Surface Language Two: painting in an abstract dialect

Featuring the work of Leona Petrak, Anne Jones and Dennis Brown
February 26 – April 14, 2019 
Opening Reception March 2nd from 1-3 pm

Leona Petrak

Dear Friends,

 So, this is me…taken as a selfie…which I never do unless pressed by circumstance…because, Good Lord! The lens on my phone just brings up way too much detail…and then I have to blur the image to make it resemble the Me I know I really am! 

Reality! ( sigh) So, this is me…slightly unclarified.

A little of my history …..I am a prairie-born, BC raised woman. I’ve lived on Vancouver Island since I was 12, so I identify primarily with the West Coast, although heavy skies and wheat fields move something deep in me.

I have also always identified primarily as an artist, although it took  many years to come into full cognition around that. For the last twenty years since I quit my day job as a high school teacher, I have been on that learning path. Even though I studied Art History and Visual Arts in  university, it wasn’t until I quit that outside world and entered my own self-directed learning world that being an artist became a reality for me….gradually. The learning continues.


At this time, my fascination is with painting in an abstract, formalist, non-representational manner. This is an area that I have ventured into at times….now, at a different level, I’m finding a lot of satisfaction and I imagine I will explore this thoroughly.


The rest about me I want to share….I live in beautiful Ladysmith. I am a longtime member of the Arts Council there. I curate the monthly shows in the Waterfront Gallery and I have my studio there overlooking the Ladysmith Harbour…I’m thankful for the wonderful opportunity to live my life in art and on the beautiful Vancouver Island.


I hope you enjoy the show…


Anne Jones

“I love that we can still see hand prints and figurative drawings made by people who were alive over 40,000 years ago, and that people were engraving abstract patterns on shells, beads and stones way before that, as far back as 100,000 years. What they thought about what they were doing, and why, is a mystery but one thing is for sure – They made marks that establish their place and presence in this space time continuum.


“Painting is something I do to continually surprise myself by making something I’ve never seen before. Painting is giving form to an idea. 


“I like a painting that first establishes the truth about what it is, an object, on a wall (usually), a flat surface carrying marks (lines, shapes colours etc.) made with various media. Anything further that a painting does is illusion, even metaphysics, almost magic.


“I like a painting that draws me in and then spits me back out; engages my curiosity but doesn’t give me definitive answers. Tomorrow I can be seduced by the magic again and perhaps see something new.

 I tend not to stay too fixed to any style or genre except that I love to work with abstraction.

I like riding the edge between figurative and non-objective imagery, balancing chaos with control and a nod toward design and structure. I do way more looking than I do painting. I freely source from art history, other artists, what I see around me, research in science and biology, my previous work, my imagination and a bit of humour.”

 “Painting is opposite to death. It permits one to survive. It also permits one to live.”  Joan Mitchell

Anne Jones was born in North Wales, U.K. and moved to Canada as a child.  She earned a degree in Fine Art, then a Bachelor of Education (Art Specialist, English, PHE) from the University of Toronto and then did a post graduate year in Printmaking at Croydon College of Art in London England.

She then taught printmaking, design, and drawing and painting at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in Toronto, retiring in 2004 as Curriculum Leader of the Visual Arts and Technology Department

In the early 90’s following courses in non-toxic printmaking methods with Keith Howard at the Canadian School for Non-Toxic Printmaking at Grand Prairie Regional College, Anne became active in promoting the new non-toxic materials, methods and philosophy to the Toronto Board of Education, converting the studios in the school to accommodate this end. The Printmaking Studio at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery was set up as a non-toxic practice.

Anne lives in Nanaimo and is lucky enough to have both a printmaking studio and a painting studio.

Since the early 80’s her work has been exhibited in Canada, the U.K, and China.


Dennis Brown

Personal History:  Born in Saskatchewan, resided in Alberta, Ontario and
British Columbia.

Mediums: Acrylics and Watercolours

Awards:  1st Place Abstract Exhibit, FCA 2017

Northwestern Utilities Ltd. – Alberta
Nanaimo General Hospital– BC
Pharmasave, Ladysmith, B.C.

Residents of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, Texas, Alaska, Washington, Montana, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon, France and Japan, Holland

Art Education:
Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Alberta
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario
University of Alberta Extension, Edmonton
Victoria College of Art
Numerous Professional Artist Workshops in Canada, USA, Italy, Scotland, Japan & Mexico

Alberta Society of Artists
Federation of Canadian Artists
Arts Council of Ladysmith and District

Calgary Sketch Club
Alberta Society of Artists, Edm. – Annual Show
Federation of Canadian Artists, BC
Nanaimo Arts Council
South Delta Artists Guild
Coleman, Texas
Pueblo, Colorado
Waterfront Gallery, Ladysmith
Moss Street Paint In, Victoria, B.C.
Leighton Art Centre, Calgary, Alberta
Little Old School House, Qualicum Beach
Visual Arts Alberta
Art Jam 2010 Ladysmith
Art Museum, Ome, Japan

Instagram: dennis.djabrown