Celebrating Plein Air Painting – and an Award

Some of you have heard of my role on Halton Hills’ Public Art Advisory Board (where coincidentally our Public Art Master Plan was approved yesterday!) – so it was really exciting to me to hear that our neighbouring town, Brampton, is just now kicking off their own plan for public art.

To celebrate, the local gallery, Beaux-Arts Brampton, put together a show of art that celebrates “City Spaces and Cultural Places”.  I entered a little plein air painting that I started at one of my recent Credit Valley Artisans workshops.

It was pertinent for the Beaux-Arts Gallery show, because the subject – a beautiful little house full of character and patina – is the home of our local artists’ guilds.  Scroll down to read my full artists’ statement for the show.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, where around 11 pm I was scrolling through my Instagram, and saw my own painting come up in my feed:



Woo hoo!  Thanks so much to Beaux-Arts Brampton – it’s a huge honour!  I stopped by the show and saw my little painting in inspiring company.  Congrats to all the winners, and to BAB for a beautiful show!

Heart of the Artisans

Heart of the Artisans, 8×10 Oil on Canvas by Christy Michalak, Canada, 2018

Artist’s Statement: Heart of the Artisans

This little painting was created en plein air (meaning, outdoors on location) in Cedarvale Park, Georgetown.  The subject is Credit Valley Artisans’ “Cottage”, a clubhouse for potters, weavers, spinners, and painters, that has been a hub of Halton Hills’ cultural activity for more than 50 years.  The yellow sign out front points visitors to the latest in local creativity as well as artistic workshops, craft sales, and camaraderie!

Plein air painting, too, has a long history in this region thanks to the formation of the Group of 7 (Canada’s most famous plein air painters) in 1920.  The techniques made famous by the Group were handed down through 2 generations of Ontario artists, and taught to me by George Perdue (a Glen Williams artist and widely loved teacher who passed away in 2014).  You can visit “the Cottage” these days to learn those very same techniques, and to build on a truly proud artistic heritage.

Heart of the Artisans will be on display at the Halton Hills Town Hall through September and October, along with my other recent plein air and studio works, and available for purchase through the Helson Gallery.


My next plein air workshop is coming on August 12th at Norval’s beautiful Children’s Garden of the Senses.  Come out and enjoy – the very best way to spend a Sunday!


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