Five new artists featured on tour
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | August 12, 2015
Local artists from all walks of life opened up their studios to the public during the August long weekend for the ninth annual Tour de Forest.
"Overall we had a great tour," said chairperson Charlene McConnell. "The visitors I had the opportunity to chat with were enjoying the tour and the new work, intending to take in multiple studios."
The tour featured the work of 24 artists at 11 studios, most of which were located close to Haliburton. Five new artists were welcomed this year.
Acrylic artist Yves Ameline was one of those new participants. He was a guest artist at Heather Poppe's The Wee Quilting Studio.
Ameline heard about the tour through a friend, also a painter and cottager, who asked him if he would join her as a guest if she was successful in her application. He agreed, but she was turned down.
"Having made the decision to apply, I said 'OK, I'll apply anyways' and they let me in," recalled Ameline.
Although things were fairly quiet on Saturday morning, he was looking forward to connecting with visitors and discussing his work.
"At least I'm getting something new that I don't normally get," he said. "I get to talk to people about my paintings."
A seasonal resident since 1974, Ameline has developed his skills as an artist by taking courses at the Haliburton School of the Arts. Many of his pieces on display in Poppe's garage captured the views from his cottage on Drag Lake.
Now that he's retired, art is his "main occupation."
"Even though I'm left brain dominant, I've always had a very strong right brain that's been fighting for attention. Now I'm giving it that attention."
Next door, Poppe was talking to visitors about her handmade quilts of all shapes and sizes. It's a medium she has been working in for the past 60 years.
"My grandmother taught me at the farmhouse," she explained, "and then my mother taught me how to embroider. Then I just tried to create more and more on my own."
This was Poppe's second year on the tour, but her first time as a host studio. Last year she was a guest artist at Jane Selbie's studio.
"I have a real passion because I've done it for so many years, and I love quilting."
She was also a member of the Highlands East Studio Tour for several years.
According to McConnell, 12 artists applied to be on this year's tour.
"We don't have a stringent criteria in the amount of work they have to have," she said. "Particularly when we're working with young and new artists, we're looking to give them an opportunity and a new experience and to mentor them."
Visitors to each studio were able to enter a draw for either a piece of artwork or a gift certificate.
The planning for next year's 10th anniversary tour is already underway, said McConnell.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.