On the weekend of July 3-5, 2015 I was included in a market at Spruce Meadows with Cat’s Eye Jewelry and Elizabeth Ellis Weaving; both of whom I have introduced to you before in this post The Weaver, The Jewelry Maker, The Potter and the Photographer in Turner Valley. I had only been to Spruce Meadows on one previous occasion during the winter, the true beauty of this venue though is revealed in summer. Well, at this event I was introduced to Mady Thiel-Kopstein, an amazing painter, photographer and person. Now I must admit that I have not really understood art throughout my life. Art that I can wear is one thing but art that I hang on the wall is not always something that I appreciate. However, at Spruce Meadows on this weekend I had the chance to “live” with Mady’s art for a few days, speak to her, to hear her stories about her paintings and then experience whatever my story was around these paintings. What a gift, one that I thank Mady for giving to me in her calm, accepting, inclusive way. One of the things that I truly love about these artists as they come together for these shows, is that they think about the set up of their venue; they realize that people will be there and need room to move, gaze, try-on and chat. This set-up allows you time to “live” with all of the art as well, there are often places to sit and experience in these venues.
Mady’s paintings start from her photography, which is also quite beautiful. Her paintings are not direct copies of her photography but are a place to start and often incorporate multiple shots, even staying more abstract rather than specific and crisp. If you know the areas you may recognize the places but you will likely see something that you have never seen before. Each angle that you view the works from will reveal something new to you.
I love that Mady likes to have a story in her work and she doesn’t force the story into the piece but rather often wakes in the middle of the night to know what that last touch of a story is for a particular piece, she goes downstairs to the painting to add the piece in and then returns to her sleep.
I asked Mady if she does commission pieces and she said that it is a really fun thing for her to do. She really has to listen to the client and then she has the opportunity to bring their vision to life. This really spoke to me as this is the process that I use when helping someone to find their personal style.
I will share with you a few of her pieces (with her permission) and things that I discovered while gazing and talking with Mady.
The featured image at the top of this post captivated me. Do you recall laying outside and gazing up at the clouds, using your imagination to find all of the hidden creatures in those clouds? This piece lets you play that game again. Were these images placed there by Mady? No, just like clouds you just get to see them.
This is a beautiful scene of trees and mountains but it did not feel done until the small van was placed into it for the occupants to travel through her world. You can create your story for what their trip entails. That whimsical little van was something that absolutely captivated me, I could envision the occupants and depending on the day the occupants in my head were different.
I see the foothills but I also see the Canadian Shield, my Ontario origins interpreting an image that Mady has purposely left more out of focus. I can honestly say that this is my favourite, I love texture that I can touch and you are definitely invited to touch. This piece grabs me.
The multitude of ravens that Mady is so known for. Each shows its personality and colour, where the light and shadow is.
There was another of a cheeky little squirrel that reminds me of my backyard and watching their antics there. A moose wandering a European street, what is the story you would build? I know the one that Mady conveyed.
What is the story that you get to see in these pieces? Is there a story that you would like to convey to her and have her create for you to keep and treasure? Treat yourself to that story.
Mady, thank you for your talent, kindness and inclusion.