Tenth annual WAVE Tour a joy

Article appeared in the June 16, 2011 issue of the Interlake Spectator…

Patricia Eschuk explains her artistic process to WAVE Tour visitors

The sun shone on artists and art connoisseurs on Jun. 11 and 12 when artists from Stonewall to Arnes opened their homes and studios for the annual WAVE tour.
Now in its tenth season, the popular self-guided tour is still going strong, due in large part to the high calibre of art and fine craft being created, and the enthusiasm of an art-loving public.
On the tour for the June weekend were Gimli and Winnipeg Beach galleries, the Gimli Art Club, the Dunnottar Station Museum, and close to 30 individual artists who displayed a diversity of work running the gamut from pottery, wood carving, jewelry, fabric/fibre art, glass, paper, paintings, mixed media art, furniture, and musical instruments. There truly was something for everyone—to admire, to inspire, and to purchase.
Watercolour artist, Melanay Robins, was at the northernmost location on the map, in Arnes, where she has produced her vibrant paintings of flowers, nature and rural landmarks for 30 years. A member of the Gimli Art Club, she used to teach there, but now gives workshops at Camp Arnes twice a year.
She showed off a large collection of matted original paintings and card sets, with bold paintings of flowers, some created with wax resist on rice paper.
She has found that traffic flow to her cottage home in the woods has been building year by year.
“In the first years it was slow. I’m the furthest one out. Now some people are starting at the north.”
A little further south on the map was Patricia Eschuk, at her spacious cottage in Siglavik with a wide open view of the Lake. The one-time physiotherapist believes that her experience in that field has given her an advantage with the paint brush.
“I’m very sensitive with my hands,” she said.
Eschuk who has been painting full time for over four years, initially spent three years just drawing. One of her favourite subjects is flowers.
“ I’m so used to drawing them that I can focus on putting my expression in it…the stroke of the brush, how much energy is put into it, the shape, the negative space—It’s more about design and how I can push the medium,” she explained.
Eschuk had a great deal to say about her inspiration, the healing arts, and future goals as an artist. To listen to her was, in itself, worth the trip.
A large cluster of artists were to be found in Winnipeg Beach. Cheryl Tordin’s Fishfly Gallery was a great stop before heading over to Evelin Richter’s whimsical ceramics studio. Richter has studied advanced ceramics at the University of Manitoba, and recently received a Manitoba Arts Council grant to create 13 sculptures. Richter describes them as “quirky”.
“They all have a story. I think that’s important,” she said.
Richter quit her full-time job in Winnipeg at 49 and moved to the beach nine years ago.
“I’ve been struggling along here since then,” she said.
Even so, Richter values the lifestyle and the community of artists she has found.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
A little further west, Heidi Hunter captured the imagination with a studio brimming with dyed fabrics, wearable, and decorative art, and a small selection of ceramics.
“I feel so blessed—leading a life that is driven by my passion, which is colour,” she said.
Hunter hosted a second group of painters. On display were also two wonderful paper quilts created by grades 4 and 5 students from Winnipeg Beach and Teulon. One quilt was the visual answer to the question, “What would you look like if you were a rainbow?”, the other was a collage of animal totems, inspired by the artwork of Norval Morriseau.
The WAVE tour will take place again on Sept. 3 and 4, with even a greater number of artists taking part.

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About Teresa

Teresa Carey is a ceramic artist, writer, photographer, journalist, publisher and nature lover. She lives in Manitoba's Interlake on a small acreage close to the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

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