• By: Eric Murphy

High Art and Hot Tea

Springs Dream, by Ramona Organ.

The Tea Party Café is making its walls even more colourful next month with a brilliant exhibit from local artist Ramona Organ.

Beginning on March 31st and lasting until the final day of April, the “Colour in Motion” showcase will feature Organ’s vibrant and flowing works. These paintings are inspired by the artist’s own life and experiences, and each one captures a different emotion. Many are quiet and contemplative, while others surge with an almost-angry energy.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase my work at the Cafe,” says Organ. “It is my hope that my art work can bring as much joy to someone as it has brought me while creating it.”

Organ’s show is part of a larger effort by the café to promote local artists, and work like hers is right at home in the already quirky space.

“We recently filled some of our walls with Alice in Wonderland chalk art from various local artists and had great feedback from customers,” says Christine, The Tea Party Café’s owner. “I thought about how we can use our entire space, including our hallways, to exhibit their own art work. It is a colourful and beautiful way to change up our space every month.”

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The “Colour in Motion” vernissage will begin at 6 p.m. March 31 and run until nine. That night, and for the rest of April, anyone who visits the Tea Party will have a gorgeous accompaniment to their locally roasted coffee, scrumptious scones or afternoon High Tea.

You can find out more about the artist on her site ramonaorganfineart.com or by reading the Q and A below:

How did your art career start?

I actually started in photography and took classes at The School of Photographic Arts of Ottawa.  That first course and my instructor John Hewett Hallum opened my eyes not only to photography but how I saw art in general.  After a few years in photography I wanted to do a photographic project.  My goal was to do some small abstract paintings and photograph them for a series.  My style was very much macro photography and I thought close ups of abstract paintings, especially ones I had created would be a great subject.  I asked someone I knew who was an artist and an art teacher if they would give me some basic painting lessons.  They refused and as I generally do when someone refuses to help me I find a way to do it myself.  So I read books, I watched videos; I studied other artists and taught myself how to paint.

How do you know that a painting is complete or that you are happy with it?

Knowing when a painting is done is more of a feeling for me and if I stand back and find myself smiling, I know that the painting is something I am happy with and proud of.

In your exhibit “Colour in Motion,” did you have a particular theme in mind when you put it together?

Yes, I gathered all of the art I had that made me really happy and that I was proud of and I thought people would respond to. I picked pieces that in my view were strong and demonstrated my style, how I looked at colour and how the pieces flowed together. Seeing them all together in one room, the title “Colour in Motion” described how the paintings made me feel and how they fit together.

You have mentioned that it can be tough for emerging artists to be recognized and find establishments where they can display their work.  What advice would you have for other artists starting out and encountering the same situation?

Never give up.  Believe in yourself and your work.  If you are passionate about it, do not give up on your dream.  Talk with artists and learn from them.  Share as much and as often as you can. Takes risks and don’t be afraid of applying to exhibitions, galleries or smaller out of the way venues.  You never know where opportunity awaits.  Always remember there is a difference between “critique” and “criticism.”