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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Sarah Amos - Painter

By Robert Amos November 8, 2004

} Sarah Amos - Painter By Robert Amos For years I have avoided writing about the paintings of Sarah Amos. They are beautifully painted, carefully considered and with a perfect balance of substance and charm. The only drawback to writing about them is that ... she is my wife. As an art writer I have tried to avoid favouritism, but now it’s time to speak out ! Sarah Amos in her studio, Victoria, Canada. Sarah Amos is, in the usual sense of the term, self-taught. She has no “formal” training as a painter, but that’s not to say she hasn’t learned a great deal by long experience with both fine paintings and excellent painters. Her natural talent was evident in childhood. Sarah’s mother was an amateur artist, as were her cousins in Britain where she grew up. “At school, the teacher always saved the best brushes for me,” Amos reported. Lily Cooper, her art teacher, was very encouraging, but art school was not an option for Amos after she left high school. At 18 years old, Amos came to Vancouver, B. C., Canada, as an “au pair” to help look after a friend’s children for a year. After this, Amos decided to live in Canada, and eventually became a Canadian citizen. Canada was in post-Expo euphoria and life in Vancouver was stimulating. In the next ten years she received a university degree from UBC and cultivated her talent for drawing with Eric Metcalfe. Metcalfe, a. k. a. “Dr. Brute”, is not only a talented draughtsman but one of Canada’s most prominent contemporary artists. He is a founding member of the Western Front Society, perhaps the original “parallel artist-run gallery and cooperatives” in this country. In the late 1970’s Sarah Amos participated in many activities there - video tape, performance art and documentation - with many of the foremost artists of the day. The Western Front artists have remained life-long friends. It was at a Western Front production that she met Robert Amos, an artist from Victoria. During the year 1980-81 they got to know each other and travelled together in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia. Her participation as a performance artist at the opening of Portopia in Yokohama in 1981 was well-recorded in the press. Returning to Canada, they then set out to see America and eventually went to Britain, where they were married. Japanese girls, watercolour, 14 x 20 inches. Returning with Robert to Victoria, the two set out on a life dedicated to painting. Sarah’s watercolours from their travels immediately achieved acclaim, particularly her many studies of women in their own milieu - the marketplaces of Thailand, the shops of Japan and Canada, and at the family farm in Gloucestershire. Her exhibiting career began with shows at Stones Gallery and the North Park Gallery in Victoria. Her paintings were taken up by Art Rental and Sales at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. As so often is the case for women, motherhood soon took centre stage. Sarah, for the next twenty years, continued to paint. Inevitably, she found that most of her time was taken up looking after Robert and their two daughters. Robert insists that his considerable success, developed at this time, is attributable to her assistance. During these years Sarah Amos had, sporadically, opportunities to pursue her “self-education”. She made silk screen prints, drypoint etchings, and worked on a variety of book projects for children and for cooks. She continued to exhibit annually, with solo shows at the Sandstone Studio on Gabriola Island and at Emily Carr’s birthplace in Victoria. Exhibitions have taken place annually in her home and gallery. Of particular note was her initiative which resulted in the Fairfield Artists Studio Tour which, in its first year, drew 1500 visitors to her studio and to studios of 20 other artists. The tour is now in its fourth year and she continues to direct its fortunes. Amos also had many opportunities to hone her craft. She has followed a trajectory from watercolours through the use of gouache (an opaque watercolour) and on to acrylic paints. For the past five years she has concentrated on oil paint, a slow and meticulous technique which is suited to her patient and considered style. Recently she hosted a workshop for twelve local professional artists with Japanese artist Sugimoto Hiroshi, studying fan painting and the application of gold leaf and powders. Annually Amos has been a guest of Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River which is the site of an extensive and intense gathering of artists. There, with three days of close communication with some of the best artists in the province, she has developed her attitudes and deepened her understanding of oil painting. In particular Geoffrey Rock, Ted Harrison and Catherine Moffat have had much to contribute. Now that the children are grown Amos has taken over space - and time - for her own work. From her secluded studio she brings forth a regular production of canvases based on subject matter which is meaningful to her. A keen gardener, she has made large studies of calla lilies. Her recent paintings depict the complex growth patterns of nasturtiums and lilies. Purple lavender and the fields of blue of the camas of Beacon Hill Park attract and challenge this artist. While many are content to paint either impressions or botanical studies, she endeavours to create a vision of the entire plant, its context and growth pattern. This is a surprisingly difficult task and one which she to which she willing gives as much time and effort as necessary. Typically, a painting from her studio takes years to conceptualize and many months to make. Naturally, the results of this directed effort are substantial - and enchanting. rhododendron, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. At times she creates pictures of the close-up view of her favourite blossoms. It’s a strategy some people attribute to Georgia O’Keeffe, but in Amos’s hands the irises and rhodos and roses which she recreates in large and lasting fashion have a meticulous understanding of form which would satisfy any botanist, while their decorative effect is an irresistible contribution to any bright and cheerful room Amos also loves to cook and takes great care with the things she chooses, in her garden and at the market. A colander full of basil and peppers; the papery golden skin drying on the firm form of an onion; strawberries red in bright basins - these subjects from her kitchen table are handsome as subject matter. In fact, her kitchen itself is the subject of one of Amos’s most interesting paintings. She has a fascination for interiors in which life and love create an endearing hominess. Her sketchbooks are full of detailed pen drawings of rooms she knows and loves, many of which are kitchens. Another recent painting shows an array of delicious foods laid out for a party, all of it bathed in the warm glow of a table lamp. Cooks, and those who simply love good food, will find much pleasure in consideration of the thoughtful choices offered on fine china plates. window sill, oil on canvas,14 x 18 Pottery is another theme in Sarah Amos’s paintings. She has painted dishes by Walter Dexter and Wayne Ngan, two of Canada’s finest potters whose work she chooses for her own kitchen. Another picture shows fine Aynsley bone china from England, placed on the carefully embroidered napkins with which her linen cupboard is stocked. Now that her career as a painter can be given the time and place it deserves, it’s hard to tell what imagery Sarah Amos is going to embrace. Her work is made so slowly that it’s clearly not aimed at the marketplace. Those who buy her paintings know that there is much more thought and labour involved in each piece than the modest price would indicate. Each painting is created to exacting standards. She paints sincerely and for her own pleasure. At the moment, Sarah Amos is gathering small paintings for a book of recipes relating to the tea table. During the summer of 2004 one of her paintings was shown at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria as part of the World Tea Party exhibition. Sarah Amos’s presence on the internet for some years now has attracted many visitors to her site at www.artistsincanada.com which has generated sales in far-flung cities. Aynsley teacup, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches. Even for someone with such obvious talent, it’s not easy to attract the attention of the public. Robert Amos’s artistic career dominates much of the time and energy at the Amos household. Furthermore, the slow production of Sarah Amos’s work precludes the usual sort of gallery representation. But, as they say, ars longa vita brevis. Pictures which are so attractive and well-made will be treasured long after they are created. This artist’s reputation is set for sure growth. You can learn more about Sarah Amos at www.sarahamos.com. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com