This article originally appeared the 2018 Invest In Style Cottage Life Issue. You can see the original article in our online copy of Invest In Style

 

 

Art Collectif Founder, Erika Floysvik, sat down with the contemporary painter, Mike Smalley, to talk about the wonders of Muskoka and how it’s landscape shapes and informs Mr. Smalley’s work.

 

 

 You spent much of your professional life running a successful advertising agency. How did that career influence your art?

If I learnt anything from 40 years of advertising, it’s living with constraints. Product constraints, executive constraints, time, budget and space constraints. Starting my journey at York University in 2003 to study fine arts was a dream realized. It allowed me to explore my craft freely, and without limits. Years later as a painter I learnt two things: the only constraints I have are my own, and I need a studio of my own!

 

 

 

Tell me about your history with Muskoka.

Before we purchased our home, we didn’t have a long history with Muskoka, but we did have friends living on Lake Rosseau and heard wonderful things about the area. We were at a time in our lives when we weren’t tied to anything and so we decided to give it a go! We bought our property and the studio was established. My wife gave me the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to live and paint year-round.

 

 

 

Describe the vantage point from your Muskoka studio.

Five years of living and working on Lake Rousseau gave me a unique perspective on what I was seeing and what I was painting. The studio, being on the second floor, looked toward Tobin Island to the West and Euphemia Island to the North.

 

How did opening your studio in Muskoka influence your work? 

Water became my muse. Whether viewed from my studio or boat, it was mesmerizing. It fragmented; It created; It became the ultimate subject. Quiet, stoic, but equally as brilliant and inspiring were the rocks of Muskoka (known as The Canadian Shield, the Pre-Cambian Shield or the Laurentian Plateau).

No matter the season, these two elements, rock and water, became the genesis of my work.

 

 

 

 

 

What sets Muskoka apart from other rural landscapes?

There’s a constant change in colour, light and life. Deer, eagles and otters arrive with the first snow, while the lucky ones arrive at the first sign of summer. This is what makes Muskoka so unique, it never ceases to surprise and inspire.

 

Does Muskoka still inspire you now that your studio has moved to Toronto?

Sadly, our time in Muskoka had to end for a new adventure. While this meant a new studio in the heart of Toronto, Muskoka will never stop comforting, rejuvenating and exciting our spirits.

 

 

Art Collectif is an online destination for contemporary paintings, photography and mixed media works. The collection is hand-selected and speaks to new and emerging collectors with a love for contemporary art that is bold, graphic and energetic.

 

 

 

View Mike Smalley’s paintings and limited edition prints at www.artcollectif.com

This article originally appeared the 2018 Invest In Style Cottage Life Issue. You can see the original article in our online copy of Invest In Style

 

 

Art Collectif Founder, Erika Floysvik, sat down with the contemporary painter, Mike Smalley, to talk about the wonders of Muskoka and how it’s landscape shapes and informs Mr. Smalley’s work.

 

 

 You spent much of your professional life running a successful advertising agency. How did that career influence your art?

If I learnt anything from 40 years of advertising, it’s living with constraints. Product constraints, executive constraints, time, budget and space constraints. Starting my journey at York University in 2003 to study fine arts was a dream realized. It allowed me to explore my craft freely, and without limits. Years later as a painter I learnt two things: the only constraints I have are my own, and I need a studio of my own!

 

 

 

Tell me about your history with Muskoka.

Before we purchased our home, we didn’t have a long history with Muskoka, but we did have friends living on Lake Rosseau and heard wonderful things about the area. We were at a time in our lives when we weren’t tied to anything and so we decided to give it a go! We bought our property and the studio was established. My wife gave me the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to live and paint year-round.

 

 

 

Describe the vantage point from your Muskoka studio.

Five years of living and working on Lake Rousseau gave me a unique perspective on what I was seeing and what I was painting. The studio, being on the second floor, looked toward Tobin Island to the West and Euphemia Island to the North.

 

How did opening your studio in Muskoka influence your work? 

Water became my muse. Whether viewed from my studio or boat, it was mesmerizing. It fragmented; It created; It became the ultimate subject. Quiet, stoic, but equally as brilliant and inspiring were the rocks of Muskoka (known as The Canadian Shield, the Pre-Cambian Shield or the Laurentian Plateau).

No matter the season, these two elements, rock and water, became the genesis of my work.

 

 

 

 

 

What sets Muskoka apart from other rural landscapes?

There’s a constant change in colour, light and life. Deer, eagles and otters arrive with the first snow, while the lucky ones arrive at the first sign of summer. This is what makes Muskoka so unique, it never ceases to surprise and inspire.

 

Does Muskoka still inspire you now that your studio has moved to Toronto?

Sadly, our time in Muskoka had to end for a new adventure. While this meant a new studio in the heart of Toronto, Muskoka will never stop comforting, rejuvenating and exciting our spirits.

 

 

Art Collectif is an online destination for contemporary paintings, photography and mixed media works. The collection is hand-selected and speaks to new and emerging collectors with a love for contemporary art that is bold, graphic and energetic.

 

 

 

View Mike Smalley’s paintings and limited edition prints at www.artcollectif.com

This article originally appeared the 2018 Invest In Style Cottage Life Issue. You can see the original article in our online copy of Invest In Style

 

 

Art Collectif Founder, Erika Floysvik, sat down with the contemporary painter, Mike Smalley, to talk about the wonders of Muskoka and how it’s landscape shapes and informs Mr. Smalley’s work.

 

 

 You spent much of your professional life running a successful advertising agency. How did that career influence your art?

If I learnt anything from 40 years of advertising, it’s living with constraints. Product constraints, executive constraints, time, budget and space constraints. Starting my journey at York University in 2003 to study fine arts was a dream realized. It allowed me to explore my craft freely, and without limits. Years later as a painter I learnt two things: the only constraints I have are my own, and I need a studio of my own!

 

 

 

Tell me about your history with Muskoka.

Before we purchased our home, we didn’t have a long history with Muskoka, but we did have friends living on Lake Rosseau and heard wonderful things about the area. We were at a time in our lives when we weren’t tied to anything and so we decided to give it a go! We bought our property and the studio was established. My wife gave me the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to live and paint year-round.

 

 

 

Describe the vantage point from your Muskoka studio.

Five years of living and working on Lake Rousseau gave me a unique perspective on what I was seeing and what I was painting. The studio, being on the second floor, looked toward Tobin Island to the West and Euphemia Island to the North.

 

How did opening your studio in Muskoka influence your work? 

Water became my muse. Whether viewed from my studio or boat, it was mesmerizing. It fragmented; It created; It became the ultimate subject. Quiet, stoic, but equally as brilliant and inspiring were the rocks of Muskoka (known as The Canadian Shield, the Pre-Cambian Shield or the Laurentian Plateau).

No matter the season, these two elements, rock and water, became the genesis of my work.

 

 

 

 

 

What sets Muskoka apart from other rural landscapes?

There’s a constant change in colour, light and life. Deer, eagles and otters arrive with the first snow, while the lucky ones arrive at the first sign of summer. This is what makes Muskoka so unique, it never ceases to surprise and inspire.

 

Does Muskoka still inspire you now that your studio has moved to Toronto?

Sadly, our time in Muskoka had to end for a new adventure. While this meant a new studio in the heart of Toronto, Muskoka will never stop comforting, rejuvenating and exciting our spirits.

 

 

Art Collectif is an online destination for contemporary paintings, photography and mixed media works. The collection is hand-selected and speaks to new and emerging collectors with a love for contemporary art that is bold, graphic and energetic.

 

 

 

View Mike Smalley’s paintings and limited edition prints at www.artcollectif.com

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