February 2015 Member of the Month: Barbara Laplante
How long have you been a member of Scarborough Arts?
I believe I have been a member of Scarborough Arts for more than 15 years. I cannot recall exactly when I enrolled. I continue to be impressed with Scarborough Arts’ community approach, and their efforts to promote and help further the growth of new and emerging artists. I also really appreciate the opportunities provided by Scarborough Arts to display works several times each year, and accept works at the gallery on a consignment basis.
What kind of art do you practice, and how long have you been practicing it?
I began painting in earnest after my retirement from teaching in 1996. My initial studies were in watercolour. I also took classes in pastels and later pursued Japanese Brush painting. I received my “seal” – the mark of graduation in that art form. My works are mainly landscape, birds and animals. I also very much enjoy doing still life and flowers. I took classes in botanical art to improve my works with plant life. In addition to painting, I have taken up the craft of card-making to use for personal purposes, but have also submitted some to the gallery for sale.
Tell us about the piece we’re featuring today.
The piece, A Summer Place, is representative of the works I do which are usually done to coincide with the season in which I am painting. I believe my personal attraction to nature is the reason for this leaning. This painting is meant to depict a favorite attraction of people to go to the lake in the summer for enjoyment in nature. Often my landscapes include birds or animals to inject life into the scene. This one is purely reminiscent of the quiet lakeside.
Where is your favourite place in Scarborough to go for inspiration?
In line with my attraction to nature, I like to visit the Rouge Valley as it provides many nature habitats with its river and woods, and the opportunity to see many flowers and birds. It also is a peaceful place to wander and nourish the soul.
What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best piece of artistic advice I have been given was “Don’t let reality get in the way of Composition.” This was from a teacher at the Haliburton School of Fine Arts by the name of E. Cronk. I have used it as a guideline in most of my works, and it has proven to be a successful idea for me. I have also passed it on to others when I felt it appropriate.
Every month, we profile a different Scarborough Arts member. If you’re a member and would like to be profiled, send an email to marianne [at] scarborougharts [dot] com for more information.