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Artist Julia Purcell masterfully recreates the scenic setting of Gallery 18 in New London, on a peaceful Saturday afternoon. The daylong art demonstration coincided with Purcell’s ongoing exhibition and sale called, “Finding My Voice.”

Clyde River artist Julia Purcell made the front page of the Journal Pioneer on Monday and we want to say how proud we are of her and her work. The following is a reprint of the article that appeared.

Nature of Painting

“I started this landscape painting this morning and kept going until mid-afternoon once the paint was starting to set,” said Purcell. “Then I took a break.”

Painting is one of Purcell’s greatest pleasures in life, and it brings out a world of creativity.

“I don’t want to give away my age, but I’ve been painting for 40 years. It started with my parents who are well-known painters (Joseph and Tela Purcell of Nova Scotia), and it was something I eventually got the courage to try. And with lots of practice I got better,” she added.

“It’s definitely a shortcut if you have an instructor to guide you.”

Purcell instructs many on how to paint picture perfect images of P.E.I.

Unlike watercolours or acrylics, oil paints are complicated and take a long time to dry. Knowing the chemistry of this paint is almost essential to achieving the proper effect, she said.

“Oil painting, you do in stages,” explained Purcell. “First, you do a drawing then an under painting and keep going for a few hours until the paint starts to set. Then you would generally lay aside the painting for that day and, hopefully, get back to it the next because otherwise the paint doesn’t go on as layers the way it should.”

Several people came to see the artist transform a blank canvas into a stunning landscape painting full of blended brushstrokes with vibrant colours.

“There’s nothing I would rather be doing then to paint or talk about painting. I had several lovely people spend quite a few hours with me actually. It was great,” said Purcell. “One of the ladies that came to visit me today wants to learn how to paint, and she actually commissioned me to go out and take a look at a certain area.”

The daylong oil painting demonstration coincided with Purcell’s ongoing exhibition and sale, “Finding My Voice,” which features landscapes, townscapes, portraits and flowers of P.E.I.

“The owners of Gallery 18, Aubrey Bell and Patricia Bennett, saw my posts online and asked what I was going to do with all my work and if I would like to have a show, and, of course I said yes,” stated Purcell. “That was last fall and I have been working on it all winter, through the spring and summer.”

For more information visit www.Gallery18.com.

Editor’s note: Julia leads an art demonstration at our Annual Art in the Park event held each July at Murchison Place Park. Many of her paintings feature the beauty of Clyde River.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.15.40 PMClyde River artist Julia Purcell has an exhibit and sale of her original works at Gallery 18 in New London. The show is called Finding My Voice and features new paintings of Island views. The show continues through until Sunday, August 28th. Gallery 18 website here.

Doreen Pound attended the opening of the exhibit on August 7th. She says there are both watercolour and oil paintings. Her favourite was a landscape view of Clyde River from the vantage point of Jo-Ann MacPhail’s. Almost half of the paintings are of Clyde River.

We are having a lovely summer, so make sure to take a drive up to New London with your friends, neighbours or off-Island guests.

Julia leads the Art in the Park event at Murchison Place Park each summer.

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The Friends of Clyde River invites everyone to our annual Art in the Park event on Saturday, July 16, from 8:30 a.m. until noon at Murchison Place Park. Guest artist Julia Purcell will lead an art demonstration. All are welcome to take along their art supplies to paint/sketch or, if you just want to relax and listen, that is great as well. We offer a special invitation to families to come out and paint together.

Take this opportunity to stroll through the park to see the many recent improvements that have been made which include new play and swing sets, areas landscaped and new trees added.

Art in the Park will take place in fair weather or light rain. Please check this website for details if the weather is uncertain.

Murchison Park is located on the corner of the TransCanada Hwy and the Clyde River Rd. Coffee and treats will be provided in the early morning but feel free to take along a lunch.

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All are welcome to attend the Clyde River W.I.’s LEAP Mixed Art Media Exhibition on Wednesday, March 9th, 12:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Rd. The event will feature art produced by the 15 participants in this year’s program.

Their art instructor was Kate Sharpley from Stratford who is well known for her “Squiggle Brush” classes for both adults and children. Kate taught her LEAP students how to draw basic lines and shapes, how to copy shapes and produce mirror images. She introduced them to a watercolour palette, how to mask out shapes and where to place subjects for good composition. Kate set up a variety of fruit for one class and flowers for the next one and taught them what to look for when producing a drawing.

The students produced postcards using watercolours. Then they learned how to introduce different materials into their art e.g. torn paper from reclaimed textbooks and yarn to add variety and texture to their art.  She showed them how to mix basic colours.

Their final project was to bring all they had learned together on a 16″ x 20″ canvas of their own creation.

The exhibition will feature the students’ projects created throughout the program. We hear it is an impressive assortment of mixed media which brought out each of the student’s personalities.

Please make sure to drop by on Wednesday to celebrate their creativity. You may find yourself looking at materials around your house in a different way and begin a project of your own, with a child or grandchild.

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Painting in the clover

Painting in the clover

Art the Park – Plein Air – will take place on Saturday, July 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Murchison Place Park. Clyde River artist Julia Purcell will lead the morning which will offer participants a choice of self-directed group painting or an optional group lesson with Julia for a portion of the morning before spreading out in and around the park to paint.

Julia welcomes any level of painter, whether you are a beginner or beyond and offers the following overview of what she will teach.

“Thinking and understanding the style/approach to your painting is useful and then defining your personal preferences in relation to style. The question is, do you prefer the linear style or the painterly style? And then how do you achieve that? And can your painting have aspects of both approaches and still work as a successful, convincing painting?” Julia will show how that it possible.

Julia will also spend time talking about the many colors of green that we encounter when painting en plein air. “We will experiment with suggestions on how to mix a sunlit green or a shadow green, a distant green hill or nearby field of green grass, the deep green of evergreens or the bright green of deciduous trees or whatever else nature sets out before us. It’s all fun for painters,” Julia describes.

Participants need to bring all their own supplies including paints, brushes, palette, tape, paper and backboard or canvas. An easel would be useful as would a clamp-on beach umbrella and sunscreen, plus a hat. Pack a lunch, if desired. Coffee will be provided. The event will take place in sunshine or light rain.

We also welcome those who enjoy watching art being created to drop by.

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The Old Home - Artist Audrey MacPhee

The Old Home Place – Artist Audrey MacPhee

Millie’s Marvels are a group of artists who meet weekly to paint together at the Burnside Presbyterian Church in Clyde River. Their artistic works are on display until May 8th at Cornwall Town Hall. The show is called “Beginners’ Choice”. Millie Kikkert’s budding artists are Wanda Corney, Audrey MacPhee, Phyllis Taylor, Gloria Sauvé, Betty Watts, Ada Drummond, Lois Gass, Jean Beer, and Donna Clow.

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It was a spectacular day for a plein air or “paint out” event in and around Murchison Place Park. About 20 artists and onlookers enjoyed the light, warmth and inspiration that a summer morning in July can deliver. Two artists arrived along with Julia Purcell at 6:30 a.m. and set up their easels on opposite sides of the park. Other artists arrived throughout the morning, with baskets, easels and chairs in hand, and set up around the boardwalk and gazebo. Clyde River Artist Julia Purcell spent time with each artist, answering questions and offering tips.

The first thing Julia suggests when painting outside is to set up your easel so you are facing the sun. Then when you attach your umbrella, you and your canvas will be in the shade. The canvas should be upright, not leaning back, to ensure that the lines in your painting are correct. Never place the focal point in the centre of a painting; it should be off-centred to create more interest and proper movement of the eye as one views it. Use a warm colour as a base. Julia used a yellow ochre, diluted with water to create a warm background to her scene. Add the main lines of the painting e.g. buildings and fences, to establish its overall composition and then add colour.

Julia said it is important to not waste time driving around all day in a car looking for a special location, but just pick a spot and enjoy the full experience of painting outside within a landscape.

In the middle of the Fitzgerald’s field of clover overlooking the Clyde River, Julia painted and taught her admiring audience. Julia didn’t get a chance to finish her painting at the event, but she has promised to send us a photo of her work.

Thank you to the artists and onlookers who came out on such a beautiful day. Thanks to the Friends of Clyde River for providing the beverages, Jo-Ann MacPhail for providing freshly baked muffins and Erica and Lisa Ross for set up. A big thank you to Julia for leading this artistic expedition that we all enjoyed so much.

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