Dunrobin’s Janis Miller Hall is the feature artist for the Kanata Civic Art Gallery’s newest exhibit, running from Jan. 9 to Feb. 10.
The hanging, entitled “Wintery Tapestry,” is special because it’s the last exhibit before the Beaverbrook library closes for renovations. Both organizations are located in the Mlacak Centre but the gallery and other services offered will remain open to the public during construction.
“The library closes mid February and it will affect the gallery significantly,” said Hall, adding less people will visit the centre. “We have to constantly remind people that we’re still there and still open.”
At least half a dozen of Hall’s work will be on display during the exhibit, which feature wintery scenes both at home and abroad.
“Even though the show coming up is called Winter Tapestry, a few of the paintings will be of winter in the south,” said Hall, who lived in the Bahamas for three years.
One of her favourite pieces is a large painting entitled Escape the Blues and features a beach in Mexico during the winter months.
“There’s a peacefulness to it,” said Hall, adding she tends to go south every winter.
“It’s the lighting that’s different; the quality of the light,” she said of why she enjoys painting the sea. “And just the colours, the colours are so intense; all the aquas and the turquoises of the sea. Whereas here, especially during winters in Canada, our colours are very muted.”
‘PAINTING WITH BUTTER’
Hall, a member of the Kanata gallery since its inception, mainly uses oils and pastels but also enjoys working with mixed media, encaustics, landscapes and figures.
“I started working with pastels mainly because I love to draw. I am a realist artist so drawing is really important to me,” she said, adding pastels lend themselves to lots of colour.
“Oils I like because the feel of them … it’s almost like painting with butter. They have a very luscious feel and they’re really rich and intense. They have a look, a more luminous look than some of the more modern paints.”
Hall also works with models one day a week drawing figures.
“That’s like, for me, a musician doing scales,” she said. “The figure work is the most challenging because of the way we judge it … If you get an aspect of the human figure wrong, everybody recognizes that.”
She said having “really good art teachers” in high school helped her pursue her career choice. She attended the University of Toronto for fine arts and took the creative arts program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont.
Aside from creating art, Hall teaches classes at Wallack’s Art Supply in Bells Corners and works part time on the sales floor.
“It’s very helpful working for a company that works in art supplies,” she said, adding she enjoys teaching her classes. “It’s so much fun. I probably get as much from them as they get from me. The enthusiasm, a lot of people in the class tend to be retired people … their enthusiasm when they achieve something, they’re just thrilled.”
Hall is also a member of the Kanata Artists Studio Tour, which invites the public to visit artists in their homes and takes place every spring.
“Art is important to me, culture is important. It’s all around us,” said Hall.
The Kanata Civic Art Gallery, located at 2500 Campeau Dr. in the Mlacak Centre, hosts a new exhibition every month. For more information and hours of operation, visit kanatagallery.ca.