Inspiration. For me, that is what this weekend was all about. This was the 4th annual Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. 122 studios and galleries representing over 300 artists who opened their studios (and many their homes) for everyone to come and see. The crawl stretches the entire Sunshine Coast, literally from Langdale to Lund. It involves every kind of visual artistry you can think of…painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, glass blowers, blacksmiths, photographers, carvers, woodworkers, fibre artists, and even a chocolatier. It is an amazing group of talent…many artists who are quite famous and some who are just getting started and building confidence. They all open their doors for one weekend and invite us to experience a bit of their work.
I really don’t know anything about art. No education…no artistic talent myself….but I know when I see something that amazes me…makes me feel inspired. That is what I take most from this weekend.
Marleen Vermeulen’s studio in and of the forest
Who inspired me most? Let’s start with Marleen & Marlene…my incredibly talented friends and neighbors. Marleen Vermeulen captures the beauty of our west coast surroundings in her life-size oil paintings. She is at home hiking in the forest and you can just reach out and touch the trees, the beach and the water in her paintings. They are thick with texture…a trowel is her tool as much as paintbrush…and fully capture changing light. Marlene Lowden paints abstracts full of life and love and blends her yogi spirit into her art. Everything is in balance. Everything is at peace. Quotes of inspiration line the walls alongside the paintings.
I was completely taken aback by the Watercolour Journey of Hiroshi Shimizaki. He has literally traveled the world and has been capturing it in watercolours along the way. He is a geographer (a man after my own heart) and with his paintings, he took us on a world tour through his home and gallery. Every room a different continent. Famous places and unknown places…all captured beautifully in simple yet elaborate watercolours. I was reminded how important it is to see the world and experience many different cultures. We only understand and appreciate fully when we travel and experience first hand the simple aspects of sharing a meal and talking with people.
George Pratt is an exceptionally talented sculptor who clearly loves animals and nature. Amazing works of granite and marble and I’m sure many other types of rock alongside wood and paintings. Life-size works like these lined the driveway and many more small pieces were found inside his studio. He invites you to touch and feel the art…many smooth as silk spinning on glass, others rough and textured with their own stories.
Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden
Coopers Green in Halfmoon Bay
The other thing I love about Art Crawl weekend is that you have to get out and explore. This isn’t walking down a city street to visit neighboring galleries. These artists have made their homes in the rural communities of the Sunshine Coast and most of their studios are a part of their homes. To Crawl the Coast is to walk along the waterfront…to climb steep hills…to drive down single lane gravel roads into the forest. You think you’ve gone to the end of the road…and then it turns and just keeps going. You visit neighborhoods that you didn’t know existed. You get the chance to see natural beauty that you don’t take time for on a regular day.
I can’t wait for next year! October 2014 Have a look at these Art Crawl videos to take a bit of inspiration for yourself.