Visually Speaking: The Final Word on Best-Laid Plans

By Anna Horsnell

In January, eighteen local artists shared their goals and plans for this year. In May, we checked in to see how things were going. Who could have predicted what a year it would be? Now, as we count down the last days of 2020, our group of artists are giving their final thoughts on those best-laid plans.

Eileen Boyd: It’s been a crazy year, but I did get rid of a pile of unwanted junk and I did complete some half-finished projects! And I also took an oil painting workshop. Fun! A pretty good year all around.*

Ruth Fishleigh: More time at home this year has helped develop my discipline for studio time. A new journey into encaustic art is helping me be more spontaneous and relaxed about the outcome of my work. It has helped me loosen up in other media as well. I am enjoying playing and having fun!

Colleen Gerrits: Super happy and thankful to have my job back, and am teaching classes again! 2020 isn’t what I or anyone, expected it to be, so I am taking it one day at a time and painting when I can.

Doretta Groenendyk: I have a new children’s picture book out this November! Its title is: What if? So, I guess, yeah, stories find their way….

Bob Hainstock: The year will end with a mixture of accomplishment and uncertainty. I’m very satisfied with studio work, the large volume of paintings completed, as well as outlines for a bunch of new short stories, but uncertainty for the first half of 2021 will dampen expectations at all levels of cultural activity.

Betsey Harwood: This was a year of changes. I was unable to paint for a few weeks due to a vision problem. Now my work is somewhat different, a new style to explore. The act of painting brings me joy.

Ron Hayes: My November show at ArtCan Gallery with Michael Greer, “While the World was Resting,” was very successful. One big surprise has been the growing interest in my oil painting classes and workshops by people with more time, unable to travel outside the province.

Anna Horsnell: What have I learned? Change is certain. Humanity comforts itself through creativity. Art very often has a mind and purpose of its own, and I simply listen and follow the inspiration.

Judith Leidl: I’ve launched a line of wearable art and home decor, beautifully made in Canada. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. See more here:

Ron Lightburn: I’ve been plein air painting close to home and I look forward to working on large canvases inspired by memories of the many pleasurable hours I enjoyed working and lounging in my garden during the spring and summer.

Kate McKenna: Gratitude. During challenging times, I have still engaged in creative work; photographing nature, processing and editing photos, and creating new textile designs, and “flowing stone” silk robes. Happily, my limited-edition wearable art is available at Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery through December.

Heather Alexis Porter: In searching for a noble and meaningful message, I realized that being creative and curious has always been a need which is confirmed even more during these pandemic times.

Rachel Reeves: I completed a project this fall for a group exhibition, ‘Object Histories,’ with Eye Level Gallery in Halifax ( Artists often work in isolation. I find myself wondering how people who typically don’t work alone are managing during the pandemic.

Twila Robar-Decoste: All in all, a productive year. The Covid-19 close-down gave me some much-needed rest and in time, renewed enthusiasm. I took part in some group shows, did a lot of writing, and although no oils were painted as planned, I renovated a lovely space to do so next year. Looking forward to 2021.

Judy Shedden: I’m still keeping socially distant, so I haven’t had any opportunities to find more venues where I can sell my work. Hopefully things will turn around soon and we’ll get back to normal.

Elizabeth Sircom: In the world such as it has become, everything I do seems creative, as if the pandemic were one ongoing creative act and all of us part of it.

Susan Spicer: Everything seems to have aligned this year in spite of the pandemic restrictions. I am grateful that the hard work has paid off with my most successful year yet. Here’s to a creative winter!