Baddeck Art Club Colours Exhibit
at St. Michael's Parish Hall,
Baddeck, Cape Breton
(5-13 October 2012)

Maybe your idea of an art show is a stuffy, nose-turned up intellect fest. Not so at the St. Michael's Parish Hall exhibit. These are artists you can truly approach and come to know like a neighbor. Happy to discuss their work, they are just as pleased to discuss the weather or their personal history.

Mabel Nicholson is relatively new to the art scene, having only started painting in her 50s. She never took lessons and sometimes doubts herself. "Sometimes I think, 'Well, I didn't do that right.' But," she concedes, "you usually work it out."

My favorite painting of hers was an untitled matte oil autumn scene of sunlight drifting down a river.

I next spoke with Sonny Carey, originator of the show seven years ago. He regrets the show "was bigger" in the past, saying, "The whole idea was to get the young people involved." Unfortunately, he says, "They all went back to college."

His work has the feel of miniatures, with tight, fine detail. "I started to paint in '97," he told me, adding, "That's when I began to live." Now 74 years old, he paints landscapes and animals. I commented on three lovely paintings of cardinals, which he told me were copied from books. "We don't have them here," he said. "People save me Christmas cards and I use them."

Lex Chapman is the newest addition to the group. "I just always feel I have to put an animal in," she says of her landscapes, which include moose, foxes and one beautiful scene of a crane observing another, just taking flight.

Particularly notable was "Winter Stream," a meandering navy path through a tangle of birch. A delightful addition was her small collection of miniatures, where I once again found a cardinal. (Obviously one of my favorite birds!)

Down the center of the room were pine woodcarvings of animals and people by Joe McKinnon. An elderly sailor, perched sitting on the edge of the table, caught my eye.

Though small, the show was a nice showcase of local talent and some artists to watch.

music review by
Katie Knapp

10 November 2012

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