Over the past summer there was much to do getting my new gallery up and running as well as moving ahead with the long awaited re opening and recovery. In addition to these at times mundane realities that are part of a gallery owner and artists' day to day, new art must be coming along, always!
A good bit of this creating time was directed to the planning, execution and finishing off, (varnishing, framing etc) of 2 new large works, both showcasing the much admired splendor that is Georgian Bay's eastern shoreline, all set in the glorious season of autumn.
With projects like these and the very considerable time that goes into each, I tend to work away at each for a few days or even a solid week, then typically put it aside for some reflection or away time, redirecting my focus onto something else for a while before coming back to it. The separation allows me to reignite the initial enthusiasm for the project and see past the many challenges of getting things to my liking with the artwork.
While working at both of these pieces, I imagined myself crawling up and over each of the landscapes depicted, becoming intimately connected with the intricate and varied terrain and all the elements contained within and upon it. My goal was to create paintings that presented themselves as almost sculptural, fabricating the illusion of 3 dimensions from 2.
These sweeping depictions of the Canadian landscape, manufactured with brush, paint, and a lot of care are now available for repeated hikes and explorations of the mind, even as they hang on some wall; a clear reminder of the rugged, captivating beauty that exists just a short journey from home.
Here they are situated in the Kilby Gallery. Professionally copied images will follow soon, allowing for a closer, more revealing presentation of each.
Very excited to announce my participation in this year's Online Artisan Market held by the McMicheal Volunteer Committee. I have seen this show in person years ago and vowed I would do whatever I could to one day be part of it. The quality of the artists and their contributions is very high and it is quite an honour to be selected to participate. I have 5 pieces listed, and would be more than happy to share the spoils with this wonderful gallery if I am fortunate enough to make a sale, or 2!
See the post below for details and please give it a visit online. The McMicheal Gallery in Kleinburg Ontario is a wonderful place in a fantastic setting, always worth a visit to find a little inspiration!
It's always a pleasure to see where my artwork lands in the homes and offices of my customers. Here is a couple smaller paintings situated inside the well appointed rooms of the lovely Collingwood residence they now call home!
Always exciting (and a relief!) to get some new art wrapped up and ready to share. Below are 5 new pieces I'm looking forward to showing around, each is totally unique. The next batch is already underway and will be more diversified than ever, I promise!
Georgian Bay is an artists' dream, and the fall is a time it really comes alive with drama and colour! The vibrant hues of the courageous little red oak, constantly pushed around by the west wind, as well as the rich sumac lying in the underbrush, challenged my painting abilities as well as the paints I use to create them. Truly one of those 'take you there' pieces!
First automotive themed painting for me in a while, this early 50's Buick Special is oozing style and cool! While working on this piece, I imagined what it would be like to drive a set of wheels like this, how different from the sanitized, competent yet soulless offerings that fill the roadways these days. A real work of Art!
On a Sunday morning hike I found myself following a little creek that wound through the countryside not far from home. Being late spring, the water was flowing and the new green grass was vibrant and contrasted last years so nicely. As I worked on the piece, I reflected on the news from a friend that a black bear had been around locally and I decided to include one here, seem quite appropriate. I'm quite happy with the way the composition leads you gradually to the bear, and its discovery feels reminiscent to spotting one in real life, keep those eyes open people!
With so much of the Great Lakes shoreline tamed and occupied, it was a real treat to experience the raw beauty of an unmolested beach like this one, Mystic Beach. Between the bone chilling water, and the thick black mass of bush, lay the jewel like blanket of clean luxurious sand, free of human foot prints and discarded coffee cups, I only hope my painting shares some of this natural wonder!
I like my paintings to trigger a memory of something I have experienced before, and this painting reminds me of countless paddles in the Ontario wilderness studying the edges of waterways and the forests that line them. I'm especially drawn to a scene that includes the vibrant real colours found in nature, but also the extremely limited palette that often accompanies them!
As a professional painter, I have developed a reputation as an artist who doesn't repeat himself. Building on my training as an Illustrator, capable of creating artwork featuring a vast range of subjects and scenes, I am constantly challenging myself with something new and different for my next painting.
In spite of this, there have been a few themes that have surfaced in my body of work. One of those would be the Red bike, which has been featured in a number of paintings, as seen below. The bike was found at one of the unique and picturesque homes located in Eden Mills, a lovely village that was my home before moving up to The Blue Mountains. For some reason, its mix of age, style and patina seemed to fit in a number of my paintings. There certainly are other cool bikes out there and maybe one day I will paint one of those, but for now this vintage red lady's bike has served me well as an artistic muse!
Here is a short note sent to me regarding on of my new paintings at the Kilby Gallery. It's a treat to hear how another reads and reacts to something I made, very gratifying!
I had to reach out to comment on After the Fire. The painting really speaks to me! The foreboding sky in the distance that is so ominous. However the sunlight around the fire pit creates a warmth that feels fleeting. I am cold and warm at the same time as I stare at it. I find myself worrying about the approaching night fall and being stuck outside yet knowing I can retreat to a cabin. Not sure if you have to be one with Georgian Bay to feel this but I certainly do. I love it.
One of the more satisfying moments in the process of creating a new painting is applying a couple sealing coats of varnish. Not only does this signal the point of no more adjustments and tinkering with the artwork, but it also unleashes the rich vibrancy of the colours in the piece. Additionally, the product I use, while pricey, is carefully matched to the paints by their manufacturer, and ensures a long, trouble free life ahead for the painting.
Of course, there still is a frame to come, custom made by yours truly, but we'll save that is for another post!
Very happy to post this interview I recently participated in with my good friend Joanne Poluch of Remarque Art Consulting (remarqueartconsulting.ca). Joanne is in the business of connecting art collectors and interested parties with artists and their work. On her regular arts program seen on Rogers T.V., as well as an active and lively presence on social media, Joanne speaks with a rich and diversified range of creative people, revealing their stories and their art through engaging interviews such as this one here. Many thanks to Joanne and her husband Orest, the man behind the camera, for their wonderful feature of my new gallery and my story as well.
After years of working away as an Illustrator, the calling that had lured many a commercial artist before came to me as well; that was to try my hand at being a fine artist, painting whatever I chose to. The blank canvas however, can be quite daunting and the question soon arose, what exactly will I paint?
Fortunately for me, around that time I had just moved home to the hidden gem that is the village of Eden Mills, a picturesque community not far from the city of Guelph, in southern Ontario.
Besides being filled with an abundance of great folks; creative types and true friends of the environment, the place was also overflowing with visual stimulation and painterly appeal. The wonderful Eramosa River wound past the old mill and through town, directly across the street from my home, a converted general store built from stone, dating back to the mid nineteenth century. That historic gem appealed to both the historian as well as artist in me and became the first subject for my new life as a fine artist. Dog walks, bike rides, drives around the village and surrounding countryside offered an endless treasure trove of exciting material for me to capture on canvas.
With all this literally right outside my door, I made a decision to focus my painting efforts exclusively on all these striking sights, scenes and characters located nearby. As can be seen from the extensive collection of artwork shown below, I had a lot to work with and was kept busy for years. I wouldn't say I came close to exhausting this priceless resource but eventually I packed up and moved to my new home in the town of the Blue Mountains.
At the foot of the Beaver River Valley, surrounded by the unmistakable Niagara Escarpment, with the cool, clean waters of Georgian Bay only a few blocks from home, I have found a new place to explore, be inspired by and capture with my paints. It will be 10 years here soon and I am only scratching the surface. Stay tuned for much more to come
Meanwhile, have a look below and introduce yourself to the place where my time as a fine artist began!
This big reveal was originally scheduled to take place some time ago, but with the continued business closures related to the covid crisis, I haven't officially shared but the time to do so is now!
So the news is that I have relocated my art gallery from the shared space, the ArtBank, down the street to a new location that exclusively showcases my original art, known once again as the Kilby Gallery.
5 1/2 years ago I opened The Kilby Gallery, featuring my artistic efforts, in the charming village of Clarksburg, Ontario situated along the scenic Beaver River and just down the road from the magnificent Georgian Bay. In that time I have created many new pieces of art, met a lot of great people, furnished many homes, businesses and cottages with my artwork, and along with Brownie the Gallery Greeter, became a fixture in this wonderful little village.
This vibrant, artistic community that is present day Clarksburg, is an eclectic and inviting mix of shops and galleries; a 'must see' destination for those visiting the region, or anyone looking for original art, antiques, honey, hardware or even a bit of lunch!
The artwork found in The Kilby Gallery, all created by myself Don Kilby, reflects my love and awe of the region; from the bay to the escarpment, valleys, rivers, small towns and pastoral rural scenes, in each unique and memorable season. With the quality and quantity of scenery and subjects to choose from, I strive to make each painting, from the smallest study to the largest grand work, stand alone original, unlike anything I have created before it.
The new Kilby Gallery is designed to offer an uncluttered, friendly space to see and spend time with the art included within. As soon as its possible, the doors of my new gallery will be open and all will be welcomed to drop in for a look around.
Curb side sales and inquiries are most welcomed, additionally the large windows along the main street will always display new and exciting pieces, be sure to have a look!
In the meantime, here are some pics of the new place, let me what do ya think!