Extraordinary Women::Barbara Leighton
Paintings in a private house have much more effect on people than they do in a gallery.
"Born Barbara Mary Harvey in Plymouth, England in 1909, Barbara and her family moved to Alberta when she was three years old. At twenty, Barbara enrolled in art classes at Alberta’s Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, which is where she would meet A.C. Leighton.
In 1930 A.C. met Barbara, who was a student in one of his classes. They were married in the early morning on Sunday, May 31, 1931 and their honeymoon was spent packing into the Kananaskis area to paint. In 1931 A.C. Leighton formed the Alberta Society of Artists and was the first president. This was also the year a joint exhibition of the works of A.C. Leighton and W.J. Phillips was held at the Edmonton Museum of Art.
A.C.’s health was rapidly deteriorating and he made has last trip to England in 1962. He was admitted to the General Hospital in Calgary in May of 1965, and soon passed away. He is buried at Millarville, Alberta, not too far from Ballyhamage. In 1971 the Glenbow Institute organized a tribute through an exhibition of a survey of Leighton’s work.
Not wanting to sit around and feel sorry for herself, Barbara Leighton enrolled at ACAD, where she received a diploma in fiber and metal crafts and for two years won scholarships in Visual Arts. Barbara Leighton was already an artist in her own right as she was well known for her wood block prints rendered from A.C.’s paintings, which she signed as “Barleigh,” a combination of her christian and married surname. In 1941 she had also been elected as a member of the Canadian Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers and belonged to the Alberta Society of Artists).
At ACAD she found the support of young artists who were attracted to the Leighton history and the artistic and natural wealth of their home and property. In 1970 Barbara sold half of her quarter-section to invest in the purchase for $1,000 of the abandoned 1919 Ballyhamage one-room schoolhouse. Her friends pitched in to help restore the old schoolhouse and convert it to an art studio. A few years later, a weaving studio and pottery studio were added, but the red one-room schoolhouse remains to this day the heart of the Centre’s children’s programs.
In 1974 with the support of her friends, Barbara officially opened the Leighton Centre. The Centre had quickly become a gathering place for budding and professional artists and children. Many had come to discover their artistic talents by exploring the beauty found in the Leightons’ home and surrounding fields. Barbara turned her home into a gallery and museum so that she could exhibit A.C.’s paintings, as well as works by other prominent Alberta artists such as Stan Perrott, Barbara Ballachey, Jim and Marion Nicoll, Rick Grandmaison, Janet Mitchell, Roland Gissing, lllingworth Kerr, and sculptor Richard Roenisch.
Read a 1979 Western Living Magazine article about Barbara Leighton and the history of Leighton Art Centre." ~ The Leighton Art Centre
“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”
Woman's Work::Sandra Sutter
"Sandra Sutter is Cree Métis, tracing her lineage back to the 1800s. Her family of origin is from the Red River area in Manitoba and settled in Île-à-la-Crosse, Big River and Muskeg Lake in Saskatchewan, as well as various points across the Prairies.
Raised in a loving non-Indigenous family, Sandra discovered and embraced her ancestral and cultural roots later in life. Like many displaced Indigenous people, honouring her proud heritage is important to a woman whose birth heritage was lost through time and circumstance. Her culture now influences her every step through life and she has grown into an active and passionate advocate for Indigenous culture and rights. Her life journey in both the non-Indigenous and Indigenous worlds has given her a unique perspective and opportunity to bring people together through her songs of reconciliation.
In Calgary, Sandra is a well-known singer-songwriter and has performed at many different venues across western Canada. She sings, writes and plays in a variety of styles including folk, country, jazz and rock. Sandra is inspired by her Indigenous heritage and has been active in the arts, particularly music, for many years. This love of culture was expressed several years ago in the release of an EP of original songs entitled “Peaceful Nation”.
Sandra is the Aboriginal Partnerships Manager for PTW Energy and CGT Industrial and the President of the Board of Directors for the Circle for Aboriginal Relations Society. She sits on several Indigenous serving board and committees across Canada. She lives and breathes the concepts that she thinks, speaks and sings about every day.
In 2017, Sandra was awarded an Indigenous Arts production grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to record a full-length studio album with producers and JUNO-winners Vince Fontaine (Eagle & Hawk/Indian City) and Chris Burke-Gaffney (Orphan, The Pumps, Harlequin). This year, with another grant from AFA, they completed Sandra's second full length album, Aurora 12!
Her album Cluster Stars is part of a vision to help bring an understanding of the Indigenous culture to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, with the overall objective of understanding leading to acceptance and acceptance leading to peace and well being. The belief in the fundamental strength of the Inuit, Métis and First Nation cultures as expressed through art and particularly in this case through music, provides the material and drive for this project." ~ www.sandrasutter.com
Recently after one of the spring storms in our neighborhood, I found this robin's (?) nest on the ground with a hole in the bottom so I chose to bring it into my studio. Since the theme of my current altered book is titled 'To Be Where You Are' I thought a drawing of it would be perfect as I am a long-time collector of things from nature...feathers, stones, pinecones, branches, flowers & abandoned hornet's nests. This nest is the perfect addition to my bookcases. There is something so incredible about being able to look so closely at something created by wildlife.
With this painting of my husband I have finally painted my immediate family. My daughters and I have been painted several times but I don't often paint men so this has taken awhile. I have to say, though, this is the face that still makes me so happy since we met in 1986. In fact, I met my best friends that year, too, and designed the logos for the Alberta Winter Games...it was a good year. :)
Woman's Work::Caprice Hogg
"Caprice first picked up her paintbrush in 1994 and quickly discovered a hidden talent. She studied with artists Karen Hersey, Keith Smith and Shane Garton and soon found herself in a world of colourful oils, shapes and art techniques. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge of art has become an obsession as Caprice eagerly reads each and every art book she can get her hands on.
In 1998, Caprice's first solo exhibition gave her the confidence and courage to pursue painting as a full-time career. She has continued to exhibit on an ongoing basis and her works are now in private and corporate collections in Western and Eastern Canada, United States, Europe and New Zealand. Caprice works and exhibits her paintings from her Studio Gallery located in Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada.
Caprice feels privileged to be able to use her talent to help others. She has donated several paintings to organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Wildsight Environmental Society, In-Definite Arts Society which supports art programs for people with developmental disabilities, and "Reaching E-Quality Employment Services" which assists people with disabilities to find full-time employment. For two consecutive years Caprice was commissioned by the Variety Club of British Columbia to produce a painting for their annual "Show of Hearts" Telethon to benefit children with special needs. She was also commissioned, along with 5 other prominent Canadian women artists, to produce a painting for the Canadian Foundation for Women's Health. Caprice is a strong advocate for the environment, animal rights and natural health, all of which are reflected in her lifestyle.
In 2005, Caprice was honoured by her high school, The Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, with their "Wall of Distinction" Award, along with Olympic gold medal hockey player Billy Gibson. This lifetime achievement award acknowledges career accomplishments and humanitarian efforts. Caprice received yet another honour in 2011, this time from her elementary and junior high school, St. Joseph's School when she was inducted on to their "Wall of Fame" in Coaldale, Alberta.
Teaching art has become another passion for Caprice. Passing on the knowledge that was passed on to her is certainly an important part of her career. Working with children has been especially rewarding, as their innocence and imagination is inspiring! In 2011, Caprice had a great experience teaching "at risk" teenagers at the Kimberley Alternate School and hopes to do more in the future. Please click here to watch a video of Caprice teaching the youth at the Alternate School.
Whenever the opportunity arises, Caprice travels to not only see new landscapes, but also to art galleries and museums in Canada and abroad. Looking at art illuminates and inspires and gives her new focus when she returns to her own canvas. Unable to physically walk-through forests and climb steep mountains, Caprice calls upon the powers of her imagination to experience their beauty and majesty. Her vibrant colors and bold strokes reflect her strong connection to mother nature. Looking at a Caprice painting is the next best thing to being there!
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance" - Aristotle" - https://capriceartstudio.com/
Black & White
I've already begun to start a new art journal as I know that the gathering phase can take me quite some time. I've created a few using children's cardboard books and this time I would like to work smaller again, though using a standard book, just in a diminutive size. I stumbled upon the meditative watercolour videos of Theologian @juliachendrickson on Instagram and love her conversation of art as prayer. That is something I've always felt and, since I'm not giving up on the idea of creating a black & white altered book for myself, I thought I'd actually put my tube of Liquitex payne's grey to use. Since I've been interested in creating a watercolour-like effect with my acrylics by sprinkling salt on the wet colour, I mixed it into a cream-like consistency using matte medium, flow aid & water. So far I've tried wet paint on dry watercolour paper & wet on wet and I'm really liking it though I've already envisioned collaging colourful birds & flowers to the background...we'll see if I can actually refrain myself.
"To Be Where You Are"
Finally finished altered book #10! I am so slow at creating these but I love every minute of it...painting & cutting & pasting & creating a little 'story' with images & colour. This was a pandemic project that began in black & white but slowly shifted to colour.
My first foray into altered books took place many years ago as a collaborative process with @supriak , @sethapter , @roxanneevansstout , @ritavindedzis & @jillzaheer when we connected through Blogspot...I was so grateful for that opportunity. We each spent a couple of months on one another's projects and I signed out every book from our library on mixed media, art journalling, altered & reclaimed art to learn more. I was nervous but they were so encouraging.
Through books I learned about adding pockets, pop outs, adhering 3-dimensional objects, photo transfers, reinforcing spines, and so much more. And I haven't stopped creating them since...very slowly. It's a great process to help me slow down.
The themes of each book has been:
• Self Portrait
• The Art of Simplicity
• A Story to Tell
• Rustic Simplicity
• True Love
• To Be Where You Are
Since my first altered book I have had the privilege of teaching numerous workshops on creating something personal with a focus on what is important to you & being accessible while also being fairly simple to create. I love being able to salvage damaged books from our library that would otherwise be discarded and have shared some of my books on my website (under the 'Portfolio' heading) and also have an eCourse available.
Woman's Work::Nicole Dypolt
"I had the honor to photograph my work family at RGH ER during COVID 2020 and photographed over 170 families at their home during lockdown. I wanted those photos to help them reflect back in time to show them how they moved through it all. As, all I saw was laughter, love and joy on everyone's faces during such unprecedented times. I wanted to show the world the beauty that I see, seeing them truthfully, & beautifully. Make them feel that joy for what they are and who they are. Sadly, shortly after, I was greatly disrupted as we most have. For 2020 is a year I don't want to repeat. I tragically, lost my Dad during COVID and as an ER nurse I wasn't allowed to be there with him. That someone you love can just not be there the next day. Made me realize that life is beautiful, even on dark days. I appreciate the beauty of today a little more. Photographs are so important. A portrait is forever. It's a legacy. It's for you and all the people you love and I find it (photographing) healing, transformative work. I decided to do a personal project each year. I photographed the Veterans at Legion #285 in 2021." ~ Nicole Dypolt
Voice & Vision 2022
by Margaret G. Hanna
Abby stood in her grandmother’s bedroom, hands on her hips. She was not looking forward to disposing of her grandmother’s clothing.
Ick, just old lady’s stuff. Who’ll want it?
She looked in the closet. Five frumpy dresses, a threadbare coat, two mended ancient slips, and two pairs of sensible shoes, the soles worn thin.
She was frugal, guess that came of surviving the Dirty Thirties. Granny was always lecturing me, “When I was your age, I didn’t have two cents to rub together.” “When I was your age . . . blah, blah, blah.”
As she took out the last dress, Abby saw a garment bag at the back of the closet. She laid it on the bed, undid the zipper and gasped. Then she laughed. “Granny, you devil, you.”
She took out a flapper dress made of ashes-of-roses silk georgette over silk crepe. Rhinestones lined the boat neckline. Crystal beads highlighted the huge embroidered roses and the scalloped hem.
Abby held the dress to herself and turned to the dresser mirror. She saw a young lady, her hair bobbed and marcellined, an ostrich feather boa and a long string of pearls around her neck, flirting with a certain young man, tall, handsome, his hair slicked back with macassar oil, a pencil-thin mustache. The two of them, dancing the Charleston into the wee hours of the morning, eyes only for each other.
She smoothed the dress and smiled.
Granny, when you were my age, you were just like me.