An exhibit at Th’YARC lobby gallery in Yarmouth illustrates two very different approaches to technique and interpretation.
“Two Worlds: Watercolour techniques from East and West” challenges the viewer to think about how landscape is seen and how cultural differences may influence vision.
The show features the work of students and teachers participating in workshops sponsored earlier this year by the Yarmouth Art Society with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
The workshops were given by two established watercolour artists, Nora Gross and Lio Lo.
Gross, a well-known painter and teacher based in Dartmouth explored contemporary Western approaches to watercolour. Students were encouraged to experiment with paint, color and form and to discover a freedom of expression that was not necessarily controlled or premeditated.
Yarmouth Arts Society president Dan Earle described one technique that Gross uses is to paint over rubberized material (frisket) and rub segments off. “The other thing that Nora works a lot with, is she starts off with a wash of many colours as a background. It gives a painting a sort of looseness,” said Earle.
Lio Lo is a Taiwan -trained painter now practicing in Jordan Falls, Shelburne County. She gave an introductory workshop in Chinese brush painting in July. The workshop was repeated in the fall, followed by an in-depth study of Chinese landscape and “Floral and bird” painting. “In the eastern style painting, you practice for hours and hours to learn the strokes just perfectly then you put them down on paper and do them in one stroke,” said Earle. “The masters work for years to get the bamboo just right and get the grass strokes just right. Brush control is really important in Eastern painting. It’s almost like calligraphy,” he said.
Eight to 10 people attended each workshop but some chose not to put their work in the show.
A workshop by watercolorist Roger Savage from Lunenburg is tentatively planned for next summer.
The “Two Worlds: Watercolour techniques from East and West” show will run till Dec. 18, Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.