Getting to know…Helen Shideler




Who or what inspires you?

My inspiration comes from everywhere. I love bright colour, light and shadows.  Details and complexity. Interesting shadows. I love the energy of inspired &  positive people.  I love engaging in lively conversations and thinking out loud, brainstorming, what ifs etc.

I admire artists who can keep it simple.  I have tried.  It is not me.

IMG_7996_newHow would you describe your style or process?

Intricate, painterly, experimental, classic… BecasueI am drawn to complex subjects, I usually take time up front to map out in my mind how I am going to approach the work.  Some times it may be a matter of just starting it.  Sometimes I stew over it for days or weeks until the approach is clear to me.  And then I am off painting deliberately.

Where may people find more of your work?

At my home studio and gallery Blooming Colours by appointment, my web site and at the Citadel Gallery on Charlotte Street in Saint John


IMG_8432_newWhat are you currently working on?

Several poured paintings in play. There is another large series in my mind.  I am also trying to paint one small painting a week.  I

What is your idea of a dream trip?

Painting in Italy next year!  Attending plein air workshops in California, Africa and Alaska.  Maybe even teach on a cruise ship.  And  every chance to visit family in Vancouver!


What would you like to accomplish in the next three years?

It’s about time I book a solo show…

Book or Movie?

Depends on the weather – if is nice out, we are out

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate and vanilla



Getting to know Kathy Thornhill

7363What time of day are you most productive?

In the morning I get up and have coffee with my husband and catch up with the current events – HLN – Robin Mead. During this time I work on crossword puzzles and the Sudoku in the paper. After this, I can hardly wait to pick up the hook to work on my current project. In the afternoons I open my Gallery and continue to work on my projects.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished a piece I call “Spirit Drums”. It was inspired by a photo I took in the Dene Community of Fort Good Hope, NWT. My current project is a fun piece based on a photo I took in a fishing community – coffee cups arranged in a row on the dock. When I took the photo, I wasn’t sure what I would do with it as a photo, but it lends itself perfectly to rug hooking.

What would you like people to know about you, your creative process or your work?

Over the years I have worked on fibre arts, creating pieces using stitches such as Hardanger, Florentine canvas work, Stumpwork and cross-stitch.   I discovered a passion for design and discovered rug hooking. I use my photography to create unique hooked mats.   Using Photoshop, I create a line drawing from my photograph and transfer it to linen backing. I use some artistic license to fill in details and add color.



In the next five years you would you like to accomplish. Dream big!

I would like to have an exhibit with my hooked mats.

Dream vacation? Where would you like to go and why.

Greenland. I have been to most of the northern country in the western hemisphere. I have been to Alaska, Yukon, NWT, Nunavut and Iceland. I would like to complete the picture with a visit to Greenland.


What music do you listen to when you are working?

I prefer silence actually. I am so totally focused on my work, that everything else doesn’t exist.

Favourite colour?

Blue! Always has been.

Web Site: The site includes several galleries of my photos, and one with my hooked mats.



Getting to know… Martha Millard


What time of day are you most productive?

I prefer afternoons to other parts of the day. My other chores are up to date and I can focus on my art. Many days I lose track of time and work well into the evening.


What new items are you currently working?

Colanders, garlic pots and bird feeders. I recently purchased a clay slab roller – a fun new device – and am looking forward to creating new platters and other functional items.


Dream vacation? Where would you like to go and why.

We are heading to Iceland and Scotland in the fall. Both countries offer unique history, geographies, people and art.


What music do you listen to when you are working?

I am fan of 70’s music as well as Blue Rodeo, Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton , Jackson Browne and James Taylor. IMG_3254_2 IMG_3253_3

Favourite colour?

Green – the basis for much of my glaze works


I love to read, work in my gardens , kayak and play hockey.

IMG_3264_2 IMG_3245_3


Getting to know…Lisa Pearson

Art Battle 5What time of day are you most productive?

I am most definitely a night owl J

What are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on a collection of landscape paintings that have personal significance or nostalgia, the plan is to eventually collect enough of these ‘memory place’ paintings to exhibit together

I am also currently working with the writer Kelly Smith of Comic Smithing) on a series of stories which we hope to compile into a comic book anthology.  (The story we are currently working on ‘The Cats Came Back’ will be included in the upcoming horror anthology ‘Dark Lady.’

Also this Saturday June 13, I am competing in the New Brunswick Regional Finals for Art Battle Canada.  I have only started doing Art Battles this winter and they are an exhilarating way to spend an evening!

In the next five years you would you like to accomplish.  Dream big!

In the next five years I want to have completed my master’s degree.  I want to have completed a solo exhibition of the work created during my master’s program and I would like to completely illustrate a graphic novel.

I also plan on marrying the love of my life J (Helen says  Awwww)

Dream vacation?  Where would you like to go and why.

I would travel north.  I find northern landscapes fascinating, fjords and glaciers are beautiful. I want to see the Canadian north as well as Scandinavia.

What music do you listen to when you are working?

I give my sister most of the credit for supplying me with music, she faithfully stocks my ipod.  I usually like something upbeat favorites include, Gogol Bordello and De Glade Sømænd (The Happy Sailors).  Over the top metal ballads are also welcome.

Recently I have been listening to a lot of podcasts while painting, Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class provide excellent studio company.

Favourite colour?

My favourite colour to wear is Red, my favourite colour to paint is Prussian Blue.

Web Site: or

Art Battle Lisa

Welcome Sarah Bourque


Tell us about the work you do.

Primarily, I love photography. Being behind the camera is my happy place. But I also love being crafty so I’m often experimenting with new ways to share my photos. Some of these grand ideas work, and some….well some don’t..but it’s always fun to try!

What time of day are you most productive?

I don’t function well in the morning until I’ve had a few cups of coffee. So I’d say I’m most productive in the afternoon.

What are you working on now?

I’m waiting, rather impatiently, for the gardens to bloom so I can grab my macro lens and get some lovely new flower photos. Until then, I’m experimenting with some mixed media pieces. I’ve been enlarging my photos on paper, adhering them to canvas and painting over them. It’s a work in progress but a lot of fun to do.


What would you like people to know about you, your creative process or your work?

I have a willy-nilly approach to what I do. I take photos of anything that catches my eye or makes me happy. I have a wide range of subjects in my photography, but when you look at everything together it somehow all works. I also take a lot of photos of my dogs. They are my biggest inspiration (and my best selling cards!)

In the next five years you would you like to accomplish.  Dream big!

My dream is to have my own studio/gallery. Ideally, we’d have a house with enough property to have a quirky gallery on our property..and maybe a donkey and a couple of pigs to greet people when they stop by.

Dream vacation?  Where would you like to go and why.

Iceland. It’s my dream photography destination. Sigh. It would be so lovely to spend the day exploring and taking photos, and then relaxing in a hot spring.

What music do you listen to when you are working?

I’m currently listening to a playlist online called “At an 80’s Prom”  It’s described as having “danceable pop hits and sweet slow jams”. I like listening to anything that I can sing along with..loudly.

Favourite colour?

That changes. Right now, I love the combination of turquoise and gold.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate vanilla swirl…with peanut butter chunks…and caramel.

Movie or book?

I love a good movie, or even more, a good tv series that I can binge watch!