Artist Statements
Artist Biographies


Jan Laidlaw - Mexican Street Scenes

When I first visited Mexico and Guatemala, I was struck by the beauty of the old colonial architecture. I saw the ancient buildings and worn cobblestones as a symbol of enduring strength and stability. I enjoyed the repetition of classic form in the sturdy pillars and grand archways. I was captivated by the timeless beauty of the inner courtyards, their glowing colours lit up by natural light streaming in.

Most of all I was drawn to the people, many in their brightly coloured, intricately woven traditional dress. The rich colours of costumes, flowers and spices make the market place a kaleidescope of colour, light, sound, scent and texture. I saw the dignity of the people as they went about their daily tasks of selling their produce or purchasing food for their table.

I tried to capture the spirit of the people and places I encountered and to explore the subtle interplays of colour and light, shape and shadow to evoke the atmosphere of these locations.

Each painting also explores the movement from darkness into light. Subtle shadings and deepenings of colour create areas of darkness and mystery within these places, echoing the darkness and mystery we all hold within our souls. You move further into the painting, toward the bright flash of light and understanding, when you move from shadow into light and look up to find a higher meaning in everyday life .

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Jan Laidlaw - Landscapes and Rocks

When I first visited the Canadian Shield near Lake of the Woods, I was struck by the beauty of the ancient rock forms, the naturally occurring shapes and colours. I see the rocks as a symbol of strength and stability. And yet I also see many signs of change and of new life. Geographical upheavals created majestic cliffs, built up layers of rock, or overlaid ribbon-like quartz threads onto earlier structures, formed centuries apart. The strength of the rocks contrasts with the intricate, fragile shape and colour of lichens, fungus and other plant life that clings to them. I see the earth as the original artist, and as a manifestation of the creator.

Tucked here and there on these magnificent natural canvases, I found ancient Indian rock paintings depicting aspects of native life that were central to their existence: the animals, bows and arrows, fish, and most of all images of the primitive artist himself, his handprint or his form. I felt an ancient connection to both the land and to the artist as an integral part of this landscape, stretching back to the beginning of time.

In this place I feel connected to the rocks, the landscape and to myself as an artist at work in this place now, on the very spot where earlier artists have left their traces centuries ago. The artist reveals his own vision of life as he celebrates the beauty of nature and the animals that share this place with him. This sense of place inspired those ancient artists, as it inspires me today.

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Robert R. Tinkess

Visual art in one form or another was always a part of my life. Nature has always been another huge element. Marrying the two was a natural evolution. My Metis (part native Indian) heritage and growing up with hunter-gatherer grandparents firmly rooted me to the Canadian wilderness.

Living in the vast undisciplined expanse of the boreal forest had a profound effect on me and therefore my art. My art is who I am.

When I am in the city my spirit bleeds and can only be nourished when I return to the embrace of wild trees and rocks and the serenity of the lake country.

I paint the spirit of the animals and birds, the trees, mosses and rocks. My mission is to draw the viewer inside the painting to feel the wind, smell the pines, think the thoughts of the birds and animals. My desire is to get the viewer lost in a moment of time.

Many of my paintings are a metaphor for life itself. They show gathering storms or huge expanses of highly complicated, textured sky. But there is also always an area of light, the essential element of hope.

I mean to evoke pleasure not pain, and appeal to the primitive nature that survives in all of us.

Yet I always wonder, "Is the light chasing away darkness or is the darkness smothering the light?"

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Artist Biography - Jan Laidlaw


Studied Oil Painting at UBC and Kwantlen University in Vancouver . Studied Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media at Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts. Teachers include: Joseph Wong, Andrew Giffin, Bev Jacobs

Taught Elementary Art for the Kamloops School District and Enrichment Arts for Langley School District in B.C.

Program Manager for Continuing Education at Kwantlen University . Developed, promoted and managed classes and programs in Design, Fine Arts and other fields.


Member of Ft. Langley Artists Group, exhibiting at the Ft. Langley Train Station Gallery 1992-97

Participated in outdoor Artists at Work shows and painting demonstrations in Fort Langley and other area parks

Langley Originals Juried Show "Sense of Place" February 1997

Lamplighter Gallery group shows, Ft. Langley

Campbell Valley Art Fair, exhibit and watercolour demonstration

University of British Columbia , International Conference on Sustainable Development, group exhibit "Women of the World" 1995

Member of Winnipeg Sketch Club since 1998

Assiniboine Park Conservatory, Winnipeg- group exhibits 2001 and 2004

Ukrainian Cultural Centre, Winnipeg- juried show 2002

Forks Market, Winnipeg - juried show 2003

Great West Life show, Winnipeg 2004

City Place, Winnipeg - juried show 2005


Photography -As a teenager and while attending university, I worked with my mother, Ella Laidlaw at her portrait studio, doing commercial work and exploring fine art photography techniques.I continue to photograph extensively, primarily on location in various other countries.

Weaving -Studied weaving at Handcraft House in North Vancouver , and exhibited my weavings at several shows there and at Westcoast Fibre Arts. Demonstrated spinning and weaving techniques at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver .

Owned and operated Heart's Delight Angora Goat Ranch. This enterprise came about through my love of spinning and weaving, and the animals provided the wool and mohair for my wall hangings, rugs and blankets.

Therapy Painting -Explored issues and feelings from my childhood memories and later experiences in expressionist paintings done in oil, oil pastels, watercolour and Chinese ink.

Travel - I travel every year, primarily in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. Photographs from these travels are a key resource in my painting.

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Artist Biography - Robert R. Tinkess

Bob grew up in the boreal forest of North Western Ontario. His many years spent with his grandmother and part-Ojibway grandfather were a positive force in his life and contributed to his many years as a fishing and hunting guide.

Besides being an avid fisherman and hunter, Bob spent long periods alone in the bush prospecting and staking mining claims in Ontario and the mountains of B.C.

Bob has done wood carvings based on west coast native myths and has designed and produced jewellery from fossilized shark teeth and copper.

His early interest and aptitude for wildlife art led to a brief but productive flare of painting in the early 1980's. Unfortunately painting had to take a back seat when upheavals took place in his personal life. Ten years later while living in Vancouver, he studied painting with international artist, Joseph Wong. A subsequent move to Winnipeg allowed him to study with well known artist Andrew Giffin. Years of hard work, a good eye and natural talent have combined to elevate his paintings to their current level.

A seasoned world traveller, Bob and his artist wife Jan travel each winter to exotic destinations where they sketch and take photographs. All of these activities provide subject matter for his paintings. Besides the full time painting which is a major force in his life, Bob also manages to run a full service fishing lodge on Lake of the Woods.

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