I always love to meet new artists and coordinating art shows in new cities is one way to meet a lot of artists across Canada. Today, I’ve interviewed Gayle Kohut from Didsbury, Alberta. She works in
acrylic, oils, gouache and watercolor. Her works features wildlife art, rural lifestyle and agriculture pieces. She demands attention to detail and the desire to create paintings that tell a story. Her works are sold internationally.
When did you start creating art and pursuing it as a career path?
I always have loved drawing and creating since a early age. Going to an evening art class was a treat when I was raising my family. It has taken 25 me years of art shows and sales to become known in the Art World.
What is it about creating that inspires you?
I love to tell the stories of LIFE. Whether it be wildlife, animals, nature people, or sports. My paintings show you something that you have never thought about. I farm together with my husband in the country east of Didsbury, Alberta Canada. I get most of my inspirations right in my backyard.
What are your favourite things to paint?
I love painting birds. The feathers are different on every bird. I am always changing my subject matter though. When you come to my booth at the Art World Expo in Edmonton, you will see the perfect painting made especially you for sure!
As far as a business owner of an arts company, what are your goals for your brand this year?
I have limited edition giclee prints of 50 of most of the originals. I have a brand new “Bottle Top” series that will be unveiled at the Edmonton show. I would like to have more passive income items also.
Will you have any show specials at this year’s Art World Expo in Edmonton?
I plan on having a lucky winner getting my door prize that will be in the Edmonton Art Expo. There could be specials at my booth too.
If you could do anything with your art business, no limits, what would it be?
My business is growing every year. More clients and teaching more classes, some private classes also. I would love to create even more and get more corporate customers.
Follow Gayle’s website for more information and be sure to get your tickets to the Edmonton Art World Expo today! www.gaylekohut
by Monika Blichar
It’s always interesting to see new artists come to our Art World Expo family and when I saw Carrie Carbol-Ritcey work come through our submission, I was not only thrilled but really interested in what she is doing because she is really invested in her work and business. Not only is she a talented metalsmith, she is also teaching, exhibiting, partnering up with local merchants in her area and continually learning about her craft by pursuing higher education in her industry. She is really doing it all. I caught up with her today and here’s what she had to say about her work, inspiration and goals for her company Two Carrots Studio.
You are an accomplished designer and metalsmith. When did you know you wanted to pursue design as a career?
I’ve always been involved in the arts. Music, creative writing, mixed media collage, building, sewing, I am incredibly lucky to have a family that has always supported my artistic pursuits, whatever they might be. I had a conventional job for a long time, but my years in the corporate world left me wanting to do more. One silversmithing course led to another and another and I realized I had found my passion. My favourite line from my artist’s bio reads: I find silversmithing to be the perfect combination of right and left brain thinking: art and science, engineering and physics and just a little bit of alchemy that results in beautiful and accessible pieces of wearable art. That’s why I do what I do.
What inspires you when you create new pieces?
I always have a sketchbook with me, and have been known to rummage in my bag for something to sketch on while at the movie theatre! I find inspiration everywhere, in architecture, nature, books and music. My Stick Flower line was and is inspired by the
artwork of my youngest daughter. Kids draw the most fantastic things, in bold lines and vibrant colours. She’s been drawing amazing stick people lately, with impossibly long limbs and giant cartoon hands. I just love them, and one of them is going to have to become part of a piece soon. My oldest daughter is an artist, and I proudly frame and display her pieces around our house. I get inspiration from just watching her create, and I will support her Arts passion just like my parents did for me.
Do you have a favourite piece you have made?
Usually my newest piece is my favourite! I love to tell my customers that my rings all come in ‘not my size’ or I would have to keep them all!
I think my current favourite is the piece I made in a week long workshop at the Red Deer College Series Summer Arts program last year. ACAD’s Linda Chow was my instructor and I learned so much that week! The piece is a two sided pendant featuring a huge labradorite stone with a hand fabricated water lily and carved lily pads on the front and back of the piece. Linda taught us that ‘sculpture has no front or back’ and to reflect that in our work when creating a sculptural piece of jewelry.
Another favourite would be the copper poppies seen in my logo. Like a lot of my projects, these started out as a simple idea on paper, probably a bit out of my current skill set. I love a challenge, and making the poppies pushed me to learn several new techniques. The first set was a gift for my amazing mom. After that, I made several more sets and still carry them as part of my line.
You teach a variety of workshops in the area. Can you tell us more about any upcoming workshops you are hosting?
I am lucky to be part of the group of instructors at Bedrock Supply. I learned a lot of my skills in the Bedrock studio, and I am thrilled to be part of the teaching team. I have two classes left in my winter schedule. Both classes give students a chance to work with metals, learn about tools and gain some foundation techniques in metalsmithing. On March 22 I’m teaching a simple silver band ring class, and on April 2 I am teaching a roll printed earring class. I’ll have examples of both at the Art Expo show-come see me to learn more about the classes and the pieces we will be creating!
What are your goals for your business in the coming year?
I have a few things in the works. I just finished up a Valentine’s Day collaboration with the amazing local chocolatier Colleen Heidecker, and would love to do that again. I am working at making as much of the behind the scenes work as streamlined and automated as I can. The business of being a maker and an artist isn’t as fun as the creating!
There is nothing I would like more than to be a silversmith 100% of the time. Right now I’m balancing small scale production work with the creative pieces I love to do. Selling the ‘bread and butter’ pieces frees up time to create the really fun stuff, and also pays
the bills. Professionally I’m always looking to learn more about the craft. I’m headed back to Red Deer College Series Summer Arts in July. Being surrounded by artists and makers in the fantastic studio spaces at RDC is the best way to spend my summer vacation. In 2020 I plan to travel to Washington State to immerse myself in a week long workshop with one of my favourite silversmiths, Nicole Ringgold.
Will you have any show specials for Art World Expo guests at the show this year?
I just might! People will need to come see the Expo to find out!
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