Due to COVID-19, this exhibition at the Chapel Gallery has been cancelled.
It is available online on our Facebook and Instagram accounts where you can
see the work and read the artist's comments.

 


Three's Company
acrylic on canvas
24"x30"  $850

Janice Feist

Glory
acrylic on canvas
36"x24  $1,100

FOR THE LOVE OF HORSES
Paintings and Sculptures by Janice Feist

July 11 - August 1

Janice Feist was raised in rural Ontario where her family’s home was surrounded by farmers’ fields, most of which were agricultural but the special ones had cows and horses. “I cannot recall a time that horses haven’t affected me in some manner,” says Janice.  “I have visual snapshots in my mind from childhood of watching horses grazing in a field, galloping and bucking in playfulness, or nursing their young. My earliest memories are also sensory; I still smell the sweet aroma of hay and straw in a barn, the scent of a horse, especially when stroking a horse’s neck under its mane and feeling the softness of a horse’s muzzle in my hand.”

From an early age, Janice’s parents indulged her with pony rides, no matter where they were. She started riding lessons at a neighbourhood farm when she was about 9 years of age, where she took her first and last fall from a horse when it cantered back to the barn for hay. Despite her bruised, youthful ego, Janice was hooked forever.


Inner Beauty
acrylic on canvas
36"x48"  $2,100

As a teen, Janice remembers the hardware store visits with her dad. He would take Janice with him so that she could revel in the tack room at the back of the store while he searched for building supplies. “As soon as I walked into that room, I was in heaven,” Janice recollects. “Seeing and breathing in the new leather saddles, straps and bridles, shiny snaps and bits were like the promise of having my own horse. I felt that I belonged in that room – it was all mine. I loved anything to do with horses. Riding horses, drawing horses or watching horsey movies, horses filled me with such joy.”

It would be in Janice’s adult years that her perfect dream would come true – she finally found her own horse. “All the stories I read said that, when you develop a close connection with a horse, it is more than on the surface; it is in your mind and in your heart also,” explains Janice. “My relationship with Mooney grew with patience and kindness. I learned that a horse will look at you with its wisdom, extraordinary beauty and strength. It will listen to you and take care of you and we can connect with them more deeply than we can imagine. It was a gift to learn the give and take in our relationship and to experience the development of a binding trust. I loved that horse. Indeed, I have an indelible hoof print on my heart.”  


A Roll in the Hay
acrylic on canvas
30"x40"  $1,500


Natural Bonds
acrylic on canvas
36"x24"  $1,100
SOLD

From her childhood to the present day, when Janice thinks of horses, she realizes they have always been a part of her life. “I read somewhere that ‘The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a girl.’  So true. I believe that the scent of a horse is an elixir that should have been put in a bottle and sold as cologne,” Janice remarks. “I admit, there is a huge possibility that if the first man I met smelled like a horse, I might have married him on the spot. There is nothing quite like a horse. They are woven into the fabric of human existence.”

For the Love of Horses will include representational and abstracted acrylic or mixed media paintings of these majestic animals doing what horses do, sometimes when we aren’t looking. Some paintings are portraits, some share scenes of their work relationship with humans, others a simple day in the life of a horse. In addition, Janice will present a number of small sculptures .


Quiet Hands
acrylic on canvas with 
silver wood frame
8"x8"  $255

Dressage Bridle
acrylic on canvas with 
silver wood frame
8"x8"  $255

Dressage Spur
acrylic on canvas with 
silver wood frame
8"x8"  $255

Before Janice picked up a paint brush, she had a variety of jobs that included working in a legal office and in the Treasury Department at City Hall in Oshawa. When she and her husband Paul moved to Muskoka, they were the owners and operators of the Port Sandfield Marketeria that included her clothing store, La Boutique.

Janice started painting more seriously around 2007 and and two years later started showing her work. “The experience of showing my work publicly was my way of validating the work. It was a great encouragement to get better,” says Janice who was initially inspired by colour and texture. “The inspiration to paint however, is all about how a scene or subject makes me feel. If I don’t feel anything, I can’t paint it,” says Janice. “The first step is to get excited about something. Then I either research it or go out and take photos, make sketches and imagine the painting in my head. In effect, I do the painting totally in my mind first, then I look at my jars and tubes of paint to select the colours, the canvas to fit the size of my sketch.

As I work, I have a sense of how a painting will come out, however it often grows in a direction I hadn’t thought of. I am open to what the painting tells me as I progress and love what happens when I let go and just paint.”


Two Red Fillies
acrylic on canvas with 
distressed wood frame
8"x10"  $300


Red Filly
acrylic on canvas with 
distressed wood frame
8"x10"  $300

Over the years, Janice’s paintings have changed. In the beginning, Janice says she was timid, careful and perfection was important. “As experiences of painting have built, I can see as I look over my works, that I am not stuck as much in my self-imposed box. I really like to work quickly, layering paint on the surface, trying to get the essence of the subject rather than the photographic image,” Janice reveals. “My biggest goal for my painting is that I continue to evolve, to discover and be challenged.”

In preparing for this solo exhibition, Janice discloses, “My biggest challenge was to hone in and figure out what is it I want to share of my experiences. I have spent many hours in my life around horses, each impacting me in different ways. Yes, I wanted to express how horses have worked so hard for humans in history and the present day, but I also wished to show horses just being horses. I guess that most people see horses doing work; pulling carriages, sleds or logs and imagine them being ridden by cowboys with guns a-blazing. Horses have such emotion, not often seen by people who haven’t spent time with them. Once I began painting, I started smiling.”


Logging Team
acrylic on canvas with 
distressed wood frame
8"x10"  $300

Hitched and Ready
acrylic on canvas with 
distressed wood frame
18"x24"  $800

Carriage Horse
acrylic on canvas with 
distressed wood frame
8"x10"  $300

When asked what she hopes viewers will experience when looking at her paintings, Janice states, “I hope my paintings open the door for reflection upon our relationship with horses. I wish to encourage dialogue to recognize their impact on us and how deeply humans affect them. It would be a gift to know that my paintings have sent someone to a barn just to spend time with a horse.”

When the Chapel Gallery had to temporarily close its doors due to COVID-19, Janice had to change how she would display her paintings. “Having an online presence is important as it allows people to see my work when they don’t have the opportunity to do so in person. Online viewing extends to communities that are distances away, bringing them to the exhibition in their own home. I am pleased that despite our current human challenges of staying apart, we can come together online.”


Bay Watch
acrylic on canvas
30"x40"  $1,500

A Balanced Diet
acrylic on canvas
36"x48"  $2,100

Scritch and Scratch
acrylic on canvas
24"x30"  $850

Trail Horse
acrylic on canvas
24"x30"  $850

Beauty
acrylic on canvas with
distressed wood frame
12"x12"  $350

Listening
acrylic on canvas with
distressed wood frame
12"x12"  $350

        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.


Located at 15 King Street in Bracebridge, the gallery is open year-round, Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. It is closed during the last week of September and the second week of October as well as between Christmas and New Year’s Days. Please check the Calendar of Events for the actual dates. For a map, please follow this link.

Exhibitions are booked one year in advance.  To learn how to apply for a show, please follow this link: Exhibition Application.

The Chapel Gallery was opened in September, 1989. Housed in a reconstruction of the first Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge, the Chapel Gallery hosts exhibitions of art and craft by our members and other local and provincial artists. Exhibitions are selected by the Gallery Committee and change every three to four weeks.

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