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Fergus artist draws inspiration from great Canadian landscape

Vera Kisseleva, from Fergus, is an established award-winning artist best known for her paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape

Stepping out for an evening walk is much more than just that for Vera Kisseleva.

When outdoors, the artist from Fergus takes every opportunity to see her surroundings with fresh eyes, and with each footstep, recreate nature’s dazzling colours along the way.

“I am inspired mostly by light such as the sun coming through the trees. I also love the change of seasons. Every time you look at the same place in a different light or a different season, it looks completely different,” Kisseleva said.

“There is always something new to discover. When I go for a walk and see sparkles in the water for example, or light coming through the trees, this is what I want to paint.”

Kisseleva is an established award-winning artist best known for her paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape, something she says, is a great joy to experience and to share with others.

“I studied art at university for five years back home in Russia,” Kisseleva said. “And then I lived in Israel before moving to Canada 11 years ago. That’s when I started to paint again. It was Canadian nature that inspired me.”

It is the diversity within Canada’s landscape that particularly captures Kisseleva’s eye.

“It’s all so different, which is why I like to paint. There is such a variety of landscapes. If you go to Muskoka, for example, there’s lakes and pine trees,” Kisseleva said. “And here locally, there’s so many lovely parks and rivers.

"Wherever you go, it’s beautiful. Even during winter, seeing the evergreens, seeing the different shades of green, it really is amazing.”

Kisseleva has been a member of the Elora Fergus Studio Tour since 2019. The mother of four has a home-based studio in Fergus.

“My children are proud of me, and they also enjoy art. They do their own forms of arts and crafts. They enjoy creating in my studio too,” Kisseleva said.

"My son, he is in Grade 4, and he will often come to the studio, grab some colours, and start painting.”

This coming Mother’s Day weekend, from May 13 and 14th, Kisseleva, along with nine other local artists, will have the opportunity to showcase their work.

Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios is a free self-guided tour of local artists living in and around Elora and Fergus. Studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“This is our second year hosting the event. I have taken part before. Last year, it was under another name, 'Art in the Open'. Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t have people in the studios, so we opened up our garages and we displayed our work outside of our houses,” Kisseleva said.  

“So, this year, we are excited to do things differently by inviting people into our studios, mostly our home-based studios.”

Other local artists at the Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios include: Rick Worthington, Carolyn Sharp, Tony Deluca, Gracye Perry, Dave Bell, Lorraine McDonald, Callie Gray, Terry Golletz and Terry Gregg.

“We have a variety of artists from different mediums including woodwork, acrylic painting, oil painting, and jewellery, so there will be something for everyone,” Kisseleva said.

“This is a great way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. People can visit different studios, talk to local artists, and see their new work. And maybe even purchase a gift for their mother or for themselves.”

 Kisseleva says Elora Fergus Spring Open Studios is a great opportunity for artists to share their latest creations.

"I am really looking forward to this event, to see people in the community and also meet new people,"  Kisseleva said. “I absolutely want to continue to paint for the rest of my life. I love painting and I just want to be able to share my work with everyone.”

For more information about the studio tour, visit here.

From May 25 to July 9, Kisseleva’s work will also be on display at the Elora Centre of Arts. The exhibition will be titled “Making the Unfamiliar Familiar." 

For more information about that exhibit, visit here.