Studio tour highlights local artistic talent

Paintings by Shelley Cinnamon

The 23rd annual Spring Beach Studio Tour is set to highlight the artistically gifted in the neighbourhood from April 29 to May 1.

Home studios and work spaces across the Beach will be open, featuring a dozen local artists and artisans and 10 guests. Work ranges from painting to photography, textiles to ceramics, and jewelry to metal sculpture.

Admission is free, and anyone interested in locally-produced creative work is encouraged to get out and enjoy the dual tour highlighting both art and the neighbourhood itself.

Long-time Beach resident Shelley Cinnamon’s oil and acrylic paintings will be on display in her Leuty Avenue home, featuring mostly natural subjects, or figures in nature. The painter switches up her subject matter frequently, in order to stay inspired.

“If I do the same thing over and over again I tend to get a little bored with it,” she said.

The majority of her pieces are based on photographs she takes, both for the compositional control and for the originality aspects.

“Because they’re my images I know nobody else will be painting from them,” she said. “There may be something similar out there in the world, but there shouldn’t be an exact duplicate of what I do.”

Just as her subjects change regularly, so does her medium of choice, though that is usually chosen as a matter of practicality.

“It really for me is, how much am I travelling, where am I painting? If I am not going to be in my studio then I often use acrylic because it dries more quickly.”

Originally working for many years in the commercial art field, Cinnamon says working with professional illustrators impacted her expectations of her own work.

“I worked with some of the best illustrators in North America and in Europe as well, and I think the realism of their work actually did influence the way I look at things,” she said.

This is Cinnamon’s third year on the tour, though she’s been showing her work in the area for years. She’s part of the Beach Guild of Fine Art, and has mounted shows alongside fellow painter Jennifer Smithwell at the Gardener’s Cottage.

The studio tour allows a unique chance for artists to show their work outside a gallery setting and to discuss with people what they like and, sometimes, don’t like about the work.

“It’s nice to have people look at it, enjoy it, and sometimes even challenge you on it,” she said.

The tour runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Each location will have refreshments and passports that can be stamped at each studio and entered in a draw for an original piece made by one of the participants. Locations will be marked by yellow bicycles and balloons, and maps can be picked up from Beach shops or downloaded from the tour website.

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