Tag Archives: Art show

Larson unveils Sable Island series in Coombs

After the initial Sable Island show at the studio on the 18th and 19th of June, Pamela Smyth, from the Oceanside Star came by the Studio and then wrote this article in the local paper. Thanks so much Pamela!

(One quick note: at the bottom of the article it says the show is only open until July 3rd…but we’ve extended the show: “The Wild Horses of Sable Island” will be open daily at Creekside Studio from 1 – 5 p.m. or by appointment through the summer months.  Closed Mondays)

 

Larson Unveils Sable Island Series in Coombs– Pamela Smyth, Special to the Oceanside Star

Nova Scotia island of shipwrecks also harbours 400 horses

By Pamela Suzanne Smyth, Special to Oceanside Star

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011

Joan Larson unveiled her Sable Island series at the Creekside Studio in Combs last weekend.

The series follows her equestrian-themed Musical Ride series, released earlier this year.

In 2009, Larson’s passion for horses drew her to the island off Nova Scotia’s southeast coast and home to over 350 shipwrecks and 400 free-roaming feral horses.

The nomadic animals may be the descendants of those left on the island by a British merchant after being confiscated from Acadians by opposing forces. However, given the number of shipwrecks dating from the 1500s, along with former human settlement attempts, theories vary.

By the end of the 16th century, the island, comprising sand, low-growth vegetation and freshwater ponds, is said to have been inhabited by shipwreck survivors, sealers and salvagers.

Since then, horses were periodically removed, mainly for commercial use, but in 1960, the government implemented protection policies.

Once Larson was granted access to the protected historical site, she took a hotel in Halifax and, with three others, shared the $10,000 cost of hiring a charter plane.

“You fly in at the mercy of the weather,” Larson says. “Before we came, there had been six weeks of steady fog. Those booked before us never made it and had to cancel their plans.”

Her planned five-day visit was shortened to two days.

The island, populated by a half-dozen people, has no stores or restaurants. Before landing, a Coast Guard member packed the landing strip. “He drove his truck over it about 20 times,” says Larson.

“There were two buildings open and we stayed in the one for visitors. We had to bring our own bedding and food.”

After settling in, she wandered off on her own. “Standing by a pond, I saw a stallion with his harem. He moved away and fell knee-deep in quicksand. Taking pictures, I sunk in about three inches, then pulled out and backed away. He broke free. Maintaining a distance, I wanted to touch his hair. He came up and sniffed me. I lifted up his long mane and scratched his neck and he loved it. ”

The next day, touring the ponds with a visiting doctor from the University of Alberta, the stallion returned. “This time, he nestled up against me and tried to separate us.”

The doctor teased that the horse wanted the artist to join his harem. Found in several paintings, she calls the four-legged fellow ‘Boyfriend.’

Another memorable experience occurred when a younger stallion approached the camera’s tripod. Cautiously investigating the device, he nudged it a few times and finally sent it to the bottom of the pond.

The Sable Island exhibit can be viewed at Creekside Studio until July 3. You can call the studio toll-free at 1- (800) 251-9246.


Contest Winner – Congrats Aleshia!

No longer Unnamed! This painting is now called Sable Spirit - Congrats Aleshia!

Hello Everyone;

First, I wish to thank everyone that took the time to enter our “Name the Painting” contest. It was a truly difficult task to narrow down the list even to the top contenders. A small group of friends and family spent many hours between last night and today going over the list many times . . . inevitably the last choice was mine to select “the one” from the many.

And the winner is:

“SABLE SPIRIT” entered by Aleshia Kiedaisch . . . congratulations Aleshia!! It has also now been posted under the contest tab on this blog.

The wonderful response to these paintings tells me that, although tiny, Sable Island and its wild horses hold a large place in the hearts and imaginations of Canadians. I would like to invite you to suggest other titles for paintings in this series. I may not be able to respond personally to all of you, but I will pay attention. The new paintings will be posted as they are finished on my Sable Island Horses blog.

We extended the Show too!

For those of you that live in proximity to my studio, we have had so many people calling and asking if they can come out to the studio to see the paintings that we have extended the show. The show and studio will be open daily from 1-5 pm until end of day on Sunday, July 3rd, or by appointment by calling us at 1-250-752-0395.

A most humble and heartfelt “Thank you” to all.

Warmest Regards,
Joan


Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Her Away

PQ News reporter Lissa Alexander wrote and wonderful article in the local paper about my trip to Sable Island and about my upcoming show at the Studio this weekend!

Thanks so much Lissa, it’s a beautiful article!

“Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Her Away” – Parksville Qualicum Beach News – Lifestyles

 

By Lissa Alexander – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Published: June 14, 2011 9:00 AM

Boys Will Be Boys

After a profound visit two years ago to a secluded, East Coast Island, Coombs artist Joan Larson has finished her Wild Horses of Sable Island series, enabling residents to discover this hidden Canadian gem for themselves.

Larson had known about the ethereal sand bar island since she was a child; heard the romantic stories of the wild horses, the sandy plains and beaches and spectacular sunsets, but never thought it would be possible to visit herself.

Access to the island has to be granted by Canadian Coast Guard and visitors have to make their own transportation arrangements to and from the island, as well as bring all their own supplies.

Larson was invited by a childhood horse riding acquaintance, and was thrilled by the invitation.

“It was just like, ‘Oh my God are you kidding?’ when she asked if wanted to go,” Larson said.

“To go and hang out with a bunch of wild horses?” she added.

So she headed off with two photographers and an Alberta professor and wild horse researcher. The island, located 300 kilometres southeast of mainland Nova Scotia, is the windiest place in Nova Scotia with the least sunshine and most fog. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to Larson when she and her group were grounded by offshore fog, delaying their week-long trip for five days. In the end the weather also delayed them getting back to the mainland, giving them four full days on the island.

Before the wheels even hit the landing strip (which was the beach) Larson saw wild horses coming out of the dunes. The population of horses on the island swelled to about 400 when she was visiting and she said it wasn’t hard to find them on the 42 km long island.

Only a handful of people reside on Sable Island, but the wildlife is a different story. Besides wild horses, the island is also home to the world’s largest population of grey seals, along with harbour seals and numerous birds.

One evening that remains ingrained in Larson’s memory was the first night she spent on the island, having hiked to a beach to watch an incredible sunset on a balmy summer’s day.

“I was sitting in the sand dunes and there’s horses behind me, there’s seals up and down the beach and I just had this profound sense like the universe came down and gave me great big hug,” she said.

Larson has created 20 original paintings based on her experiences on Sable Island, revealing captivating scenes of the island’s wild horses, sand dunes and sunsets, all in pastel. She said the Island was a magical place and she wanted to capture and express this in her work.

“To me this is about sharing a little slice of Canada that hardly anyone will get to go visit in person,” she said.

The Wild Horses of Sable Island will be featured in an art exhibition and sale at the Creekside Studio, located at 1471 Winchester Rd. in Coombs this Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details about the artwork and show visit  www.joanlarson.com/sableisland.html or call 250-752-0395.

A “Name That Painting” contest is happening for one of the pieces, visit https://joanlarson.wordpress.com/contest/ for more information.

 


Art & Bloom Festival – Woodland Gardens

So this blog has been under-going quite a bit of shuffling around…this post was originally written on May 25th, 2011

 

We  just returned home from our show at the annual “Art & Bloom Festival” at Woodland Gardens in Courtenay, BC. This year the show ran from from May 21 – 23rd, 2011

Brian Zimmerman, owner and creator of the extraordinary Woodland Gardens, invited me to be the Featured Artist. I were very pleased to be part of this show!  There is a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere among the visitors and artisans like.  My husband, Paul, and I met some great people, including MP John Duncan and his wife Kim.

You can see their website for yourselves…but I highly urge you to check out Woodland Gardens if you are near, or passing through Courtenay.