Studio Artist - Mark Vasquez-Mackay

Mark came to Willow Park in September 2014 as an Artist in Residence and then in 2015 he returned to us as a Studio Artist. Mark brings to us a wealth of knowledge and experience and we are gifted by his presence. He sees art living side by side with our students and he is invested in building relationships. 

"Mine is a humanist practice based on the observation of my environment, the surroundings of my studio and the people who come into it. Beyond the four walls of this intimate environment, my paintings engage the spectator, often anticipating the presence of—and making a space for--an observer. Since we only really know who we are by virtue of how we relate to others, this is how I come to understand my own reality - the reality of how I exist within the environment that includes other people and the physical world."
Mark Vazquez-Mackay



Fill the Well

Willow Park is committed to to giving our students and educators opportunities to experience encounters with art.  Fill the Well provides a space to show artwork from working artists in the Calgary community. 

Paula Timm (March-April 2019)

A visual storyteller, Paula Timm's art conveys story through bold use of contrasts, dynamic colour stories and often a narrative is present even if the image is abstract.  Timm is interested in simple complexities, both within the subject and with the tools she employs in each mixed media piece.  Graphite and pen drawings are created during quiet moments of art creating; later collaged into a painted canvas, integrated into a digital mixed media piece or they may inspire a 2D painting. Paula Timm is a visual artist, instructore and community builder with a passion for faciltating wellness through art.  Operating under the business name Paula Timm Artist Studio, Paula has a thriving art practice that blends her love of teaching, writing, and creating fine art.  Her studio-located in cSPACE King Edward is where she hosts mixed media workshops and art classes for both children and adults. No prior experience is necessary and all abilities are warmly welcomed.  

Melanie Figueroa (February-March 2019)

Artist Bio

Melanie is urban landscaped painter based out of Calgary, AB.  She addresses themes of comfort and nostalgia within our modern society. Capturing the feeling of home and community, her subjects are often overlooked components found in familiar residential environments. Her unique perspective and expressive palette draw you into her cozy urban vignettes. 

Raised in Calgary, AB, Melanie grew up creative and curious.  Her artistic leanings eventually led to her enrollment at ACAD where she studied in the Visual Communications program.  Her design skills and manual aptitude landed her in the professional picture framing industry where she incorporates all aspects of her art education.  The framing business keeps her connected with artists and the arts community, enhances her own art practice and supports her (outrageous!) addiction to art collecting and framing.  Melanie paints regularly in her studio and is a member of a painting society. 


Gonzalo Figueroa - The View From Barrier Lake

(January-February 2019)

Artist Statement

I don’t have an idea. I have many ideas. Many good, many bad. Many many  many. They peek at me from the periphery of junk.  Things happen, fall into place. The ideas don’t matter; they’re only a jumping off point. Whether I lack the discipline or the know-how, things always veer off to the side and what was in my mind seldom is what comes out. It’s all a wonderful surprise, a mad cacophony of physical sensations; from the cold hard ground bathed in random colours touching my feet, to the loud noise I can’t seem to work without, to the stagnant smell of leftover reservoir of used brushes.  It’s all pictures, all images of an imagined concept that draws me closer to the viewer.  What matters in the end, is did I connect to you somehow? And does it match your couch? The last part is of paramount importance. 

Artist Bio Born in Chile, Gonzalo’s South American roots are evident in his use of vibrant colour and design.  He immigrated to Canada at the age of 7, and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.  Gonzalo studied at the Alberta College of Art, majoring in the Drawing Department.  Although now he primarily paints, his drawing techniques are a key element of his pr


Chris Flodberg - ONGOING PORTRAIT SERIES

(November-December 2018)


THOUGHTS REGARDING MY

ONGOING PORTRAIT SERIES

Chris Flodberg

2018

The more I consider my current portrait series, the more I find myself thinking about time.  While the portraits look backwards to the 15th and 16th centuries at a very particular set of techniques, forms, and compositional traditions, they also create for themselves a niche that occupies a place that is neither old, futuristic, or necessarily about the present.

The people, like the figures in a Hans Memling painting, or perhaps those in a Jan Van Eyck altarpiece, seem to occupy their own reality.  They are hyper-realistic, yet not photographic.  Their physical proportions are odd, the imagery feels miniature, and there is an almost excessive amounts of attention paid to tiny details giving them a high craft sense of preciousness. When seen at an angle where reflections reveal the surface, the effect is more like that of a hand-polished piece of old furniture rather than the familiar surfaces of hastily made paintings or mechanical or industrial surfaces.

Given how precious the paintings appear to be in all aspects, it might be odd for the viewer then that the costumes, though appearing to have a considered design, are essentially made of junk. Things like masking tape parade as decorative motifs, cheaply printed fabrics double as fine robes, and plumbing hardware as jewelry hangs on industrial chrome chain-links as if it is all perfectly normal. 

Is the painting a serious depiction of some unknown time and place or is it meant to be humorous and light hearted?  Is there some kind of meaning or encoded symbolism at work?  Are the paintings authentically naïve or are they in whole or in part a kind of simulacra where certain affectations like particularly small hands alter our perception of an image?

These are the questions that make these paintings interesting for me.  The subject of these portraits is how they stretch and pull between what we think we are seeing, what we remember from museums and history, and how the people and objects of our world have been reconfigured and re-imagined to interact with the history of painting to create a strange and unfamiliar experience. 

After all is said and done, it remains vital to me that the paintings themselves consistently strive for the highest possible standard of traditional excellence.  Glazing is a somewhat lost and misunderstood craft.  It is slow, methodical, and labor intensive.   When done properly, the results can be elevating and transcendent.  Objects can feel real, reflecting and existing in real light. I want to make paintings that simultaneously learn from and celebrate the deep past while establishing obvious, yet ambiguous connections to our own time.  I am far less interested in answering the questions these paintings might pose than I am in creating more questions going forward. 


Darren Havelock - Hobby Kit Modellist (October 2018)

Artist Statement

MODELLIST - A PERSON WHO CONSTRUCTS MODELS. 

CONSTRUCTS - TO PUT TOGETHER PARTS IN ORDER TO MAKE OR BUILD. 

I AM ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON THE DESIGNERS AND MANUFACTURERS
OF THE COMPONENTS I USE IN CREATING MY DIORAMAS. THIS INCLUDES 
THE VARIOUS BUILDING MATERIALS, PAINTS, BRUSHES, ETC., THAT I UTILIZE 
IN CONSTRUCTING MY WORK. MODEL KITS, ACTION FIGURES, TOY FIGURES,
HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS, AND FOUND OBJECTS, PROVIDE THE
INSPIRATION REQUIRED. WITH THESE, I TRY TO CREATE PIECES THAT 
ENTERTAIN AND AMUSE. AND ALTHOUGH I CAN START OUT WITH A 
PARTICULAR THEME IN MIND, THERE IS NOTHING CONCEPTUALLY
SIGNIFICANT BEING EXPRESSED IN WHAT I BUILD. IT'S A FANTASY WORLD
POPULATED WITH UNUSUAL, AND SOMETIMES FAMILIAR CHARACTERS. 

                                                 DARREN HAVELOCK  -  Hobby Kit Modellist.

Brittney Tough - Milo (October-November 2018)



Title: Milo  Artist: Brittney Tough Medium: Oil on Canvas Price: $2624

Brittney Tough, elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSP- WC), is known for her vibrant paintings depicting textiles and objects. She is an international award winning artist who has exhibited work across Canada and the US. Her work has been published in Southwest Art Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and the Splash hardcover series of the best in contemporary watercolour. Brittney has exhibited in a variety of international juried exhibitions from CSPWC, Richeson75, Society of Canadian Artists and Federation of Canadian Artists, and has received numerous awards in these competitions. Brittney has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Alberta College of Art and Design and continues to develop her painting practice in Calgary, AB. 


Artists in Residence

Willow Park is committed to giving our students and educators opportunities to experience encounters with artists and art making. Artists in Residence provide the space for the community to work with artists from all mediums.

Terry Reynoldson - Grade 6 (October 2018)





Learning Through the Arts

Studio Artist - Mark Vasquez-Mackay

Mark came to Willow Park in September 2014 as an Artist in Residence and then in 2015 he returned to us as a Studio Artist. Mark brings to us a wealth of knowledge and experience and we are gifted by his presence. He sees art living side by side with our students and he is invested in building relationships. 

"Mine is a humanist practice based on the observation of my environment, the surroundings of my studio and the people who come into it. Beyond the four walls of this intimate environment, my paintings engage the spectator, often anticipating the presence of—and making a space for--an observer. Since we only really know who we are by virtue of how we relate to others, this is how I come to understand my own reality - the reality of how I exist within the environment that includes other people and the physical world."
Mark Vazquez-Mackay



Fill the Well

Willow Park is committed to to giving our students and educators opportunities to experience encounters with art.  Fill the Well provides a space to show artwork from working artists in the Calgary community. 

Paula Timm (March-April 2019)

A visual storyteller, Paula Timm's art conveys story through bold use of contrasts, dynamic colour stories and often a narrative is present even if the image is abstract.  Timm is interested in simple complexities, both within the subject and with the tools she employs in each mixed media piece.  Graphite and pen drawings are created during quiet moments of art creating; later collaged into a painted canvas, integrated into a digital mixed media piece or they may inspire a 2D painting. Paula Timm is a visual artist, instructore and community builder with a passion for faciltating wellness through art.  Operating under the business name Paula Timm Artist Studio, Paula has a thriving art practice that blends her love of teaching, writing, and creating fine art.  Her studio-located in cSPACE King Edward is where she hosts mixed media workshops and art classes for both children and adults. No prior experience is necessary and all abilities are warmly welcomed.  

Melanie Figueroa (February-March 2019)

Artist Bio

Melanie is urban landscaped painter based out of Calgary, AB.  She addresses themes of comfort and nostalgia within our modern society. Capturing the feeling of home and community, her subjects are often overlooked components found in familiar residential environments. Her unique perspective and expressive palette draw you into her cozy urban vignettes. 

Raised in Calgary, AB, Melanie grew up creative and curious.  Her artistic leanings eventually led to her enrollment at ACAD where she studied in the Visual Communications program.  Her design skills and manual aptitude landed her in the professional picture framing industry where she incorporates all aspects of her art education.  The framing business keeps her connected with artists and the arts community, enhances her own art practice and supports her (outrageous!) addiction to art collecting and framing.  Melanie paints regularly in her studio and is a member of a painting society. 


Gonzalo Figueroa - The View From Barrier Lake

(January-February 2019)

Artist Statement

I don’t have an idea. I have many ideas. Many good, many bad. Many many  many. They peek at me from the periphery of junk.  Things happen, fall into place. The ideas don’t matter; they’re only a jumping off point. Whether I lack the discipline or the know-how, things always veer off to the side and what was in my mind seldom is what comes out. It’s all a wonderful surprise, a mad cacophony of physical sensations; from the cold hard ground bathed in random colours touching my feet, to the loud noise I can’t seem to work without, to the stagnant smell of leftover reservoir of used brushes.  It’s all pictures, all images of an imagined concept that draws me closer to the viewer.  What matters in the end, is did I connect to you somehow? And does it match your couch? The last part is of paramount importance. 

Artist Bio Born in Chile, Gonzalo’s South American roots are evident in his use of vibrant colour and design.  He immigrated to Canada at the age of 7, and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.  Gonzalo studied at the Alberta College of Art, majoring in the Drawing Department.  Although now he primarily paints, his drawing techniques are a key element of his pr


Chris Flodberg - ONGOING PORTRAIT SERIES

(November-December 2018)


THOUGHTS REGARDING MY

ONGOING PORTRAIT SERIES

Chris Flodberg

2018

The more I consider my current portrait series, the more I find myself thinking about time.  While the portraits look backwards to the 15th and 16th centuries at a very particular set of techniques, forms, and compositional traditions, they also create for themselves a niche that occupies a place that is neither old, futuristic, or necessarily about the present.

The people, like the figures in a Hans Memling painting, or perhaps those in a Jan Van Eyck altarpiece, seem to occupy their own reality.  They are hyper-realistic, yet not photographic.  Their physical proportions are odd, the imagery feels miniature, and there is an almost excessive amounts of attention paid to tiny details giving them a high craft sense of preciousness. When seen at an angle where reflections reveal the surface, the effect is more like that of a hand-polished piece of old furniture rather than the familiar surfaces of hastily made paintings or mechanical or industrial surfaces.

Given how precious the paintings appear to be in all aspects, it might be odd for the viewer then that the costumes, though appearing to have a considered design, are essentially made of junk. Things like masking tape parade as decorative motifs, cheaply printed fabrics double as fine robes, and plumbing hardware as jewelry hangs on industrial chrome chain-links as if it is all perfectly normal. 

Is the painting a serious depiction of some unknown time and place or is it meant to be humorous and light hearted?  Is there some kind of meaning or encoded symbolism at work?  Are the paintings authentically naïve or are they in whole or in part a kind of simulacra where certain affectations like particularly small hands alter our perception of an image?

These are the questions that make these paintings interesting for me.  The subject of these portraits is how they stretch and pull between what we think we are seeing, what we remember from museums and history, and how the people and objects of our world have been reconfigured and re-imagined to interact with the history of painting to create a strange and unfamiliar experience. 

After all is said and done, it remains vital to me that the paintings themselves consistently strive for the highest possible standard of traditional excellence.  Glazing is a somewhat lost and misunderstood craft.  It is slow, methodical, and labor intensive.   When done properly, the results can be elevating and transcendent.  Objects can feel real, reflecting and existing in real light. I want to make paintings that simultaneously learn from and celebrate the deep past while establishing obvious, yet ambiguous connections to our own time.  I am far less interested in answering the questions these paintings might pose than I am in creating more questions going forward. 


Darren Havelock - Hobby Kit Modellist (October 2018)

Artist Statement

MODELLIST - A PERSON WHO CONSTRUCTS MODELS. 

CONSTRUCTS - TO PUT TOGETHER PARTS IN ORDER TO MAKE OR BUILD. 

I AM ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON THE DESIGNERS AND MANUFACTURERS
OF THE COMPONENTS I USE IN CREATING MY DIORAMAS. THIS INCLUDES 
THE VARIOUS BUILDING MATERIALS, PAINTS, BRUSHES, ETC., THAT I UTILIZE 
IN CONSTRUCTING MY WORK. MODEL KITS, ACTION FIGURES, TOY FIGURES,
HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS, AND FOUND OBJECTS, PROVIDE THE
INSPIRATION REQUIRED. WITH THESE, I TRY TO CREATE PIECES THAT 
ENTERTAIN AND AMUSE. AND ALTHOUGH I CAN START OUT WITH A 
PARTICULAR THEME IN MIND, THERE IS NOTHING CONCEPTUALLY
SIGNIFICANT BEING EXPRESSED IN WHAT I BUILD. IT'S A FANTASY WORLD
POPULATED WITH UNUSUAL, AND SOMETIMES FAMILIAR CHARACTERS. 

                                                 DARREN HAVELOCK  -  Hobby Kit Modellist.

Brittney Tough - Milo (October-November 2018)



Title: Milo  Artist: Brittney Tough Medium: Oil on Canvas Price: $2624

Brittney Tough, elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSP- WC), is known for her vibrant paintings depicting textiles and objects. She is an international award winning artist who has exhibited work across Canada and the US. Her work has been published in Southwest Art Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and the Splash hardcover series of the best in contemporary watercolour. Brittney has exhibited in a variety of international juried exhibitions from CSPWC, Richeson75, Society of Canadian Artists and Federation of Canadian Artists, and has received numerous awards in these competitions. Brittney has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Alberta College of Art and Design and continues to develop her painting practice in Calgary, AB. 


Artists in Residence

Willow Park is committed to giving our students and educators opportunities to experience encounters with artists and art making. Artists in Residence provide the space for the community to work with artists from all mediums.

Terry Reynoldson - Grade 6 (October 2018)





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