Artists Den' in Honey Harbor features diversified works 0
Nationally renowned realism artist Anita Baird says when she sees something she wants to paint it becomes a challenge to reproduce it and do a good job at it. The watercolour and acrylic painter is listed in the National Gallery of Art of Canada in Ottawa under two names - Steinmiller' and Baird'.
"I see something interesting and just want to make it into a good painting -it taunts me to reproduce as closely and realistically as I can. I like to see how close I can get to the real thing," said Baird who is one of six talented artists taking part in the upcoming Artist's Den' in the Honey Harbour (beside the LCBO) -August 8 -21st.
Renowned for her meticulous wildlife paintings, Baird, formerly Steinmiller, honed her self-taught drawing skills through childhood trips to Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum, refining her style into 'high-realism' that made her work sought after by art lovers across the country.
Born and raised in Toronto by Latvian immigrants, Baird was surrounded by talent --her mother was a concert pianist and her father an artist and scenic manager for CBC TV. As a teen, Baird assisted her father in painting sets for the National Ballet Company, the Canadian Opera Company and TV productions. As she got older, Baird moved away from her father's loose' style of painting and developed a very detailed hand. During school she designed everything from football helmet logos to yearbook covers while bartering her paintings for rent money to live on her own.
"I actually failed art class three years in a row because the teacher accused me of getting someone else to do my projects; she said they were too good. I am glad that didn't have a negative influence on my art and if I could find that teacher now I would like to say to her,
Look at me know'," laughed Baird who also tried the Ontario College of Art but was shot down when her wildlife depictions were described as "glorified illustrations" and not real art.
As artist-in-residence at Hamilton's Beckett Gallery, Baird's paintings were shown along side high calibre artists such as Robert Bateman. A year later she was named among the top thirty wildlife artists in the world. She went on to do commissions for private collectors as well as the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Royal Ontario Museum, Ducks Unlimited, Gulf Oil, Canadian Tire, Braun Canada and many more. Nine limited edition prints were published and sold out within the same year.
It was after Baird's father passed away and left her a collection of paintings of barns and old buildings that she found out she was listed in the National Gallery of Art of Canada in Ottawa. While having her father's paintings appraised by a dealer for sale Baird discovered her listing quite by accident -it is an honour she is very proud of.
"It is a gift horse and excellent for my reputation as something I can put in my biography. I was very proud to be listed in there amongst artists like Robert Bateman, Ron Parker and other renowned names," said Baird.
After a lengthy hiatus, she returned three years ago to her art. Now from her studio in Midland shared with her supportive husband Greg and dog Rocky, she concentrates on wildlife, horses and western themed art, as well as weathered buildings and the simple beauty of the area.
"I change with what I feel and recently have been working on a south western theme that includes a collection of horses, sleeping cowboys and old boots, based on a trip I took to Montana," said Baird.
"It includes a painting of leopard appaloosa horses which was picked for the Coldwater Studio Tour flyer. Some of the paintings are done with a plain white background which I think really lends to the pictures. You tend to focus more on the subject -I think the white makes the subject stand out more."
Baird's south western theme works will be included in the upcoming show as well as a few Georgian Bay cottage scenes and other pictures from around Ontario including Jewels of Giant Tomb' -a collection of various coloured rocks she painted along the shoreline that were submerged under two feet of water. The picture is three dimensional in that you feel you could reach over and pick up one of the rocks.
"The beach rocks were all different like someone had placed them there but they had been placed by nature in the water along the shoreline which I find fascinating and wanted to paint. I am now doing some pond scenes for the show which people seem to like, old barn doors, etc.," said Baird who has a technique for wood, rock and water using a lot of older wood with old rusty hooks and chains.
"Where I studied wildlife before and still love all animals, now my scenes include more old barns, plants and historical sites. I hope to have about 25 paintings ready for the show -I am really looking forward to it."
Anita Baird can be contacted at : email@example.com or www.anitabairdartist. weebly. co m.
The upcoming Honey Harbor show features a polished collection of high quality works that all different and very unique to a gathering of some artists who took part in the recent Coldwater and Area Studio Tour'. Joining Baird for the Honey Harbor opening of Artist's Den (10 a.m. -4 p.m.) are participating artists Dee Ayotte, Charlotte Williams, Rob and Allison Ormerod and Melanie Hick.
Phelpston artist Deidre Ayotte, crafts functional and decorative metal art suitable for indoor and outdoor spaces and which are inspired from her life experience. She is a self-taught metal artist with an extensive background in welding and has been making metal art since 2008. Each piece reflects Ayotte's passion for art and her ability to perceive her customer's desires, resulting in a unique and satisfying experience for herself and her clients. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.deeranged.ca/DeeVine.ht ml.
Charlotte Williams has lived in Oro Medonte for the last seven years and been greatly influenced by the surrounding landscapes. While most of her work has been in watercolours she has branched out into large canvasses in oils which seem to suit the large skies and fields that she depicts with her free interpretative style. Having spent many years in warmer tropical climates, both in Nigeria and Brazil, vibrant colours are also characteristic of William's work. Originally from the UK, art formed part of her education but she decided to change her path and studied Biology at University where she pursued her career at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Williams taught ecology at University in Brazil and these themes are also reflected in her art. Art has always been a way of relaxing and a great channel for her creativity. She has exhibited in Sao Paulo, England and has had work on display in Ottawa. For more information contact Williams at : email@example.com.
Melanie Hick designs and builds furniture in her workshop tucked away in a working maple syrup bush. She combines locally milled lumber with salvaged windows, doors, trim and flooring to create both functional and beautiful pieces. For more information contact Hick at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ninthlinefurniture.com.
Bob Ormerod works in native hardwoods and century-old pine. His products range from small items such as jewellery boxes, serving trays and mirrors, to larger commissioned pieces, such as Shaker-style beds, blanket boxes, corner cabinets, dry sinks, and tables. Ormerod's wife Allison will be displaying dolls and a whimsical style of fabric and wood woven baskets at the show. For more information contact: email@example.com.