Balleycanoe & Co – Part II

September 22, 2014 | 8 comments

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Last week I told you all about the architectural salvage found at Balleycanoe & Co. in Mallorytown, Ontario.  It is the “PERFECT” spot to feed your addiction for old, vintage and antique “stuff”.  I introduced you to  John Sorensen, Balleycanoe’s owner and we found out a bit about his passion for picking and collecting great salvage pieces.

This week, we are going to find out about John’s latest passion – art!.  In my brief visit to Balleycanoe, I had the pleasure of perusing the “art room” and was very intrigued!  John had several paintings on display as well as a few pieces of “found art” which he explains in the interview below.


Q1: When did you start painting?

I was always a “doodler” but I first began my love for colour and form during my years dealing with painted pine antiques and then later repairing and restoring.  I began oil painting about 12 years ago.  It was not meant to be something that I would ever show to anyone but rather a form of recreation.  With persuasion from my mentor, art teacher Andrea Mossop, and Molly’s support I have on occasion participated in and organizes several shows over the past few years – each time, especially the first few, to my astonishment – I sold very well.  Painting is and will likely remain something I do for my own pleasure, definitely not for profit (I often say that “Painting is my latest creative way to lose money”!).  It is an addictive activity and I can see the day when I will spend as much or more time painting than I do on Balleycanoe & Co.


Q2: What inspires you in your painting?  Do any artists inspire you?

Most of what I paint comes from my memories and what I experience.  I love to dance – ballroom, swing, jive, tango, etc. so that is a recurring theme.  I love interior scenes of rooms and furniture and I also paint scenes of the days when I was doing shows.  I like movement and love colour.  I almost never paint from a photograph.  The Impressionists and other artists from that time period are my favourites.  I am currently most interested in Manet.  I really don’t know how to describe what I do – it is mostly instinctive.


Q3: You showed me a couple of pieces of found art.  Can you explain these?

Found Art is a developing focus for me.  My particular interest is in older objects that I find that have a unique combination of form, surface and colour that transcend their original function.  Often they have a sculptural quality as well.  It is difficult to pin down but I know it when I see it.  I will be bringing a selection to the show I am helping to organize – Before the Rush.


Q4: Finally, tell me about the “Before the Rush” Art Show.  Who, what, when, where and why?

Before the Rush is an art show that I have helped organize for the past 3 years.  This year it will be at the Ivy Lea Club which is a fantastic venue.  Rather than being in a hall or gallery the show is placed in an operating business with the idea that both parties – the artists and the business – will profit.  We have 17 selected artists from Eastern Ontario who represent a broad range of artistic practices.  I am very excited with the artists we have this year.  We range in age from 22 to 80, from fine traditional painters to “found art”, from potters to glass blowers and new to the art scene, two vendors who will be bringing vintage items that have been repainted and repurposed, that I feel represent the best in this new and exciting genre.


For those interested, the Before the Rush Art Show will be held at the Ivy Lea Club, Ivy Lea, Ontario on November 7, 8 & 9.  I have it in MY calendar — if only to snatch up the Red Truck painting above (sighhhh_)!  Go to the Before the Rush page to check the other 16 artists.

Thanks once again to John for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us.  See you in November!


8 responses to “Balleycanoe & Co – Part II”

  1. Thanks Donna for the kind words about my paintings. I have been very busy preparing for Before the Rush and did not think to check your great Blogspot until today.
    I have entered a number of “glimpses” of my “Found Art” selections on my Facebook site if you would like to have a look. I am,by the way, a better dancer in my imagination then I am in reality but, like my paintings, I do it for fun.
    Thanks again,

  2. Lovely pieces! Sounds like a great place for a day trip!

  3. What a talented and interesting fellow! His art work is really great, and if he’s as talented on the dance floor, then he what a dance partner he would be! Thanks for sharing, Donna!

  4. I love his art style! What a great talent! I’m not familiar with that part of Ontario but the show looks like it has a beautiful venue. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The paintings are beautiful and it must have been very cool to poke around that art room!

  6. jen says:

    What beautiful pieces of art. So full of movement and life.

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