Featured Artist: Anne-Marie Olczak (DEAF)

Today’s post is one of my favourite local painters. Anne-Marie and I met last year setting up our tents next to each other at the Danforth East Arts Fair and hit it off pretty well so we decided to create a walk-through between our tents. I admired her work all weekend, and ended up taking a couple of her smaller paintings home with me (that’s where my winnings as Biggest Booster went last year – keeping it local!) and she went home with a hat. I am happy to announce that we will be neighbours again this year! And in the same spot at the north end of East Lynn Park at this year’s Danforth East Arts Fair on September 13 & 14 (10 am – 5 pm). So do come by and see us both!

(click for larger images below)

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Anne-Marie Olczak

Products: Original acrylic paintings painted on wood panels (occasionally canvas too) and sometimes featuring collage elements such as maps and some of my original photographs.  I also have sets of blank cards featuring my work and maybe this year — fridge magnets.

Price Range: $20 – $1500

How Did This All Start:
When I was about 3 years old, I drew curve, lined with 6 or 7 circles.  It was titled “Christmas Tree with Jingle Bells On It”.  That was the beginning.  The painting came a bit later.

My inspiration is the lake and it’s edges – the beach, the shore, the city, the neighbourhoods.  Maps and photos are often a part of the layers of paint and glaze that make up a final piece.  A painting is as much about the process of building up these layers as it is exploring the concept of boundaries and borders.

My Neighbourhood paintings take the idea of boundaries away from the shore.  Borders are defined by maps and streets, celebrating our neighbourhoods with photos I’ve taken of (mostly) East End Toronto houses.  These neighbourhoods are where we come together which is why intersections are a major theme.

I’m often asked if I work in encaustic (beeswax).  I don’t, but I have developed my own technique using layers of glazes and washes that mimic the depth and texture that encaustic can produce.  The layers allow light to play on the painting – changing the colours and tones as light changes during the day.

Visit Anne-Marie’s website, including folio and blog at annemarieolczak.com.


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