Ottawa's katerina mertikas - Ottawa At Home

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Ottawa's katerina mertikas - Ottawa At Home

Art &TheDecor Issuewww.ottawaathome.ca $3.50DISPLAY UNTIL NOVEMBER 2009SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009• Get it right the first time: how to display artwork• Turn cluttered shelves into a design worthy display• Creative vision transforms a Glebe homeOttawa’s katerina mertikastalks about art, family and generosity


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Contents6 Editor’s Note. Getting CreativeHome8 The art of giving. Connecting with local artist Katerina Mertikas12 Artistic juggling! One woman’s balancing act of painting and parenting.19 Fab Finds. The art of display.20 Capital Shops. Not one, but four magnificent local art galleries.23 In Step. Getting a hang on art.24 The power of space and light. An artist shares her creative renovating vision.Living30 Eclectic Style. Combing a passion for travel and art with serious taste.35 Going out. Theatre in the capital.36 COVER STORY. Starting young. Meet a family who starts collectingart at a very young age.41 On Second Thought. The art world simplified.52 Giving Back. A career based on a passion for painting.Food43 Food Thoughts. A colourful medley for the eyes and appetite.44 Artful dining. Creatively combing art and food.48 Fresh Bites. A grand taste of pizza.4830Decor Issue$ 3.50 Art&The ARTon the cover The living roomin the Britannia area home ofJeff Rockburne and Aileen Lovering.122 | oah | september/october 2009


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editor in chiefMary Taggartcreative director Tanya Connolly-Holmesassociate editorfood editorJane WhitingPaula Royfood contributor Korey KealeyFor all your modernfurniture and lighting needs.1154 Bank (Old Ottawa South)613.270.1087www.mikazahome.comwritersphotographersillustratornationaladvertisingadvertisingadministrationmanagerAriana BondLaura Byrne PaquetCatherine ClarkAndrea DouglasHattie KlotzJessica RuanoJean Van LoonMark HolleronEtienne RangerRonnie MartinCathy CyrJanice CantinLen CobbLiane DesbiensBernard FoxJo-Anne MullinsSylvie ParisienDonna RoneySusan SalsburyNicole St. PierreExceptional Quality and Customer Service!administration Sue Perrypublisher Terry Tyoregional director Michael Curranfounding publisher Caroline Andrewspublished bycontact uscirculationTranscontinental Media G.P.5300 Canotek Rd. Unit 30Ottawa, ON K1J 8R7613-744-4800ottawaathome@transcontinental.ca30,000 copiesprinted 6 times per year6-issue subscription rate$19.954 | oah | september/october 2009• Full Service from Design to Completion• Proven Customer Satisfaction• Fully Guaranteed WorkVisit our showroom or website!1-5380 Canotek Road, Ottawa613.749.1512 www.bathroomsfirst.caS t y l e T h a t W o r k s B e t t e rContents © 2009. Reproduction of advertisements or articles appearingin Ottawa at Home, in whole or in part, is forbidden withoutthe written permission of the publisher. Ottawa at Homeand Transcontinental Media G.P. shall not be liable for slightchanges or typographical errors that do not lessen the valueof an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errorsor omissions in connection with any advertisement is strictlylimited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequentissue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement.Transcontinental Media G.P.www.transcontinentalmedia.com


Peace.Dahn Yoga is aunique form of yoga thatincorporates movement, music,meditation and energy managementtechniques to increase mental, emotionaland physical wellness, and improve generalwell-being and quality of life. It is common for DahnYoga members to leave a class feeling physically vibrant,yet mentally calmed. Some of the benefits of Dahn Yoga thathave been widely claimed by practitioners are the following:• Increased vitality• Increased strength and flexibility• Greater ability to deal with stress• An effective support to illness recovery• Increased self-worth and self-confidence• Improved outlook on life• Weight reduction• Greater self-awareness• A sense of communityDahn Yoga began in the mid-1980’s by founder Ilchi Lee when hetaught mind-body exercises in a South Korean public park to a strokevictim, and supported him to recovery. Soon, others came for thetraining and the first Dahn Yoga centre was created. Now there are over600 Dahn Yoga Centres worldwide with over 200,000 active members.The overriding goals of Dahn Yoga Centres are to create tools to promotehealth and well-being, to continually improve programs and services, andKuam Nam to foster individual, family and societal values of health, happiness andpeace. This is done through educating people to become masters of their bodies, their thinking,their emotions and ultimately their lives.Regular classes are held 18 times per week (days & evenings)on Mondays to Sundays at #6-1055 St. Laurent Blvd.The classes are one hour and 10 minutes long.We invite you to experience this for yourself!INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL for only $19.95.Private orientation session and two group classes.Please call us at 613-746-9642 to take advantage of this offer and to schedulean appointment. For more information on Dahn Yoga or to view a map of ourSt. Laurent Centre location as well as a schedule of classes, please visit our website at:http://www.dahnyoga.ca/dyn/locations_coll35.phpseptember/october 2009 | oah | 00


OAH | EDITOR’S NOTEGETTINGcreativethis issue has been a thrill for all of us to work on! We have each had theopportunity to learn and feel inspired by the talented people who have come together to make our “artissue” not only an interesting read, but visually one of the most appealing issues we have created.Although I’ve been an art lover for a long time and know what I like, I admit that I often have noclue why! Growing up, my parents usually purchased artwork on a seasonal basis – like a new coat.Other people tend to make an impulse buy of something they cannot live without. I, on the other hand,cannot lose the decorator within me and go for inspiring pieces that work with my décor. Apparently,this is a faux pas in the art world as the expert advice is to just simply buy what you like. For moreamusing insight on this, read Laura Byrne Paquet’s interesting column.Buying art seems to be a rite of passage. A home finally looks all grown up when the posters fromuniversity days are long gone and replaced with original pieces of art. Although, our “Living/In Style”feature on Maureen O’Neil’s fabulous collection of framed concert posters from the ‘60s makes us pine for some of that pastartwork. The unique style of this clever collector is a tribute to a love of art in all forms.One of my first purchases of original art was a Katerina Mertikas painting, which made my visit with her particularlyenjoyable. I am not the only one who had fun with the prep work; Andrea Douglas met two adorable art collectors under the ageof one! In “Living/My Way” you’ll meet a family who takes their artistic pursuits very seriously.Family life plays a leading role with our profiled artist Catherine Whitla, who shares her creative side with Araina Bond.Creativity runs high in the renovated home of Katherine Jeans, where she showcases her own works of art and lives with hertalented family.We get creative with “Fab Finds” to offersome helpful advice on creating artful displayswith shelving units. There are moretips-a-plenty as Jane Whiting unearths somesecrets to the art of framing and hanging;Hattie Klotz checks out four local galleries;and Jessica Ruano tells us where to find greattheatre this fall.As always, our food section offersinspiration. Korey Kealey demystifies afavourite salad and Paula Roy shows us howto combine our love for the arts and food.Finally, we meet a woman who has made acareer out of her passion for art in “GivingBack.”Wishing you much joy and inspirationas you devour our art issue with your mindand eye!MARY’SMUST-HAVESECHO scarf $40.00, turquoise poly/cotton scarf, Shepherd’s.FREEDOM GLOW from RevolutionOrganics, sells for $37 at ORESTA,464 O’Connor.JO MALONE VANILLA & ANISE CO-LOGNE, (100 ml) bottle sells for $118at Holt Renfrew. Availablethis September.Mary TaggartEditor in chiefP.S. I’d love to hear from you: mary.taggart@transcontinental.ca.6 | oah | sept/october 2009


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HOME |PROFILEArtisticBENEVOLENCEFor Greek-born artist Katerina Mertikas, her muse is the sight andsounds of children. Her fanciful work reflects a passion for theplayful subjects that also inspire her generosity. The magic of fallingsnow, rain drops and playing children serve as the theme for mostof her work.written by mary taggartphotography by etienne ranger8 | oah | september/october 2009


My whole house reflectsmy Greek heritage. I amvery traditional.— Katerina Mertikas,artistleft: Katerina Mertikas and one of her floral paintings arereflected in a gilded mirror in her front hall.this page: A corner vignette in the living room showcases aChristmas scene painted by Katerina.september/october 2009 | oah | 9


The winter scenes, so often depicted inher art, may be inspired by her impressionsupon moving to Canada from Greece as achild. “I am much more of a winter personthan a summer person – I like to paint snowand rain,” says the vibrant painter who findssummer too calm. “The moodiness of a thunderstormis inspiring. I like the turbulence ofweather in my work.”The artist’s well-recognized work wasbest summed up by an attendee at a recentgallery showing, who was overheard commentingthat every good Canadian homeshould have at least one Mertikas. And thisstatement makes Katerina’s generous contributionof her talent to UNICEF even moresignificant.In 1993, her design was chosen as thecover for the UNICEF Christmas card,which sold out internationally for severalyears. Katerina continues to provide imagesfor UNICEF, in addition to other children’scharities such as The Juvenile DiabetesFoundation, The Children’s Aid Society inOttawa and Toronto, as well as a numberof hospitals, including the Children’s Hospitalof Eastern Ontario.“After my grandson Christo was admittedto CHEO three times in his young life for minorillnesses, I donated a lovely hockey paintingto the emergency department to thankthe staff,” declared the youthful grandmother.To learn more about this philanthropic artist,Ottawa At Home was welcomed into herHunt Club Park home, where she discussedher work and personal style.above: The artist shares a moment with her grandsons at a recent gallery showing.below: Turbulent weather is a favourite topic.How would you describe your personalstyle? My home is traditional and my paintingsare what they are; they’re bright andtake up a lot of wall space. My works havenothing to do with colour matching – theybrighten and liven up any room.When did you start painting? I have beenpainting all my life! Art was my favouritesubject and as a teenager I would preferpainting over going out. As I got older, likemost artists, I dabbled in all types of mediumsand styles. But it happened to be apainting of two girls pulling a toboggan inthe woods on a snowy night, which caughtthe eye of a gallery owner and subsequentlymy first customer. The girls represented mydaughters at the time.You are very generous and share yourtalents with so many charities. What inspiresthis compassion? My grandmother inGreece, whom I was named after, instilled in10 | oah | september/october


me at a young age, the importance of giving.I would like to be able pass this on to mygrandsons. I want them to have an appreciationfor art and to leave, as my legacy, a familywith a love for art and the desire to helpothers less fortunate, through any means possible.I feel fortunate to be able to earn a livingdoing what I love doing and to also usemy work to benefit others.Why does your work focus so much onchildren? As a mom, I have great respect forchildren. We have two daughters, Loukia andGina. Both are married and we now have twograndsons, Christo and Dimitry (named forhis maternal grandfather). I know that happychildren basically make for happy adults. Ilove to see streets with children playing outside,to hear their laughter and watch themkick balls and play.A dream of mine has been to illustratea children’s book. This September, Days totreasure. A Book of Seasons, written by AgnesBellegris and illustrated by me, will be availablefor sale.I love the strength of colour you have chosenfor your walls! How did you decide onthe colour scheme? I am not afraid of colourat all and I needed to choose a strong wallcolour as a back-drop for my own colourfulpieces, so the deep gold seemed to be theright choice and it works with all the coloursI use in my own pieces.Tell me about the purple we see so oftenin your work. Purple is the colour that I seesky and mountains as. Most of my work haspurple in it, not because I love purple, butbecause that is the right colour for what I seewhen I see those elements.In your home I see European inspirations.How much of your Greek heritage influencesyour decor? My whole house reflectsmy Greek heritage. I am very traditional. Inmy grandmother’s home in Greece, therewas a large buffet in the dining room filledwith china and crystal – we have the same.All our special occasion meals are in the diningroom.Where do you find furnishings toaccommodate your taste in Ottawa?I have bought many pieces from Thomasvilleby Cadieux. They came and helped me withthe décor about six years ago, but I am dueto do some redecorating again. That will haveto wait though – my two grandsons are hereall the time and now I am like a new momand gear my home and life around these twolittle guys!To view a selection of Katerina Mertikas’work, visit Koyman Galleries in Ottawa.WHAT’S BREWING?Morala Canada Trading Inc.is a leading Canadian commercialand domestic coffee equipmentdistributor. With a broad rangeof products and services. Ourshowroom and service staffwill address all your brewing needs.DOMESTIC MACHINESCOMMERCIAL MACHINESCOFFEE + TEASYRUPS + CONFECTIONSACCESSORIESMORALA CANADA TRADING INC428 Kent Street, Ottawa | 613.230.4452 | www.morala.comWhere body & soulmeet to liberate your sensesFull Day Spa Services & Alternative TherapiesCorporate, Bridal & Group Reservations Welcome177 First Avenue 613-567-7720 • www.glebespa.comseptember/october | oah | 11


HOME | PROFILEArtAPPRECIATIONThe personal art studio of local artist Catherine Whitla is a windowed roomfilled with abundant natural light – but chances are you won’t find her there.“I usually end up painting in the kitchen,” admits the vivacious mother ofthree, “because that’s where all the action is.” The studio was created whenshe and husband Steve Whitla recently renovated their Prairie-style home,off Island Park Drive, with high ceilings and grand wall space to exhibit theirart collection.written by araina bondphotography by mark holleron12 | oah | september/october 2009


…painting allows me to feelgrounded and provides a layer ofhappiness to my life that is sopersonal and separate fromeverything else. It fulfills mein a way that makes me feelwell-rounded.— Catherine Whitlathis page: The grand wall space in the openliving room and dining room provides spacefor vibrant artwork in the Whitla home.left: A Valerie Butters painting takesprominence above a living room sofa.september/october 2009 | oah | 13


I am a mother first and happy to bethat. But exercising my creative sidewill always bring me contentmentand personal balance.— Catherine WhitlaArtist Catherine Whitlaon her layer of happiness14 | oah | september/octoberWith her hectic life—twin boys Logan and Brodie, 12, Grayden, 5, and anew golden doodle puppy—and her preference for working in the daytime,finding time to paint regularly can be a challenge. But it’s one theformer model is glad to take up: “When I’m not being a mom or doingcommunity relations for my family’s business, Brown’s Cleaners, paintingallows me to feel grounded and provides a layer of happiness to my lifethat is so personal and separate from everything else. It fulfills me in a waythat makes me feel well-rounded.”Before she began painting almost a decade ago, Catherine originally expressedher creative side through fashion design. After she graduated from design schoolshe found herself pulled in other directions, and then her passion for painting wassparked when she decorated a bedroom for the arrival of her twin sons. “It didn’tstart out as a love for painting,” says the artist who works with many differentmediums, “but as a love of working with my hands.” She experimented witheverything, from paper maché balloons to mini murals that wrapped around theroom, and soon found it was a natural progression to start working on canvas. Itwould be hard to put a label to Catherine’s style of painting because she is alwaysexperimenting with new approaches, although she does say colour and textureare very important to her.Despite the fact that Catherine’s paintings garnered a great dealof admiration from friends and family, it took the urging of a closefriend before she finally submitted pieces to a local art show. She soldfour paintings, had several requests for commissions, and was invited tohang some paintings in a gallery. Her children were still quite young,


If you are in the Market,call The Lindsays!TheLindsays.catop right: Catherine shares in lunch-time fun with her boys (from left to right: Brodie,Logan and Grayden). above: Catherine and her son Grayden creating a masterpiecebelow: A tropical flower by Christine Evers was one of Catherine’s first purchases.Mary LindsaySales RepresentativeDavid LindsaySales RepresentativeJohn LindsaySales Representative( 613 )725-1171“When it comes to a referralfor friends and familyThe Lindsays top the list”Mark and Deborah - SellersIndependently Owned and Operated, Brokerage september/october | oah | 15


however, and she didn’t feel ready for thatlast level of commitment because of thetime it would take to build up and sustaina body of work.Even though you would be hard pressedto spot one of her own paintings hanging inher home, the busy artist nurtures her creativeside with a collection of canvases bylocal and emerging artists. “I look around atother artists in my home and I’m in awe ofeverything they do,” she says. And she oftenfinds that she is inspired in her own work bythe paintings around her.Supporting up-and-coming artists is veryimportant to Catherine, who says that collectingtheir work is her way of giving themthe credibility they deserve, even if theynever become big-time artists. She notes thatalthough she is shy about her own work, shecan relate to the feeling of legitimacy thatcomes from selling a painting.Ever since her brother gave her a paintingfrom an emerging artist in the Ukraine tostart her collection, Catherine hasn’t lookedback. When shopping for new art, she relieson instinct and is frequently drawn to bright,vivid paintings. “Colour is my candy,” she saysof her collection, which is as rich and variedas her own work.The very first painting Catherine boughtherself was hanging in Wallack’s Art Supplieson Bank Street. She was stocking up on suppliesand when she asked the cashier abouta study of a bright, tropical flower, she discoveredthat the cashier was the artist herself.She bought that painting, along withanother one from the same artist. “I alwaystry to have two paintings from an artist, ifpossible,” she explains. “That way, it tells youa bit of a story and it makes more of an impactstatement.”Over the years, the artist has expanded hercollection by visiting small local galleries, artshows, and art-in-the-park events, sometimeswaiting years to find the perfect piece. Still, thehunt is half the fun for Catherine whose approachto art is straightforward and unpretentiouswith the advice: “If you love it, buy it.”Recently, on a rare quiet morning, shefelt inspired by a bouquet of lilacs picked byher son and immediately set up her easel. Alittle while later her “personal art critics” arrivedback home and admired her progress,and this was her signal that it was time toput the painting on hold until a quieter time,which was fine with her. “I’m a mother firstand happy to be that,” she says. “But exercisingmy creative side will always bring mecontentment and personal balance.”Saturday, October 3, 2009A Magical Evening withYO-YO MASponsorship opportunities still available.For information contact Jennifer Brown at 613-947-7000 ext. 578.www.nac-cna.caNAC BOX OFFICE MON.-SAT. 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.GROUPS 10+ 613-947-7000 x634 | grp@nac-cna.caMedia Partnersseptember/october | oah | 17


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FAB FINDS | ACCESSORIESBEFOREBuilt-in units create interest in a room and provideuseful space to display treasures. But whenthey’re not done well they either look clutteredor become a useless waste of space.THE ART OFDISPLAYwritten by mary taggart produced by tanya connolly-holmesphotography by etienne rangerVisual appeal comes from striking abalance of mixing elements and items.The white poison fruit fromAbbott, brings a whimsicalelement to the display.Each piece sells for $6.Re-purposing is key:The client’s art workand photos maintaina personal touch.A big ticket item was theround, woven mirror. Itcost $198.AFTERInterior designer, Monique DelfinoRecently, Tamara O’Leary, owner of M.Y.Home located in Kanata’s Signature Center,received a call from a client with a decoratingdilemma: A large built-in unit that providedspace for an entertainment system, afireplace and offered decorative shelving hadsat bare for too long.M.Y. Home’s interior designer MoniqueDelfino was given the task of creating an artfuldisplay in the family room of the civichospital area home.Getting Started• Measurements and photos were taken.• Two in-store hours were needed to findthe right items and create drawings ofwhere each piece should be placed.• Eliminating shelves opened up the unitand created more dimension.• Putting the items into place took about45 minutes.Green glass nuggets from Abbottadd instant colour. Pop them intoglass vases to make an organic display.The nugget-filled pouches cost $9.99.Green rose tea-light holdersallow for some low-lying candlelight. These are from Attitudeand sell for $9 each.The effect was warm and interesting. By mixing elements such as wood, metal and wicker,the display looks well planned and more like a gradual collection of pieces, rather than a“done-in-a-day” project.september/october 2009 | oah | 19

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