Out-Rageous: A painting exhibition on at Fish Point Studio in Gore Bay

Artists Sharon Preen, Helen Siksek and Sue Lampinen are featured in the exhibit ‘out-rageous’ at the Fish Point Studio in Gore Bay.

GORE BAY—It is simply ‘outrageous’ how talented these three artists are!

Out-Rageous, an exhibition of paintings at the Fish Point Studio in Gore Bay features paintings by three unique artists, Sue Lampinen, Sharon Preen and Helen Siksek. The artworks are inspired by plein-air painting.

Sue Lampinen and Sharon Preen are established artists from the La Cloche and greater Sudbury area art communities. Helen Siksek is an artist on Manitoulin Island who has been painting with the group for several years in the aforementioned areas, as well as in Killarney Provincial Park. All three artists have something in common: a passion for painting outdoors and love doing it on a regular basis. Ms. Lampinen paints using pastels, Ms. Preen uses oil paints and Helen Siksek uses acrylic. They may paint together in the same location but their styles are distinct and unique.

A release notes artists throughout history have enjoyed painting outdoors, but the act of painting known by the French term ‘en plein-air’ historically became popular during the years leading up to the French Impressionist movement when visual artists became preoccupied with painting the effect of light on colour—so it was important for them to paint outdoors directly from nature while observing natural light.

Today’s en plein-air artists have evolved and continue to be drawn to different influences, as well as traditional ones. Here in Canada, and especially in Ontario, many outdoor painters are influenced by the legacy of the Group of Seven who created a en plein-air genre that is distinctly Canadian and of primary attraction for many artists who paint in this region.

The art of painting outdoors from direct observation is critical to these artists because it helps them develop and sharpen their skills. It is a serious pursuit for many professional artists. What they are trying to accomplish by painting outdoors is not as easy to explain and is a personal and deeply meaningful practice.

A century ago, plein-air paintings were not meant to be exhibited or sold to the public. They were small in size for practical purposes, mainly for ease of transport. They were made on location and critical in developing larger works back in the artist’s studio, especially before the presence of photography. This is now changing. Plein-air paintings today are exhibited straight from the field to the gallery. Artists and the public alike value the freshness and energy that is captured by this quick method.

Sue Lampinen, Sharon Preen and Helen Siksek are three artists who are committed to the value of the plein-air experience and they will continue to paint regularly around Manitoulin Island and the La Cloche region to document the natural landscape around them in the same creative and artistic tradition as artists before them who revered the landscape of Northern Ontario.

‘Out-Rageous,’ an exhibition of their plein-air paintings, will be on display until September 10 at Fish Pint Studio Gallery and Gift Shop, 1 Water Street, Gore Bay. The gallery is open daily to the public and Helen Siksek will be on site to welcome visitors on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays from 10 am until 6 pm and on Sundays and Mondays from noon until 6 pm. For more information feel free to call 705-282-4495 or check the Fish Point Studio online page.