J. Ian Ridpath --
Professional Oil Painter

A View from Here: Capturing Milton and Surroundings in Art

An article in Inside Halton - E-newspaper, December 2011

Art Show by Six local artists at the Holcim Gallery in the Milton Centre for the Arts.

Photo - Graham Paine / Canadian Champion.

Rosemary Simpson, Ian Ridpath, Carol Hughes, (back row) Monica Burnside and Ken Bradford (front) showing off their work to be displayed in the Holcim from January 10-29, 2012 absent: Peter Young)

"It would be impossible for an artist not to be inspired by the landscape in Milton and its surrounding areas.

The most obvious landmark is the majestic Niagara Escarpment, but with the abundant rural patches and numerous conservation areas, Sixteen Mile Creek, even the Mill Pond right here in the centre of town, the scenery lends itself to an artist's brush or lens.

That thought was on Ian Ridpath's mind when he was asked to organize a show at the Holcim Gallery to coincide with the official opening celebrations of the Milton Centre for the Arts in January. "I thought it would be good to have a Milton-themed show," said Ridpath, a landscape oil painter who will exhibit seasonal perspectives of the Mill Pond, a field of flowers at Mountsberg Conservation Area and Crawford Lake in autumn.

The artists Ridpath chose "have an eye for this area," he said. "Most do landscapes. I have left it up to them what to paint." The featured artists are painters Ken Bradford, Monica Burnside, Carol Hughes, Rosemary Simpson and photographer Peter Young.

Every medium from photography to watercolours, oils, acrylic and pastels is covered.

Hughes will include watercolour landscapes painted from sketches done last summer. "For me, the area is so inspiring because of the Niagara Escarpment," said Hughes. "The cedars and limestone rocks and abundance of water are wonderful to paint." Hughes grew up in town, yet she believes she appreciates her surroundings more now. "We are privileged to live in a world biosphere reserve with spectacular scenery. I can't do it justice in paint, but that doesn't stop me from trying."

Bradford, who paints in oils, acrylics and watercolours, is charmed by Milton, having come from Sault Ste. Marie. "I find Milton to be very historical ... the surrounding landscapes are wonderful and the people so friendly, it truly is a special place."

Living on the escarpment, the landform has been Rosemary Simpson's focus and inspiration for many years, she said. "The diverse topography and the changing seasons are a sumptuous feast for artists. Winter on a sunny day is a sparkling jewel, autumn a riot of colour, spring is subtle and delicate and summer the many shades of green jade. For this show I've used pastels to share my view of places I love."

Burnside has a passion for local landscapes and loves to join friends on painting jaunts to Rattlesnake Point, Kelso, Crawford Lake, Speyside and downtown Milton.

A Milton resident since 1994, Young's goal is to highlight and celebrate the dignity and wondrous elements displayed by nature, people and animals. "I wish to inspire viewers to experience a moment of recognition and realization that we are surrounded by a glorious world and that we are but one element in the grand scheme."

The Milton area offers a multitude of opportunities to capture images which allow him to fulfill that goal, he said. "Within a half hour in any direction, I have opportunities to further my artist goal." The images Young has produced for the upcoming show are infrared images of people, animals and landscapes.

Ridpath invites Miltonians "to stroll through these magnificent fine art images displaying our region through the eyes of these artists."

A View from Here: Capturing Milton and Surroundings through Art will open January 10 and run until January 29.

(This article appeared in the Inside Halron E-Newspaper Newspaper on December 22, 2011 and was written by Kathy Yanchus of the Canadian Champion Newspaper (Milton).)

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