I’m not always in town when The London Artists’ Studio tour takes place every April. This spring I am in town due to the pandemic. For the same reason the tour won’t be happening this spring. So I got to thinking about my second time attending this yearly event last year. My travels were curtailed for health reasons so I was able to partake in this event again. There were 27 participants, fewer than in some previous years. If you collected nine signatures from artists during the tour your name was entered into a draw for prizes donated by the artists. I made it to about a dozen and was able to get to some that I hadn’t been to before.
A couple of the studios I got to are in the Blackfriars neighbourhood just across the river from downtown. The studios are in the artists’ homes which are of lovely yellow brick construction and a delight to wander around: Shirley Clement weaves very colourful pillow covers on a 45” Dutch countermarch floor loom; and Kevin Bice paints and draws in a variety of media. The Blackfriars Bridge in the neighbourhood is a recurring subject in his work.
Another artist, Catherine Morrisey, has her studio at the end of her garden, in an old auto body shop, which backs onto the Thames River. She mostly does landscapes in oil on canvas and they are vibrant.
Others share studio space on the north east edge of downtown: Moria Burke paints stunning water scenes – I could actually see movement in the waves; Ingrid Arnet Connidis paints a variety of subjects in acrylic and oils mostly – I like her paintings of neighbourhood houses in the Ontario yellow brick; and Catherine Eichstedt paints in the studio and in the outdoors.
One new artist I saw in my own neighbourhood is Arale Vallely. Before moving to Canada she lived in Hong Kong and Qatar and paints very colourful flowers, fruits, vegetables and animals on silk.
Happily I’ve discovered while writing this that the Artists’ Studio Tour for “2020”:https://londonstudiotour.ca/ has been rescheduled for October 23-25 and there are 32 artists signed up! Hopefully things will be back to normal(ish) by then and this event will actually happen this year. Fingers crossed.