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Exhibition: Linger and Lure at Wall Space Gallery

By Brenda Dunn on May 25, 2018


I mean we should all be taking a pause from time to time really.

If you’ve been feeling hectic and want a breath of fresh air, the current pairing at Wall Space Gallery is set to soothe. Crystal Beshara and Sharon Kelly pair up lovely synchronized palette and even some crossover in subject matter. Their dual show L I N G E R AND L U R E is a luxurious collection of coastal landscapes, oceanic palette, abstracts and florals.

I had a chance to ask the artists a few questions about their work, the pairing, and what makes these pieces all play so darn well together.

Apt613: Favourite medium to work in and why?

Crystal: I can’t choose! I love oil (bold, allows me to work large, more physical) and I love watercolour (unpredicatble, alive, zen, challenging…).

Sharon: I am a mixed media artist. I regularly use a collection of acrylic paints, acrylic markers, a variety of gels, pastels as well as oil sticks in one piece. Experimenting with gels and creating layers of history is addictive these days.

Linger by Sharon Kelly.

Crystal, what’s your favourite piece of Sharon’s in the show?

Blue Minds Sketch #31

Sharon, favourite piece of Crystal’s?

Definitely Collapse, it has both drama and power. I admire the contrast of realism with the raw unfinished beach section. Collapse reminds me of nights spent with family and friends running through the waves to activate the sea sparkle, aka “noctuluca scintillans”.

What do you think pairing the work together does?

Sharon: Crystal and I both paint memories and longings, while we celebrate nature. Beshara creates calming landscapes as well as compelling florals. Her work is open with a slant towards realism. I work interpretively, never having a solid concept of the finished piece. I add and subtract constantly at a slow rate, going from vibrant palettes to softer, less invasive statements.

I continue this practise until I am satisfied with the layers that eventually create a haze of accumulated history.

Crystal: From a business perspective, I think patrons who are collecting artwork will find it easy to fall in love with several pieces that are compatible from various artists versus just a single artist. This takes the guesswork out of it and builds imagination.

From an artist’s perspective, I love seeing what my fellow comrades will create when given a certain theme or “feeling” as a departure point. We feed off of each other and it can be a very creative and inspiring process without being competitive.

Collapse by Crystal Beshara.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about your artistic career? What’s the worst?

Crystal, on the best piece of advice: Paint what you love… Painting from the heart is what motivates me, and when I am feeling ‘it’, it is transferable to my painting and some people will really ‘get’ it. The worst: Paint what you love. Sometimes that means a very niche market.

Sharon, on the best piece of advice: “Just paint, don’t worry about gallery representation, success will come.” The worst: “Your palette choice is too feminine”.

If you could magically absorb anyone’s talent, skills, or technique, who would you want and why?

Crystal: Jill Soukup, Andrew Wyeth… they are painterly yet representational realist painters – a beautiful balance. They are great story tellers through their art.

Sharon: Dominique Fortin, without question. Fortin is a Canadian mixed media genius. She combines photo transfers, gilding, fabric and paint to create stunning dream like images.

What’s the last book you read, or podcast you listened to?

Crystal: Mindfulness for Busy People by Dr. Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel

Sharon: The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King. The podcast The Jealous Curator recently interviewed Ashley Longshore.

Which was your favourite piece to make in the show?

Sharon: Linger. It goes against “your palette is too feminine” but I love it. I know one day Linger will find her forever home, and I will be both sad & happy simultaneously. This piece captures the sense of wonder I experience while I attempt to recreate the soft peaceful nature of my world.

Crystal: Collapse.

What’s one thing that’s had an impact or influence on you as an artist?

Sharon: Bridgette Mayer is a gallerist, speaker and coach in Philadelphia. She recommends that artists create a List of Goals. Write a list of goals for 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. No matter how audacious, include your wishes, read them out loud daily. It will attract positive energy.

Crystal: Travel.

That’s just a glimpse into the skillfully rendered world these artists have created. For a full immersion, get over to Wall Space Gallery (358 Richmond Road) before the end of May and breaaaathe it in.

You won’t regret it.