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From Layers to Light – Wendy Palermo’s Spiritual Connection with Nature

ARTIST EXPOSE: Wendy Palermo


From Layers to Light – Wendy Palermo’s Spiritual Connection with Nature


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Canadian artist who has been painting in the Niagara Region in Ontario for over 40 years. I am a self-taught artist who worked as a memorial designer at a local monument company where I created many creative monuments for dignitaries and local families. In 1989, I received a prestigious award from the Monument Builders Association of North America for best design.

I have also received some awards for my artist abilities and have received 1st and 2nd place awards at local shows for my works in drawing and watercolours.

I now enjoy working in acrylic painting and creating landscapes that have a spiritual connection to the land we live on.

Huddled Canoes by Wendy Palermo

Huddled Canoes

How do you do what you do?

I primarily painting with acrylic paint on Canvas or Wood and enjoy plein-air painting when time permits. Most of my work I try to capture the light that falls on the various subjects.

How do you work?

I will often go walking to various towns or rural areas to find my next painting. I will gather a lot of photos of the area before settling on one idea. Then I will either paint on site or in my studio and plan out my composition and colour pattern. Once that is done, I begin to paint the painting.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

I think it is important to develop a concept or message that you are trying to convey so that all decisions after that relate back to your initial concept/message.


Just Around the Corner by Wendy Palermo

Just Around The Corner

The Tool Shed by Wendy Palermo

The Tool Shed

What role does the artist have in society?

I think artists can have an impact on society by engaging the community in thoughtful discussions about the issues of the day. Many of my works show you the beauty in nature and that this treasure may be lost due to human’s impact on the world. My hope is that you appreciate the landscape more because of my works.

What has been a seminal experience?

I had taken a break from my art because I needed to reinvent myself and figure out who I was and what I needed to do. After going back to school and helping my family grow and returned to my art and discovered that I was better and enjoyed it more because I understood who I was and what was important to me (family, nature, art).

How has your practice change over time

I believe my works have a explored the beauty of Canadian Lands. I believe this is important as many of us go through life without appreciating the world around us. It is my hope that bringing attention to the landscapes that a greater interest in preserving the land on which we borrow.

Great Day for Fish by Wendy Palermo

Great Day for Fish

Falling Waters by Wendy Palermo

Falling Waters

What art do you most identify with?

Many of the artists that identify with are American artist, John Singer Sargent, Canadian artist Mary Pratt. Both artists works have a glow to the colours they use and John Singer Sargents brushwork is something I strive to achieve.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I enjoy doing art outdoors and celebrate the moments of time that I can achieve this. With busy and hectic schedules, it is not always easy to find the time but there is nothing like painting outdoors to capture the energy of the scene.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

Once memory that stands out is that from a very young age, I was often seen tearing paper, or colouring.

What themes do you pursue?

I primarily work to present the Canadian landscapes and try to capture the beauty around us.

Trio of Canoes by Wendy Palermo

Trio of Canoes

What’s your favourite artwork?

Usually the most recent painting I am working on is my favorite probably because I learned from my past paintings and try to do better.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I have often stopped mid conversations to capture a scene or pull over on the side of the road while driving to draw a sketch or take photos for my art.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

As mentioned previously, I was a memorial artist who created personalized monuments for peoples whose family member recently past. This was a family business, and I took over all the drafting and creative aspects of the job when my grandfather retired.

I currently work at the local college to place recreation therapy students in the community to complete the required experiential learning. My ability to be adaptive, flexible, and creative talents lend them to my paid position and my hobby.

Why art?

I come from a line of creative people.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

Appreciating the world around you, the colours the people the surroundings that most people pass by.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Many of my customers appreciate the work because it reminds them of places they were or places they would like to be. I often paint calm scenes and many people express that is what they see in my works.

What food, drink, song inspires you?

Jazz and Blue is great to paint to

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Visiting with my colleagues when life permits.

Lily Pad Pond by Wendy Palermo

Lily Pad Pond

Pond Beauty by Wendy Palermo

Pond Beauty

What do you dislike about the art world?


That it seems to be less interest and appreciation for art now that digital photography makes it easy for everyone to have an image enlarged. What they don’t realize is that an exact copy is not the same as a painting.


What do you dislike about your work?

I would like to paint my loosely and I try to achieve this in every work I do. Sometimes I successful and sometimes I’m not.


What do you like about your work?

I love the colour blue and those are the paintings that speak to me the most.


Should art be funded?

Yes, with less and less people buying are it should be something that the government should sponsor as part of the cultural heritage.


What role does arts funding have?

To help not only new artists but established artists.


What is your dream project?

To be able to provide a large scale series to support those in need. Either to create a series of paintings for seniors in long term care homes or to help with funding for to support programs for people with additions and mental health issues.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?



What wouldn’t you do without?

Opportunity to be creative. 


Catching the Wind by Wendy Palermo

Catching the Wind

Retired by Wendy Palermo


From Light to Layers – Jocelyn Bichard – Nurse to Artist

 Jocelyn comes to The Art Hive from the East Coast of Canada. She joined us at the end of 2020. 

She has just sent us a swack of new artworks, originals and prints. Find out a bit about this wonderful artist from New Brunswick, Canada. 


ARTIST EXPOSE: Jocelyn Bichard


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a maritime artist  living in New Brunswick Canada. I paint mainly Watercolor and Pastel but also do some mixed media.

I paint things I love or that I find inspiring as I wish for others to see the beauty I see.

How do you work?

I usually work in studio from a photo I have taken or a photo that has been taken for artist use. I do also work plein air when the weather allows.

Once I have my drawing or photo transferred to the type of paper or canvas I am working on  I then begin with my painting . I sometimes use a thumb nail sketch to work out my tones but not always.

 I tend to work all over the painting and have it come together as a whole as opposed to some artist I see work on one area at a time. If I am doing watercolour I usually work on more than one to allow drying time. If I am doing an animal of course the eyes come first. I am usually intimidated with backgrounds so I am now trying to do those first.

I used to just pick my colors as I go but now I plan my palate ahead.


What’s your background?

 I did not start painting until later in life as the small area I grew up in did not offer art in school. I have always been interested in art but never attempted anything since I painted Liquid embroidery . (Artex) with my mom when I was in high school. In 1992 I took a few classes for help doing a portrait of my parents for their fiftieth anniversary. I have taken local workshops with both a watercolorist and a pastelist but most instruction has been through books. 


Tenerife Parrot by Jocelyn Bichard

Tenerife Parrot

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

What I believe is integral to an artist is the way they see color!


What role does the artist have in society?

I feel an artist can give society as a whole a fresh way of looking at the world that they have not taken the time to look at something like that. Look outside the box not just in it. Perhaps that was what Picasso was trying to show us!


What has been a seminal experience?

I have been fortunate to have travelled and viewed a lot of art and feel it has inspired me to see the way I do.


Neals Yard London by Jocelyn Bichard

Neals Yard London

Italian Stairway by Jocelyn Bichard

Italian Stairway

What art do you most identify with?

The art I mainly identify with are wildlife artists but I also like landscape so I would say Robert Bateman.

 I love painting animals but I also love flowers!


What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

My strongest childhood memory of art was a young boy who I went to school with who could draw wonderful portraits. I envied him even though he was poor and often picked on by other students. I remember on essay I wrote on War of The Roses and the wounded Knight I drew on the cover page that I was very proud of.


What themes do you pursue?

You will find my work is more realism and is nature based.

Sunflowers by Jocelyn Bichard

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I have been a Registered nurse since 1975 and worked in Corrections from 1981 to 2006 when I went to community nursing. I retired four years ago but still work casual. While working at Saint John Correctional Center I encouraged many talented artists there with they art work and have some of their art. I also did an exhibit called behind the Tracks showing their visual works and poetry.


Why art?

Art is Beauty and Beauty is Art!

My art is often admired but not as often purchased as my prints.


What food, drink, song inspires you?

I love Caribbean music like David Rudder, Bob Marly or most Rasta. I also love Master KG Jerusalema! Love a beat! It goes great with Rum, Pepsi and lime.


Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

I do not find being an artist a lonely life. I have lots of artist friends and often get together to paint with one.


What do you dislike about the art world?

The one thing I do not like about the art world is that certain galleries look down on artists that are not formally trained but often if you ask artists who have gone to college or art school they feel some of their talent or spirit was squashed by attending formal training.


What do you like about your work?

I enjoy doing my art and enjoy when people like it.

Boats on the Bay Print by Jocelyn Bichard

Boats on the Bay Print

Renforth Lighthouse Print by Jocelyn Bichard

Renforth Lighthouse Print

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My best piece of advice I learned in Sunday School. Let your little light Shine!


Professionally, what’s your goal?

My professional goal is to sell more of my art and to influence my grandchildren.


What wouldn’t you do without?

I am finding it difficult to feel inspired with out travelling. There is beauty everywhere but Travel is in my Soul.


What’s your favourite art work?

My favorite paints are Monet’s, The Flowered Garden and   The Water Lily Pond Aka Japanese Bridge.


Irises 2 by Jocelyn Bichard

Irises 2

Pink Peony by Jocelyn Bichard

Pink Peony

ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers

FOR A LIMITED TIME, Get 15% OFF all of Jessie‘s pieces. 



ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers


What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

When I’m not in my studio, I work fulltime at an outdoor childcare center in Port Coquitlam. I have always enjoyed teaching children and have worked at the Mission Art Gallery leading watercolor classes and day camps. I find it refreshing working with young minds, full of creativity and unafraid to make mistakes. I’m inspired daily by both my work outdoors and the time spent with growing minds.

I also worked at Opus Art Supplies in Coquitlam for several years where I learned so much about different mediums and connected with so many local artists, all in different stages of their art practice.


Oceana by Jessie Somers


Why art?

Art is the truest form of self expression. Be it painting, dance or music, all forms of art are important and nurture the soul.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

For myself, art making is as much about the process as it is about the product. We tend to get caught up in the finished piece, when for me, being in the moment with my materials is the most enriching experience.
Bird on Wood by Jessie Somers

Chickadee on Pine

Reflection Print by Jessie Somers

Reflection Print

What are your favorite mediums to work with?

Watercolour has always been my first love. While working at Opus I discovered Alcohol Inks and Art Resin, which I use regularly on wood panel. Framing watercolour, especially larger pieces, can be an expensive challenge. By learning to apply art resin, I find it eliminates the need for a frame while offering UV protection and an immediacy that you don’t get when a piece is behind glass.

I also greatly enjoy drawing, using traditional materials like graphite, ink and toned paper.
Pink Lemonade Print by Jessie Somers

Pink Lemonade Print

Elegance Print by Jessie Somers

Elegance Print

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Not lonely, so much as it is challenging. It’s hard not to compare yourself, your work and your progress to others. What’s important is to step back, document everything you create and revisit what you’ve done. Celebrate your successes and ask for feedback. Keep an art journal and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Most importantly have fun!
Minis by Jessie Somers
Bumble, Coastal, Tundra, Bloom
Jellyfish by Jessie Somers

Jellyfish Garden

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I would love to get to a place where I can support myself 100% with my art, and that day may come and it may not. For now I pride myself on making connections with other artists in my community, doing artist demonstrations at Opus and showing my work in galleries all over the lower mainland. I aim for one solo show a year, and have my work available for purchase at Arts Off Main in Vancouver as well as through The Art Hive. Supporting one another is key to growth and enrichment. I have a solo show coming up in November 2021 at The Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre Gallery.

See more of Jessie’s work here

Jessie’s Personal Website:

Salt Spring by Jessie Somers

Salt Spring

Sun Waves by Jessie Somers

Caught in the Waves

Aurora by Jessie Somers


Nocturne by Jessie Somers


In Passing by Jessie Somers

In Passing

Watercolour by Jessie Somers

Sunrise Meridian