trillions of blood thirsty mosquitoes, so now is the perfect time to jot some things down and get you up to speed on my artist life.
On June 25th and 26th I participated in the Alberta Ballet House & Garden Tour in Edmonton. More than several of my paintings were displayed in the 'Classic Modern' home owned and designed by Thirdstone inc [^].
Prior to that I had some of my still life work go up on display at the Tasty Tom's restaurant on Whyte Ave, Edmonton.
I have been traveling a bit as well. In May I went closer to the equator to warm up with my significant other before summer. In June I traveled to Canmore, Alberta for their ArtSpeak festival. It was a wonderful experience. I gathered inspiration and reference material from both amazing places. I am looking forward to the travels to come in the future.

This week I am gearing up for the annual Whyte Avenue Art Walk. Once again you will be able to find me in front of Laurel's Flowers 10404 - 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB. I will be there painting, displaying my work, and chatting July 15th-17th from 10am to 5pm.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Art Classes

Summer Art Week
At Inspired Art Studio
July 11th to 15th
Classes for all ages running all week.

I will be teaching during Summer Art Week at Inspired Art Studio. For more details check out the Inspired Art Studio's new website (still under construction, but functional). To register or for more information contact me at [email protected].

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Inventory of Paintings from the Sleeper and the Insomniac Show

 The Insomniac #2
40" x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas
$1,100.00 CAN

 The Sleeper #1
Oil on Canvas
$700.00 CAN

 The Insomniac #3
Acrylic on Canvas
$2,800.00 CAN
A close up and side angled view of The Insomniac #3 to give a better view of the gloss and matte details in the dress.

 The Sleeper #4
Oil on Canvas
$1,400.00 CAN

 Close up of The Sleeper #4.
 Close up of The Sleeper #4.

The Insomniac #4
Acrylic on Canvas
$2,800.00 CAN
 The Sleeper #2
Oil on Canvas

 The Insomniac #1
48" x 36"
Acrylic on Canvas
$1,400.00 CAN

The Sleeper #3
Oil on Canvas

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Artist Reception and Appreciation

Me between a Sleeper #3 and an Insomniac #3
    I lost my breath when I stepped into the Gallery. Seeing my solo show for the first time had a very powerful effect over me.  All the recent paintings I have been lovingly creating are finally displayed in a distinguished environment that truly lets the work shine. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I focused, breathed deeply, and continued to take one step in front of the other confronting the work in this new light.
   The Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery is a perfect place for my show 'The Sleeper and the Insomniac'. The simplicity and history of the space and the wonderful natural lighting provide the perfect ambiance for this series of paintings. It was very inviting as people strolled in and out of the gallery.

  I was happily overwhelmed by all my friends, family, and community that came to the Artist Reception on May 1st to meet and support me. We shared some wine and laughs. We talked about the work. I received wonderful input and encouragement. So I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all that have helped me to get to this point.
   My children were beyond well behaved when mommy was working in her studio. They would work on their own projects. My daughter dabbled in tempra paints and my son constructed elaborate sculptures and robots out of boxes and several rolls of tape.
   My Significant Other was incredibly helpful. He was not only forced to live around the spaces these larger paintings took up but he was also a wonderful spring board for ideas. He was an amazing listener as I was half talking to him and half talking to myself about issues and situations that came up during the process of creating these paintings. He was my model, child herder, canvas carrier, and grand encourager. With an open ear, mind, and heart he unquestioningly and understandingly supports me. I would love to climb a mountain and yell out for all to hear the emotional gratitude I have for him.

    I would also like to send a very appreciative thank you to John Maywood, the curator, and head honcho at the gallery. He threw this wonderful opportunity in my lap with much faith that I could complete the work in time. His belief in me gave me confidence. His words and critiques gave me the courage to take a few more risks with this work allowing me to be more bold and daring. This show allowed me to do work that I really wanted to create. This allowed me to create paintings that I am truly proud of.

 John Maywood and I in a discussion.
   I would also like to extend a warm thanks to Seamus Smyth who wrote a wonderful article on the show. Since his article on the show was published I have been stopped by people I don't know several times and asked about or congratulated on the show. Seamus' articles are incredibly enjoyable to read. He was very attentive and I feel he did a great job of capturing the essence of what I do visually through his written words. (I have included a copy of his article below.) I am looking forward to my next post which is a project that Seamus and I have worked on together.
   I would also like to thank Adam Swanson who so kindly came out to take the wonderful photos that I have included in this post. I think his work is amazing and he really captured a part of me. He made both me and my work look amazing.
   The Sleeper and The Insomniac will be up until May 10th. I encourage you to go and see it.

The following is the article published in the Stony Plain Reporter on April 29, 2011

Stony Plain night owl discovers beauty in her sleepless evenings

By Séamus Smyth

 STONY PLAIN - A sudden idea for a new colour, a new image, perhaps even a new project, erupts into her consciousness as she begins to consider dosing off for the evening.

Instead, while everyone she is in contact with has drifted off into a deep slumber, she makes her way down to her studio basement and turns on a sole, dim light to allow her creative forces to release as they please. 

She feels no guilt for she is not neglecting any of her loved one's time, who are sound asleep as she paints away in the heart of the night. 

Local artist, Daphne Cote embraces the midnight hours, a time where her skills appear to flourish. Her latest work acknowledges her odd work schedule, but also praises the ability of others to peacefully drift away for countless hours in her latest display at the Stony Plain Multi Cultural Heritage Centre.

"The Sleeper and the Insomniac" captures two distinctly different settings that somehow complement each other when viewed side by side.

"The Insomniac" a dark, monocramatic, acrylic piece portrays a fashionable young female who appears to be anxiously awaiting for the night to begin, or perhaps someone to join her for the evening.

"She may be waiting or she might be bored. It is clearly a dramatic scene," said Cote who made it clear that she preferred to allow viewers to create their own perception of what is going on.

"I would hope that it would evoke something in their own lives or that it might remind them of a person they know or a time in which they lived," she explained.

Suggestions such as it may remind one of a good time with friends or even a time when someone was neglected, which may be upsetting to some.

While "the Insominac," blends elegance with a twist of doubt, "The Sleeper," is a comfortable, sea of blankets.

Although it may be difficult for her to relate to someone who can sleep for over six hours a night, Cote understands that some people just need to rest their bodies and minds more than others.

Both concepts are displayed in various sizes with both reaching just under four by five feet at their largest scale.

I do prefer to go bigger. I can get a bit more physical with them; they fit like a good dress," she laughed.

Not only is it a personal preference to stretch her work out to an extravagant size, but she considers where a fan of her work would wish to place the work in his or her home.

"I do kind of hold that in mind that these will have a home in the world somewhere," she said.

She listed Ray Lamontagne as the music that kept her company during work for "The Sleeper," and Cat Power: the Greatest for her alone time with "The Insomniac."

However, there were times where she drifted back and forth between the two pieces as she began to understand their connection while the soundtracks echoed in the background.

Although she is aware of where the origins of the two works came from, she again insisted that her goal with her work is to stimulate conversation.

"These are just fleeting moments that I have caught and try to project out in the world," she said.

"The Sleeper and the Insomniac" by Daphne Cote will run from April 22 to May 10. The opening reception is Sunday May 1 from 1 – 3:00 p.m. at the Stony Plain Multi-Cultural Centre.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Sleeper and the Insomniac -Solo show at the Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery

You are cordially invited to,

'The Sleeper and the Insomniac'
New paintings by Daphne Cote

I encourage you all to attend the Artist Reception with complimentary wine and snacks on
Sunday May 1st from 1:00 -3:30pm.

The show runs from April 22 to May 10, 2011
At the Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery, 
5411-51St, Stony Plain

The Sleeper #3
40" x 60"
Oil on Canvas

 Setting up of the show

 The Insomniac #2
40" x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas

 The Sleeper #4
48" x 30"
Oil on Canvas

 At the gallery on hanging day.

The above images are just a portion of the paintings that are included in 'The Sleeper and the Insomniac', a show of my most recent work. For over the past 3 months I have been working very hard on this series. It is the largest series I have produced to date. The series includes 8 paintings, mostly larger sizes.
I was kindly asked if I could put together a show in a matter of a few months. Of course I said yes and jumped at the opportunity. I had finished two paintings The Sleeper #1 and The Insomniac #1 (which were untitled at the time), and they had sparked a lot of conversations with people who viewed them. I started to see them as complementary to each other. They seemed to talk to each other and create interesting discussions by their viewers when they were shown together. So, when asked to do a show, I had these paintings and creating a series out of them in mind. 
The paintings that started it off were really exercises to push my skills and abilities as a painter. I was revisiting acrylic paint as preparation for teaching workshops, as to remind myself the qualities and abilities of the medium. The subject matter of The Insomniac started off as I dream, that turned into a day dream, that turned into a birthday present for my significant other. I took some self portraits that started off as a gift to my love and are now also the reference material for The Insomniac paintings.
The reference material for The Sleeper stemmed from ideas and images that I had daydreamed about on my many walks to and from the university when I was getting my degree over 10years ago. Then one morning I woke up to my dream come true right there in my bed. The lighting and positioning and the bedding was perfect. It was the most handsome landscape of bedding and man.
Essentially this show is me living out my dreams.

Here is the Artist Statement that is posted at the show: 

 The Sleeper and the Insomniac
Artist Statement
In this show, The Sleeper and the Insomniac, I am looking at complimentary ideas. Oil paint and acrylic paint. Men and woman. Day and night. Color and black and white. Awake and sleeping. being together and being apart. And how these separate yet complementary ideas relate when put side by side.

These paintings started off as a test of my skills in using acrylic versus oil paint in preparation for teaching. By having these complementary paintings together, they seemed to speak to each other and develop a relationship. When talking with others about the work, I found we would often discuss the paintings together. From there the series snowballed to culminate into the show before you.

The main purpose of this work, and all my work, is to provide a catalyst for discussion. Whether in the gallery, business, or home, I create my work with the intent to give a starting point for ideas. One of my favorite aspects of having a career as an artist/painter is to stand behind people and listen to what they have to say about the paintings. How do people view and interpret my paintings and what messages do they derive form them. I enjoy when people are looking at my paintings then dive into conversations such as 'I had the best sleep last night...' or 'I went out to this great place last night with my husband...' or  'that reminds me I want to wash my sheets today'. In my opinion, successful paintings invoke a sudden thought, be it even the most mundane of thoughts such as laundry. By listening in on these conversations about my work I learn more about effective means of visual communication and it expands my visual vocabulary.

I am a painter because I find I can express myself and ideas better in a visual form than in any other media. I use images from my life because they are readily at hand. My family and friends often turn into my models. They're cheap. For the same reason I use myself as a model.
Though the models used for these works are people I know intimately I don't see them as people I know intimately. Through the process of painting the figures they have turned into symbols of ideas and ultimately into universal people. They are like statues of people that you pass on a walk where their names are forgotten and they have long ago aged or passed on, they represent a point on the path of life that we can all relate to. The reference material used was captured in a single moment that has long since passed on and the people have changed. They are now just symbols of ideas and emotions.

Art reflects and comments on life. I would love to hear what your first thoughts were that came into your head at your first glance of the show and  I encourage you to email me or post your thoughts on my blog. Creating is the art of bringing things together.
-Daphne Cote

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Painting From Photos Workshop May 8, 2011

Paint from Photos Workshop
May 8, 2011 from 12-4pm
Where: Daphne Cote's Inspired Art Studio, Stony Plain, AB
Cost: $40.00
Do you have photos/images that you have wanted to paint from but don't know how to get started? Bring in 5-10 of your personal images and get one on one instruction on how to paint from your photos. In either your choice of acrylic or oil paint. A supplies list will be provided upon registration. You can register by emailing Daphne at: [email protected]

I am having a major solo show or my recent work at Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery opening this Friday April 22 to May 10, 2011. There will be an Artist Reception on Sunday May 1st from 1-3:30pm in which I will be in attendance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Night Drilling

Night Drilling
December 17, 2010
16" x 16"
Oil on Canvas

   This painting is very hard to photograph. It has many different blue layers used to create deep dark spaces, especially on the bottom left, and because it is painted in oil paint some of the areas end up with a high gloss surface. This makes a very interesting painting when you are standing infront of it, but a nightmare to capture with a camera. So much of its color, texture, and brilliance is lost in the image above.
   My significant other has taken magnificent and inspiring photos of drilling rigs in Northern Canada. I couldn't resist using one of his images for a painting. This particular image caught my interest immediately. It gave me the opportunity to exercise my skills. I was able to focus on a representative image that was completely abstract to me. I don't know a single name for any of the parts of this image, all I know is that it is a rig. I focused on breaking down the space into shape and color. I didn't even realize until I was almost done that there was a person in a white hard hat on the rig floor. 
   I pulled out all my tubes of blue paint for this one, there are so many subtleties created in blue hues. I am often drawn to the color blue and I was pretty confident that I knew exactly how to handle it in oil paint, but this one proved me wrong. I love that about painting, it often shows me that I don't know it all, just when I thought I knew something, I don't.
   This painting has caused me to consider what is possible in creating backgrounds and compositions to surround figures. It was a no fail composition for a square canvas allowing me to focus on the paint and creating interesting spaces collaborating together to form a whole painting.
   This painting also gave me the opportunity to do something meaningful and valuable for someone who has done and given so much for me. Thank you my love for all your encouragement.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cara's Painting, Bringing in the New Year!

Cara's Painting (a temporary title)
December 31, 2010
3' x 4'
Acrylic on Canvas

   What a way to bring in the New Year! A glass of Bailey's on ice in one hand and paint brushes in the other! After getting together the show that went up in November, teaching classes, and Christmas I really needed to have myself a good painting session. In all the hub-bub of the holidays, in the season of giving, I sometimes give up a little too much of myself. My attention, my time, my thoughts. I get a little wrapped up in it. Finishing this painting helped me to centre myself. Become grounded again. Reminded me of who I am and what I am about.
   I started this painting a long time ago. It is a commissioned piece. I had many reference photos to choose from along with several ideas and compositions. This created a huge problem. I hate when I am a little too creative and I become a detriment to my work or goal. There were just so many possibilities with this piece. It could have gone anywhere and turned into so many things. I am very satisfied with how it turned out.
   I started it mid summer. It was going to be orientated the other way with the width being 4ft. The canvas is covered in layers of paint, shadows of several different compositions which turned into a pleasant layering effect. It started out in black and white, then adding color. The black border was there from the beginning. Then I took away color and changed the orientation. Then at the beginning of December it really started to come along. The composition was there. I had a solid feeling about it. The height, size, and orientation helps give strength to the composition. This painting has become about strength and attraction. The pushing and pulling of the spaces in between. The couple in the portrait are of course in love. There is space between them but in that space there is this attractive force that connects them even though they are not touching. They are both hard working individuals that work with their hands as their tools. While painting their hands I really lost myself.
   The painting had an extremely crappy start. It was a horrid painting that had no where to go but up (or slash it with a knife into tiny bits, but even that would have been interesting). Normally, for those who are following may know, I work with oil paint and paint quite quickly. This one is in acrylic.The whole thing remained in acrylic paint, even the heart is glossy with acrylic gel. I was intending to do an under painting, figure out the composition, and then paint with oils over top. The monochromatic scheme of it started to make it so dramatic I started to think that maybe I would just glaze over it with oil and experiment a bit (which, in the end, I decided against).  It was such crap when I started that I treated the whole thing as an experiment, which as a really freeing experience. I was completely open to ruining the whole thing and having to start over on a new canvas. I worked through it and gained so much knowledge through the process. It was difficult yet well worth it. Much like life.