Arts Hudson

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Shernya Vininsky Krause Shares
her Passion for Horses with 40-Piece Exhibit
With gallery in Vaudreuil-Soulanges currently closed,
she creates her own virtual tour
by James Parry

I think it is safe to say that it is every artist's dream to have a few of their works exhibited in a high-profile art gallery. But 40 of them? And all showing at the very same time and until they are sold from now through January 20 next year? Well, that is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime achievement!

But that is exactly what has happened for long-time Hudsonite and multiple award-winning artist, Shernya Vininsky Krause, who first developed her love of art at the tender age of six when her parents moved to Ville St. Laurent, an almost country-like setting at the time.

But here's the rub. Unfortunately, and due to ever-changing Covid-19 restrictions, that gallery - Le Musée Régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges at 431 avenue Saint-Charles - is now closed and almost certainly will be for some time to come.

Undaunted, Shernya has come up with a most innovative way of promoting her 40-piece collection. The theme of which is "For the Love of Horses." She has created a video of the actual show together with an audiotape that was made showing each piece as she talks about them. To view the slideshow go to:

For the Love of Horses

Caught up with Shernya recently to learn more about how she approaches her art and her lifelong passion for horses and nature.

Explained Shernya, “After moving from Montreal to Ville St. Laurent, I began dreaming of horses and growing flowers. And with encouragement from my art teacher in high school, I developed a love of art. There was a country road nearby and, being the adventurous types, my friend and I ventured into a whole new world of horses and horseback riding. I was in love with these animals. And many years later I ended up buying a horse of my own. That love of animals brought me to the University of Guelph to pre-veterinary studies.”

While there, she added, she was also drawn to the gorgeous campus greenhouses full of flowers and she ended up taking night courses in horticulture and eventually pursuing full-time studies in agriculture. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in agriculture and her Major was ornamental horticulture.

Said Shernya, “Many years later, I moved out to Hudson with my husband, Barney, to live on a ten-acre hobby farm where I could finally bring my horse home and create my beloved gardens. Twenty-two years later, we still live here and my passion for painting is stronger than ever. What's more, we built a beautiful stable for our horses which also happens to include a huge studio. And it was with encouragement from Barney that I applied to, and eventually graduated with Honours from, the B.F.A program from Concordia University in Montreal. While my studies at the university gave me a lot of background in art, it was through workshops that I learned more about composition, the elements and principles of designing a painting and the importance of self critiquing.”

However, it wasn’t until she took a workshop in mixed media that she started painting in a semi-abstracted style and both horses and flowers began to show up in some of the same works. Her current series, she says, is all about light. How white light falls on flowers and horses, causing many beautiful patterns and shapes.

Explaining her specific technique, Shernya adds, “I use smooth transitions from shadows into light which almost blinds you to the subject themselves. I have found that bleeding tissue paper creates beautiful textures. I now use this almost exclusively as a background and, if I’m lucky, I can almost complete a painting on the tissue paper alone. To start, I lay the tissue over clear plastic and, using fluid acrylics, I begin. I choose my colours beforehand - whether I want a warm or cool dominance using an 80/20 ratio – as this creates a satisfying visual tension.

“Once this tissue is dry, I peel it off the plastic and glue it onto a maple panel. Continuing the process, I use watercolours, which I can wipe off and reapply as I desire. After completing the painting, I spray varnish the surface for protection. The hardest part for me being a perfectionist is getting the proportions right. There are so many angles to consider.”

As for her 'models' - the horses themselves - this has never presented such a problem, she says. “We moved to Hudson about 40 years ago and it's almost 27 years that we have been living on a hobby farm on Fief Road. So my models were always right there in my stable and I have my studio above.”

As for the current closure of the museum, Shernya says she is obviously not happy and saddened about it as are the curator and all those involved in its operation. “Hopefully, it can reopen before the closing date of January 20, 2021.” Prices of her art pieces at the museum range from $500 to $3,200 and her coordinates are www.shernyavininsky.ca or by telephone at (514) 892-2851. What's more, you don't really have to be an ardent equestrian to appreciate the uniqueness of her art!

If you see a painting that you would like more information on, call the Museum at 450 455 2092 or 514 892 2851