Artist to Appreciate: Miyoshi Kondo

M. Kondo, Take Off 2011

Miyoshi Kondo, Take Off (2011)

Many of Miyoshi Kondo’s brightly colored gouache paintings may appear at first to convey images of pure whimsy, but looking deeper there is very thoughtful and wry commentary at work in her art.   Among the themes that Kondo explores in her recent art are concepts of home and place, our relationship to the environment, and how technology influences us in ways both positive and less than desirable.  Overall, I discern a strong sense of optimism that comes through in her art, which I think is reflective of this highly personable artist herself.

Originally from Toronto and a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Kondo’s distinctive style is a wonderful example of the vibrant arts scene in and around the charming town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she resides, and the province generally.  She is also among the many fine artists represented by the very progressive Argyle Fine Arts in Halifax.

More of Kondo’s terrific work can be seen at her official artist site here and at Argyle’s site here.

M. Kondo, Take Me Home 2016

Miyoshi Kondo, Take Me Home (2016)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Life is A Highway (2017)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Seaside (2013)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Flight (2017)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Excess Baggage Messenger (2017)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Holdout (2015)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Hung to Dry (2013)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Over the Edge (2010)

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Miyoshi Kondo, Red Rooves (2010)

(Image Credits: Miyoshi Kondo)

Artist to Appreciate: Katharine Burns

k-burns-perfect-dayKatharine Burns, “Perfect Day”

Capturing in a painting the emotion of the coastal landscape is a tricky thing and something that Halifax-based artist, Katharine Burns, has managed to do perfectly. Inspired by the serenity of Nova Scotia’s beautiful shores (one of my favorite places!), she skillfully renders the movement of ocean waves, with varying shades of light dancing across the water’s constantly shifting surface beneath vast expanses of cloud-covered skies.  This past August, Burns had her first (of what I’m sure will many other) well-deserved solo show, this one entitled “Sea Level” and held at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax, which showcased many of her seascapes.

On her artist site she notes: “Preparing for my first solo show was one of the hardest things I’ve done.  For six months I went through periods of serious self doubt and frustration along with some moments of sudden realization and inspiration.  It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me emotionally but I learned a lot and grew as an artist.”  You have to root for that sort of spirit and candor!

In addition to Burns’ evocative seaside paintings, her other work is also terrific.  I especially like the painterly style of her series of bicycle paintings, a few of which are below.  More of her art can be seen on Burns’ artist site here.

[As an side, much like the Ian Tan Gallery on Canada’s West Coast, Argyle Fine Art on the East Coast has a stellar roster of emerging and established Canadian artists and both are among my favorite independent art galleries.  As I’ve done with some Ian Tan Gallery artists, this is the first of several posts I’ll be doing on a few artists represented by Argyle whose work deserves greater attention.]

k-burns-difused-light

Katharine Burns, “Diffused Light”

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k-burns-glisten

Katharine Burns, “Glisten”

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k-burns-lawrencetown

Katharine Burns, “Lawrencetown”

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k-burns-road-racer

Katharine Burns, “Road Racer”

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k-burns-linus

Katharine Burns, “Linus”

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k-burns-bicycle-series-2

Katharine Burns, “Bicycle Series 2”

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k-burns-marginal-road

Katharine Burns, “Marginal Road”

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Related Posts on O’Canada Blog:

Lyssa Kayra’s Inspired Tree Ring Art

Intricate Pebble Paintings by Kristina Boardman

David Pirrie:  Mapping Western Terrains and Our Sense of Place

Andrea Kastner and Rejected Things

Artist to Appreciate: Richard Ahnert

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