July 15 - August 12
Public Reception: Saturday, July 22, 2pm-4pm 

Andrea Ross tends to burn many dinners when she becomes absorbed in a painting and cannot leave it alone. This passion for painting is evident in her loose brush strokes and bold colours that have become Andrea’s artistic hallmarks as she strives to bring attention to Muskoka’s natural shorelines and abundance of lakes, wetlands and streams.  

“Natural shorelines are so beautiful just as they are and in Muskoka, as more and more people to the lakes, there is pressure to develop shorelines,” says Andrea whose home and studio is located at Skeleton Lake.  “I want to show how wonderful undeveloped shorelines are and how they are critical to the health of lakes and wetlands.”  

Andrea will be showing her oil paintings in her first solo exhibition in ten years at Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Chapel Gallery from July 15 until August 12. “I called my exhibition Rough Around the Edges because it refers to shorelines first and then my painting style of lost and found edges,” explains Andrea. “Lastly, the title might suggest me personally.”  

The paintings in the exhibition range from large and dramatic lake scenes to up close views of shorelines. They have been painted as if the viewer was sitting on the water in a kayak or canoe as well as from higher perspectives such as the view a person would see from the top of a cliff overlooking a lake. “Hopefully, when looking at the paintings, the viewer will feel the wind whipping up the waves, sunshine bouncing off the water’s surface, still water with playful reflections and the soft soil underfoot,” states Andrea who enjoys all forms of outdoor activities. “As water plays a large part in my paintings, I have painted its changing mood, colour and reflections,” adds Andrea who also painted several small six inch by six inch canvases of birds and other things that might be seen along a shoreline.  

Art runs in Andrea’s family. Her mother was a potter and painter and her aunt was a medical illustrator who inspired Andrea to attend the University of Guelph, graduating with a degree in fine art. For the past forty-five years, Andrea has been painting. She first worked with pastels that gave her great insight into colour. “When I realized that I wanted to work larger, pastel painting became too heavy and expensive with the special framing that was required so I switched to oil on canvas,” says Andrea.  

Using premium gallery wrapped canvas, Andrea begins by toning the canvas with an undercolour. Using reference material, she quickly sketches in paint the most important edges and reference points. Then, Andrea paints in the large shapes and plays with the design of the scene, which are mainly the light and dark shapes. Then, the large shapes are turned into forms with depth and perspective using colour, line and texture. “This is the part of the painting that takes the most time,” explains Andrea. “Only when the scene has its design finalized do I put any sort of detail in the focal area. I constantly try to guide the viewer to one focal spot first and then around to other significant areas to tell the story of what my paintings is all about.”  

Over the years, Andrea sees her painting technique becoming looser and using more colour. “The colours I use change constantly as I become fond of one colour or another,” admits Andrea. “I really like the process of creating a painting and find each step very exciting. I find taking a blank canvas and transforming it into an emotional scene is quite the rush. I feel very Canadian when I painting the landscape I love.”  

Andrea feels very fortunate to live in Skeleton Lake and finds the views outside her windows inspiring. “The sunshine on the water, moody weather and colours both subtle and bold are my inspirations,” says Andrea. “I see paintings everywhere, however, keeping my focus on painting is especially hard when the water calls to you go for a paddle or a swim.”  

Andrea hopes that viewers to her exhibition will leave with a determination to protect, nurture, enjoy and love Muskoka’s natural environment. “Hopefully, people coming to my exhibition will really look at a shoreline or scene. Absorb the atmosphere and see all that is there in a new light and perspective,” says Andrea who is an ardent support of the Muskoka Watershed Council and will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her paintings during the show to the organization.  

A public reception for Andrea will be held on Saturday, July 22 from 2pm to 4pm at the Chapel Gallery. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until August 12.

If you would like to receive e-mail notices of our upcoming exhibitions and shows, 
please send an e-mail with your request including your full name and e-mail address.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. is located in the District Municipality of  Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.