For each of our artists, we create an Artist Card, which we include with each purchase. It is a wonderful way to connect to the artist and get a feeling for how and why they create. Of course, each has a unique story, but I would say the common thread is, being inspired by the landscape we live in.
For us at the Salish Sea Market, it is an amazing experience to be introduced to new forms of honouring this place we are fortunate enough to call home. Here are five artists, in a variety of disciplines, who have joined us in the past few months.
Enjoy getting to know them in their own words, then why not drop in and see their work in person?
Laurie O’Brien ~ Whimsical Glasswork for your garden
I am a long-time lover of glass!
Growing up in BC's lower mainland, Laurie recently moved to Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island where she enjoys being surrounded by all the beauty nature has to offer, and the time and space to spend more time with her creative projects.
I starting working in the medium of Stained Glass over 30 years ago, so it's a long love affair! My work has ranged from small to large custom orders.
I am also a supporter of CatSpan and a portion of the proceeds of my art go to support this charitable group.
Recently inspired by her love of gardens, Laurie began creating colourful garden art to add a whimsical touch to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Her Fantastical Flowers are sure to delight any garden enthusiast.
NOTE: Laurie shares a dual role at the Salish Sea Market, artists and part of the retail team. If you are around on the weekend, you have a good chance to say hello!
Brittney Bergen ~ Handcrafted Ceramic Jewelry and Décor
Mana /mäna/ life force energy or magical power
De(j)ah /déjà/ remembrance
Brittney is a multidisciplinary artist from Vancouver, BC; a painter and a photographer for most of her life. A couple of years ago she came up against some creative blocks, and in hopes for some inspiration decided to try something new. She noticed an opening in a ceramic studio and from there Mana Dejah emerged.
Brittney strongly believes in the healing power of art. She finds ceramics to be a meditative medium, with lessons in impermanence, fragility, and surrender. While honoring the organic nature of clay, she allows intuition and childlike imagination to guide her in her creations. For her, ‘Mana Dejah’ means “remembering your magical power” or “coming home.” Throughout her work you’ll find themes of astrology, natures elements, the third and evil eye, and animal messengers (many of which are BC West Coast).
Brittney’s studio process consists mainly of slab work — where clay is rolled out and manipulated by hand. She likes to experiment with different types of clays and glazes, but mostly works with porcelain and clear glaze to allow her visuals to stand out. After each piece is thoughtfully designed, and all glazing and gold lustre is applied, the items are then fired up to three times to give them their unique finish. All of her jewelry is assembled with gold filled or sterling silver chain and her wall art is hung with elements of rope, wire, and driftwood.
Joshua Hansen ~ Wildlife Painter
Joshua was born and raised into a commercial salmon fishing family on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Growing up Joshua always enjoyed wildlife and the outdoors. As a young man, like much of his family, he put in some brief time commercial fishing like his father, grandfather, and great grandfather did before him. When he was about 10 years old, his mother bought him his first drawing book, which would spark a long love of sketching. After high school he taught himself to paint with acrylics, painting seascapes and angry seas. In those days he would drive 6 hours every weekend to surf the wild and rough west coast every season in sun, snow, sleet, wind and rain, and did so for many years. Much of Joshua’s interests and passions for the do-everything-yourself, homesteader lifestyle have been inspired by his family history – the Hansen family from Norway, who settled and pioneered the coast at Port Neville, BC in the late 1800’s.
These days Joshua lives on a forested acreage on the Oyster River, BC, with his wife Brooke and son Oly. It’s here in the woods that they aim to live simply, slowly, sustainably, and naturally. Joshua and his wife stay busy with a small farm growing, foraging, fishing and hunting their food, and harvesting wood to stay warm for winter. Joshua enjoys watching the seasons change and the joys each season brings. An avid outdoorsman, he appreciates all creatures and is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife. Painting wildlife in its natural habitat, and capturing the details, feelings and moods of the west coast in a way only a born and raised west-coaster can, is something he aims to portray. When not painting Joshua can be found reading, fly fishing, back country hunting, studying and viewing various species of wildlife, hiking remote alpine, or old growth forests.
Kate Bridger ~ Fabric Artist
I am creative, colourful, reliable, self-disciplined, witty and sometimes quite brave.
Kate grew up sewing, making her own clothes, practicing hand embroidery and making unique cuddly toys, pillows and tea cosies! She trained as a landscape architect and it was a natural progression from technical draughtswoman to graphic artist and, finally, to fabric artist … the medium may have changed, but her eye for balance, colour, composition and design was transferrable. That, plus living in Northern Ontario for 8 years raising two young children … long winters, buggy summers … creativity was my survival and I had both the time and motivation to teach myself.
I am a fabric artist using fabric where a painter would use paint and stitches where a ‘traditional’ artist might use pen or pencil to render detail. I use sheer fabrics layered upon one another to ‘mix’ my colours. What I am not is a quilter, a tapestry maker, a weaver or a textile artist (since I don’t make and/or dye my own textiles).
My main influencer was a woman who taught a free-motion embroidery workshop in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1989 … in three-and-a-half minutes she changed everything about my work from my technique to my life goals. But here’s the tragic part: I can’t recall her name.
I am always inspired by people, artists in particular, who work hard, practice lots and eschew shortcuts. Probably my favourite artist is Norwegian painter, Frits Thaulow; he paints with light (and shadow) to deliver engaging, non-jarring landscapes.
I’m surprised that, after over three decades, I’m still doing and enjoying it! And, even though I’ve been at it a long time, I’m still surprised (and delighted) when a piece meets and/or exceeds my expectations. Conversely, of course, I am equally surprised by my despondency and sense of doom when it doesn’t … get over yourself, Kate!
Lucy Schappy ~ Wildly Optimistic Painter
Wildly Optimistic Artwork, is the way I like to describe my work!
Lucy Schappy is a Vancouver Island artist who has been painting professionally for 20 years. After graduating as a dentist and moving to BC, she rediscovered her passion for painting. Eventually she traded in the drill for a paint brush and has been developing her artistic voice ever since.
Having an adventurous nature, her art path has been one of invention and exploration. As a painter Lucy is largely self-taught but has also studied drawing, painting , print making and sculpture through the Emily Carr fine art program as well as at other schools, studios and workshops locally and abroad. She is curious and loves the thrill of discovery which propels her to continue to reinvent herself, her style and her subjects which include figurative, flowers, landscapes, horses and pure abstract. She paints in many mediums but prefers oils for their richness, colour and layering ability. Much of her work is developed over time, layer upon layer which adds depth, texture and history to the piece, as well as an element of mystery.
I love being known for my enthusiastic use of vibrant colour! It adds some joyful optimism to the world.
Thanks for reading!
sarah j. clark
conductor of comings and goings
Salish Sea Market