Women Artists in Alberta for Canada150 Part 2

Women Artists in Alberta for Canada150 Part 2

Women Artists -Art by Janice Tanton

Women Artists in Alberta for Canada 150 – Part 2: By Brandy Saturley

Part 1 of this series focusing on Alberta Artists for Canada150 I spoke with Calgary art star, Chris Cran. With this second part to my series, I want to focus on women artists in Alberta, and more specifically women who paint.

The women artists I chose to highlight in this piece are not only visual artists, they are advocates and activists and their talent and commitment to the arts goes far beyond their studios. These Alberta artists are fierce arts advocates and contributors to the past, current and future conversation of Canadian art. From the grounded figurative works of painter Janice Tanton, to the fluid landscapes of Gisa Mayer; these women have talent and heart. I am happy they obliged when I asked if they would participate in an interview designed to show the person behind the art, that we have come to love.

Women Artists -Art by Janice TantonJanice Tanton is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on figurative painting in oils. Recently, I came upon her immense painting, ‘Undercurrents’ which was on display at the Glenbow Museum as part of ‘Romancing the Canoe’ which concludes September 10th. As I have been working on my own comment about ‘Canadianisms’, I was drawn to this stunning piece that subtly speaks to the current Canadian landscape. A little insight into Janice Tanton…

What is your most marked characteristic?

Pit bull persistence with insatiable curiosity.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

My family, our roots in the land and waters.

Who is your favorite painter?

Bo Bartlett, Andrew Wyeth, Mark Rothko, Ken Danby, Isabel McLaughlin.

Who is your favorite musician?

Bruce Cockburn….and my son Jacob.

Who is your favorite musician?

Bruce Cockburn….and my son Jacob.

What is your favorite colour?

Cadmium Red Deep (Gamblin)

What is your favorite virtue?

Respect

Who are your heroes in real life?

My husband, my parents, my children, my ancestors and my adopted Blackfoot family.

As a Canadian artist, have you chosen to respond to Canada150 through your art?

Yes – current show “Anamnesis” (Janice Iniskimaki Tanton and Joseph Sanchez) running until September 17 at Penticton Art Gallery, addressing residential school and sixties scoop issues as well as racism in Canada, and also “Romancing The Canoe” at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, AB. What is the best thing about working as a visual artist in Alberta? The Banff Centre; Glyde Hall and Leighton Artist Colony. I highly recommend both. You can see more of Tanton’s work on her website here: www.janicetanton.ca


Gisa MayerWomen Artists - Clear Day by Gisa Mayer is a Canadian Landscape painter who emits joy and a deep love for the Arts, influenced by her native European roots.

Mayer’s landscapes are effortless, fluid and calming and become almost abstracted in their continuous strokes.

In Mayer’s answers to my questions, she reveals that her intuition leads when it comes to painting.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I’m told that I am a very energetic person, I always have a lot of projects on the go and try to take advantage of Calgary’s cultural scene as much as possible, whether it’s openings or the opera.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Nature turns me on creatively! I love being outdoors, looking at the sky, the mountains, feeling the wind on my skin and the earthy smells of a forest lead me to be creative. I want to share these extraordinary places and feelings with the people that look at my paintings and let them take part in these experiences that take you away from your daily problems.

Who is your favorite painter?

My favourite Canadian painter is Clarence Gagnon. My favourite female painter is Gabriele Münter, a German expressionist painter.

Who is your favorite musician?

My favourite composer is Gustav Mahler. I also love the great Canadian composer Ann Southam’s music. My favorite Jazz musician is Oscar Peterson, I especially love “Canadiana Suite”.

What is your favourite colour?

My favorite colour is green, in all its many glorious shades. What is your favorite virtue? My favorite virtue is patience, it can solve problems in painting and life. Being more patient is a goal of mine, I think I am getting better.. Who are your heroes in real life? I admire people that stand up for their principles. I admire Naomi Klein. Another example is Vaclav Havel, the Czech

What is your favorite virtue?

My favorite virtue is patience, it can solve problems in painting and life. Being more patient is a goal of mine, I think I am getting better…

Who are your heroes in real life?

I admire people that stand up for their principles. I admire Naomi Klein. Another example is Vaclav Havel, the Czech writer and dissident that became the first president of the Czech Republic.

As a Canadian artist, have you chosen to respond to Canada150 through your art?

For Canada 150 I am painting only Canadian vistas. I traveled a lot in Canada this year, spending time on the East Coast as well as on the West Coast and especially in the Rockies. These travels resulted in many paintings of the beautiful country we are celebrating. We have to make every effort to preserve these places and protect our natural environment.

What is the best thing about working as a visual artist in Alberta? 

The best thing about being a visual artist in Alberta is easy access to pristine natural environment. Every time I get to spend time in the mountains I am amazed again how easy it is to get away from any visible human impact. This stands in sharp contrast to the landscapes and mountains I grew up in, the Alps.

Whether pit bull persistence or insatiable curiosity, through their respect for the landscape and the people who came before them, with patience and respect, these women are blazing trails across the Canadian Art landscape. Their tracks are indefinitely imprinted into the land, and in the minds of the people they touch with their art and their presence.

Thank you to these women artists, Gisa Mayer and Janice Tanton for taking the time to share a little more, and reveal another side of your ‘artist’ self.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

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