Current & Past Articles » General News

New exhibit featuring views of Northern Ontario on display at Town of Shelburne Art Gallery 

August 31, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Written By Paula Brown

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Escape to the scenic views of Northern Ontario with the latest art exhibit at the Town of Shelburne Art Gallery. 

The works of landscape artist Brian Blakeman will be on display at the gallery for three weeks starting on Sept. 1. The exhibit, titled “Northern Perspectives,” will showcase a collection of Blakeman’s works that look to “evoke the spirit and sense of the North” by drawing from the solitude and natural surroundings. 

“I have always had this connection to nature; it’s my happy place. The further north I go, hence the name of the show, the more tranquil I feel and I think a lot of people feel that,” said Blakeman. “I try to depict energy in paintings of what the landscape is telling me, depicting as I truly feel it. The inspiration is right before us.” 

Blakeman was born in Staffordshire, England and was trained in decorative design at Northwich and Stockport Art Colleges. After completing his schooling, he entered the wall-covering design field and trained in all aspects of design engraving and printing. 

In a career spanning 30 years, Blakeman explored all aspects of the decorative design field, including fabrics, floor, and wall coverings. 

While spending much of his career creating art, Blakeman said it wasn’t until he met his wife in 2000 and was inspired by her pottery work that he began making art for himself. 

“All of this time I had never really painted for me, I always painted for projects and for a job,” said Blakeman. “Its just wonderful and a great feeling to be able to take all of those techniques and knowledge I’ve built over the years and now portray it in paintings.” 

Blakeman’s pieces showcase a variety of landscapes, from the tranquillity of Muskoka to frigid winter plains, but his newer work depicts images of the Bruce Peninsuwla, a favourite place to visit for inspiration with its rock formations, sweeping skies and stunning lakes. 

His process of creating a piece of landscape art often starts by being outside, within the environment, where he works on a small canvas to capture an area’s emotional and physical energy. He also uses a wide variety of tools, including pastels, pens, ink, chinagraphs, acrylics, and watercolours. 

“I don’t go into a painting thinking I want to paint pretty today or calm or windy, I want to go into a painting a let a scene tell me. For me it’s all about allowing multimedia to bring the energy forward,” explained Blakeman. 

Blakeman is not only interested in capturing the details of nature for his own work but also in sharing it as a conservationist. 

“It’s all about maintaining it and helping it thrive. If by depicting it, I can portray that energy to someone else, then I’ve succeeded in telling the story, said Blakeman. 

The exhibit will consist of over 45 pieces of work from Blakeman’s collection that were created over the span of a decade. 

‘Northern Perspectives’ will be on display at the Town of Shelburne Art Gallery, located at 203 Main St. E., from Sept. 1 to Sept. 22. Some of Blakeman’s pieces will be available for sale and range in price from $25 to $750. 

An opening reception for the gallery is scheduled for Sept. 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 



Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support