Artist Biographies, N - Z

Click on artists' names to see full galleries of their works available in our store.

Duane Panko

Duane and his twin brother were born in southern Saskatchewan near the U.S. border in 1937. He remembers painting animals and wildlife from a very early age. Later he studied engineering and architecture and continued to paint using a variety of media. Today Duane’s current work is predominantly watercolour paintings and has been described as contemporary impressionistic in style.

 

Reg Parsons

 Growing up in Western Canada, Reg Parson's school notebook margins were filled with sketches of wildlife and horses.  The desire to recreate wildlife took him into the art of taxidermy, laying the foundation for his work in bronze.  For many years he sculpted mannequins, and reproduced them for the purpose of taxidermy.

 The spring of 1997 brought with it a new challenge to sculpt wildlife, to be cast in bronze.  His understanding of nature, and the anatomy of wildlife, is evident in the life that he captures in each sculpture.  Subjects such as the Golden Eagle, North American wildlife, the Western Rodeo Series, the Lab Puppy Series, the impressionist Series of Creation, and his whimsical pieces that bring a smile, demonstrate the versatility of this award winning artist.  His work is original, and appealing to a wide range of art lovers.  It can be found in corporate and private collections around the world and is displayed in fine art galleries throughout western Canada and the United States.  His work has been internationally recognized in sculpture competitions, and he has received various awards.

 Reg Parsons currently lives with his wife and family in Cranbrook, situated in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.  Reg was recently commissioned to create a monument of a life size sow grizzly bear with her two cubs which is displayed in the Cranbrooks new International Airport.  The demand for his sculptures leaves little time for his love of painting, for which he has also received numerous awards.

 

Kevin PeeAce

Kevin was born in Kelvington SK and is a member of the Yellowquill First Nation.

He completed a fine arts studio diploma program from UCFV in Abbotsford British Columbia and has explored various programs in art history, archaeology, anthropology and native studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Kevin's current works, often depicting mother and child with floral motifs, emphasize the importance of family, tradition and respect for his culture and heritage. He says, "These paintings are a tribute to my mother, who was my guide, my grandmother for her strength in cultural beliefs, and my children for the inspiration they give me."

Kevin has been very much influenced by his uncle, Jerry Whitehead, who helped him launch his career.

Through his style of painting, Kevin has been able to do collaborative mural projects with various schools throughout Saskatchewan. He also participated in the northern Saskatchewan International Children's Festival where he was showcased in the "First Peoples" village. The success of the 'floral-children' style captured second place in the annual Peace hills Art Contest in 2003.

Kevin Peeace’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the University of Saskatchewan, the Royal University Hospital and other prominent collections, both public and private.

Stefania Piecowye

Stefania was born in Saskatoon and raised in rural Saskatchewan near Meacham, Sask. Stefania was primarily self-taught early on in her career.  She later studied with many accomplished artists in workshops, retreats and seminars. Currently Stefania is a member with the Bridge City Artists and a founding member with Group Six Artists in Saskatoon.

Stefania works using a wide variety of mediums and she now teaches to private groups.   Many of her original paintings have been selected in juried shows as well as being displayed in galleries, public and private collections across North America.

In 2002 one of her pictures was selected for publication in the S.G.I. calendar.  The Art Gallery of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan recently purchased one of her paintings for its permanent collection.

Lloyd Pinay

Lloyd Pinay was born on the Peepeckisis Reserve, Quàppelle, Saskatchewan in 1955.  He has always been making things.  As a boy he learned to sculpt from friends on the reserve.  Through the years Pinay has worked in clay, wood, silver, Ivory and even painting, but stone is his preferred medium.  All of his sculpture is made by hand using saws, hammers, chisels and various custom tools.  His themes of native legends and wildlife are rendered in a variety of stones.  For example, Lloyd and his brother Dwight were the first to resurrect the tradition of making pipes from catlinite, a stone that retains great heat - and one that his ancestors used to carve peace pipes. Pinay’s other works in soapstone, alabaster and marble, deal with the stories that his elders told to him while living on the reserve. 

Pinay hopes in his sculpture to preserve the tradition and pride of his people.  He is quick to point out however, that he never wants to loose sight of his own individual vision. “I always change things or add my own ideas.  I like some ambiguity in my work.”

Lloyd Pinay has had many exhibitions in Western and Eastern Canada and more recently one man shows in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.  His work is displayed in museums as well as corporate and private collections. The Queen Mother owned one of his pieces, as does the Chinese Government.

Scott Prokop

Scott Prokop’s work explores the relationship between being artistically inspired and technically excellent.

With influences as diverse as Ansel Adams and Trey Ratcliff, new synergies are generated from both the traditional roots of photography and modern techniques of the digital age.

Over the past 15 years Scott has created a library of photographs that have evoked an emotional response each time he clicked the shutter.

Scott’s goal is to create top quality captivating photographs. To satisfy his creativity he needs to work on his photographs after the moment after the click on the camera. For him, the creative aspect of photography starts after the image has been recorded by the camera. He feels that a computer and software in the digital darkroom is not merely a shortcut for what is possible with a camera, but instead it allows him to discover the artist inside which is possible in no other medium.

He loves capturing real life in real light and telling stories through the art of photography. Scott’s ongoing mission is to explore the limits of the camera, to constantly strive for new solutions and ultimately to create images that inspire, evoke emotion, and provoke thought.

David Riome

David Riome was exposed to nature and art at an early age. The mixed woodland around his hometown in Saskatchewan provided rich and varied experiences, which fostered an awareness of nature evident in his present work. Self-taught, the artist pursued individual studies and has been trained in a variety of technical and visual skills.

David Riome's wood and stone sculpture is carved with traditional hand tools from imported and domestic materials. His soapstone quarry, located in a remote area of Northern Saskatchewan, is the source of much material for his smaller work. Antler, bone, coral, bronze and other metals are also used in multi-media carvings. The natural materials complement the vital content of his work. In both his wildlife and figurative work, the artist draws from basic forms found in nature. Replicating natural smoothing effects of wind on snow drifts and sand dunes, Dave softens the contours of the pieces he sculpts. His sculptures are smooth and lustrous with flowing lines and curves. Utilizing principles of balance, rhythm, and harmony, he creates work that is uniquely Northern in their synthesis of subject, style and material.

David Riome's work has been acquired and is appreciated by both private and corporate collectors in Canada and the United States.


Laurel Rossnagel

I grew up on a farm west of Regina on the edge of the Qu’Appelle Valley. From an early age I loved to watch the flora and fauna, how light reflects, the impact of shadows, watch and listen to water, and the beautiful colors of nature. I have always loved to work with my hands and drawing, sewing, building, crafts, and painting have been part of my life. In my teens and early twenties I was busy with school, friends and sports, but returned to my drawing in my mid-twenties. After a number of years of doing commissioned pieces, I had my first solo show in 1999 and since then art has taken on an increased importance in my life.

After working for almost 30 years at the University of Saskatchewan, the last 15 of which were in Advancement (fundraising, relationship management, and communications), I opted for early retirement in 2006. Having more time to pursuit my art interests is fantastic, and once again I have time to do commissioned pieces for friends, acquaintances and business contacts.

Although I have taken a few courses along the way, I mostly enjoy the challenge of learning on my own and experimenting with techniques. I like to work on a wide variety of subjects with a number of mediums. I believe that my prairie roots are the basis of how I see and depict the simple beauty of the prairie landscape, birds, plants and animals. My artwork is detailed and realistic.

My husband, Brian, and I have travelled internationally many times as well as in Canada. Thanks to Brian’s photography, and friends like Orrin Clayton, I have had lots of material to work with and to inspire my work over the years. A number of pieces can be found in collections around the World – including Australia, England, the United States and throughout Canada.

There are a number of artists that I admire but my favourite is Claude Monet and I have a great respect for the Group of Seven.

Painting for me provides a wonderful sense of peace and is stress free. I loose myself for hours developing images and mastering color. Painting brings me close to the thinks I love about nature, and enhances my senses. When I am working on a piece, I will drop into the studio to look at the piece often just to judge the angles, the colors, the feel of the piece and will note what I want to do next or change for my next sitting. I am always looking forward to my next opportunity to be back in the studio working on a piece in progress or a new project. I like to always have a show planned in the future as it focused my energies and attention.

My preference is to have visited the location before I paint a landscape. When possible it is wonderful to paint on site but most often I use photographs in the studio. Although I enjoy painting barns, farms, heritage buildings, birds, and animals, plants and flowers, it is the untouched landscape that is most appealing.

I work in mediums like acrylic, watercolours, pen and ink, pencil or charcoal. Acrylic has become the most frequent medium in the last few years. My early years of sketching and drawing have been very helpful in providing perspective to my paintings and I still enjoy working with a pencil, the smell of the lead, and the smudges on my left hand as I work.


Laurel Schenstead-Smith

Laurel took her first watercolour course in November 2004. She attended sketching and watercolour classes as well as critique workshops with Cecilia Jurgens and attended a workshop with Jack Reid. Laurel has filled many hours mulling over books written by her favourite watercolour artists. Other than that she is self-taught.

Laurel is a member of the Off Broadway Artists and the Big Sky Artists and has displayed her paintings with them in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Her paintings were on display at the Gallery on the Bridges, September through November 2006.

Artist's Statement: For many years I encouraged our four sons to draw, paint, and be creative. Like many moms, I would lug out a project [usually needlepoint] only to put it away in order to set the table or keep sticky fingers from messing it up. Our sons have made good progress in developing their own creative abilities and the sticky fingers are gone – so I decided to learn to paint!

I hope that my paintings call forth in you a feeling of “being there,” of wanting to “be there,” a special memory, or that they simply awaken within you the desire for more creativity in your life.



Regina Seib

Regina was born in East Germany and immigrated to Canada at age seven with her mother and grandmother. She has lived in various locations in Western Canada, including Saskatoon. She currently resides in Nanaimo.

Art is Regina’s passion, evident throughout her childhood and continuing in to adulthood, always painting as time permits. Over the years she has taken a number of artist’s workshops and several classes at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. She earned her AFCA March 2009. Regina paints full time and had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Brian Atyeo at River Rock Studios, Cochrane, Alberta and a workshop and symposium with Jerry Heine, Jack Reid, Teresa Posniak and Doris McCarthy in Jasper, Alberta. She is presently exploring textures, shapes and colours in acrylic and watercolour.

“My desire to create continues to intensify and since the year 2000 I have painted full time realizing a life long dream. With the creative urge God has given me, I am constantly motivated and challenged as I explore new ideas and methods for making marks on canvas. Breaking into abstract images has given me great liberty in expressing myself and expanding my boundaries. It is very gratifying to have my works in numerous collections in Canada and abroad.”

Regina’s work is currently displayed in Saskatoon at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery.

 

Denyse and Rod Simair

Internationally acclaimed ceramic artists Rod & Denyse Simair reside in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.  The Simairs  represented Canada in major exhibitions in Europe and North America, with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Foreign Affairs Canada.  As invited guest artists, they gave presentations at several international conferences.  They are sole recipients of the highest international honour awarded exclusively to Crystalline, Le Grand Prix du Jury, in France.

Theirs is a true marriage of individual specialization, merging to create breathtaking crystalline porcelain sculpture.  Rod focused exclusively on the wheel, masterfully throwing exquisite porcelains of original design that combine a strength of form balanced with delicacy.  Denyse, through years of experimental research, documentation, and artistic invention, skillfully created, applied and meticulously fired her individually personalized glazes to each piece, advancing the mystery of their crystalline artistry.

Considered pioneers of the Crystalline Renaissance and visionaries in their field, it is rare that two artists are so intertwined and the result is award winning work worthy of collection.  Many of the sculptures you will see are years in the making with months of research, multiple prototypes and numerous firings.  The results are heirloom keepsake originals of aesthetically inspiring crystalline porcelain to cherish now and for generations to come.

Rod and Denyse unfortunately retired in December, 2017 due to health reasons.  Collector's Choice Art Gallery is fortunate to have secured a selection of their pieces and to be able to continue to offer them. 

Leonard Carlyle Skinner

Leonard was born on August 5, 1950 in Victoria, British Columbia. His father was a Canadian Naval Officer, and as a result Leonard spent his childhood living in many parts of Canada. Today, Leonard and his family continue to live and work in London, Ontario.

As a young boy, Leonard and his family made annual auto trips to his grandparents’ farm in Northern Saskatchewan from Ottawa. The trans Canada Highway, in the late 50’s and 60’s exposed Leonard to the natural beauty of the Northern Landscape. In later years, Leonard and his family would spend their summers camping in Ontario, and in particular, the Algonquian and Georgian Bay regions. This kind of exposure during his formative years, is very evident in his work today.

Leonard was enrolled in High School of Commerce Art Program in Ottawa, Ontario from 1967 to 1969. He continued his formal training at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, in the Art and Design Program.

Leonard is a lifelong painter who, for the past 18years, has devoted himself to painting full-time. His works have been represented in several galleries in Canada and the United States, and his work is finding its way into many private and corporate collections.

Artist's Statement: The subject material and inspiration for my work is the Canadian Landscape and, in particular the Canadian Shield. I take inspiration from a legacy of great Canadian painters drawn to the same areas I travel.

Richard Thatcher

Richard grew up in Canada’s prairie province of Saskatchewan—an area of vast flatlands, rolling hilled parkland,  northern forests, extraordinarily beautiful skyways and a political culture given to experimentation with social organization and health and social policies (the first administrative area in North America that established a [public] medical care insurance program). In addition to being an artist, Richard is a sociologist, social policy analyst and non-fiction writer who lives with Myrna Martyniuk (his spouse and best friend) in a village in the Qu’Appelle Valley, 20 miles north of Regina. Their home is a former 2-classroom, brick schoolhouse. It was originally converted to a home and studio in the late 1960s by the well-known sculptor Vic Cicansky and his late spouse. The building now includes, as mentioned, a working office, as well as a studio, a small workshop and a creative garden and tranquility space (both works in [very slow] progress).

Over the six plus decades of his life, Richard has participated in various individual and group shows in which he has exhibited his art works. In the 1990s, he was affiliated with the former Verve Gallery in Regina. He has also contributed dozens of art pieces to fund-raising auctions in support of various charitable and political causes and has sold and gifted privately. Richard is (semi) retired from the consulting and applied social science work that occupied most of his working energies for the balance of his adult life. He is now concentrating his time creating new art and undertaking independent writing and seminar projects related to that writing.

Vance Theoret

A self-taught stone carver of Mohawk descent, Vance’s unique artistic vision captures a passion for his British Columbia home and the wildlife that inhabits it.

Carving in alabaster and soapstone, along with slates, chlorite and moose antlers, Vance creates imaginative works that personify his favourite subject, bears and animals, and reflect a sense of curiosity and playful spirit.

Vance prefers a minimalist “direct carve approach.” Rather than forcing his ideas onto the stone, he lets the stone draw out his designs and artistic expression, guiding him with its natural form and inclinations. Vance’s masterful use of the medium, with its exquisite textures, hues, swirls and imperfections, give his work a rich and warm glow embodied in simple elegance.

Mark Totan


Mark Totan is an Inuit carver originally from the tiny community of Hall Beach, N.W.T. A heavy duty mechanic by trade, he began seriously carving stone as a young man, in 1988.  In 1993, The Banff School of Fine Arts offered Mark a full scholarship. Today Mark lives in Edmonton, Alta. working as a full time carver.

Mark specializes in realistic carvings of the people and animals of the north. His intricate attention to detail has gained him a worldwide  following of collectors and galleries.

Mark continues to use traditional methods in his carving. When asked to carve a particular image, he has often said that the stone decides what it will be. Since Canadian soapstone has become less accessible, Mark sculpts in soapstone from around the world including East Indian, South and North American and Chinese, all having individual characteristics depending on the geographical region of origin.  He currently is using serpentine from a deposit in B.C.

Mark initially roughs out the block of carving stone with hammer and chisel and then uses files, rasps and sandpaper for finishing. The final touch consists of rubbing with liquid acrylic or Danish oil to bring out the natural finish of the stone. Each stone may vary in colour and markings, from shades of black and brown to various shades of green, as well as shades from cream to pure white. Soapstone is characterized by its softness and lustre.

 

Joan Weber

Joan has a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in art. She has improved her skills by attending classes and workshops given by Saskatchewan artists and through University of Saskatchewan Extension classes at Emma Lake and in Saskatoon.

Joan has studied books on painting skills and worked on self development. She works mostly in acrylics and some watercolour and spends many hours practicing her artistic skills. Although her style tends to be realistic, she is making efforts to paint in a more relaxed style. Joan is presently a member of the Bridge City Artists Group.

Artist Statement: I am prairie born and prairie influenced. I love Saskatchewan and like to represent it in my paintings. I feel the open spaces, the prevailing winds and the simplicity of the landscape.

Our province has large open spaces with small pockets of beauty. One has sometimes to look carefully for the wonders of prairie nature: the small but beautiful wild flowers; the subtle colours in the trees and grasses, the small flitting birds or the frost patterns on the window pane. There are as well the large panoramic skyscapes, field after field as far as the eye can see, and series of rolling hills and valleys, prairie ponds and shrubby trees.

I am also enchanted by the forest areas, especially the little things that grow and gather on the forest floor. Saskatchewan has much to offer for subject, lots really to “wet one’s pallet”.


Richard Widdifield

Born in Gainsborough, Saskatchewan in 1961, Richard began painting in 1983 and participated in numerous shows in Regina and Weyburn areas, garnering many commissions and awards.

In 1987 he moved to the West Kootenays in B.C. where he initiated unique limited - edition fundraising campaigns with such diverse groups as Robson Community School, Kootenay - Columbia Child Care Society and Rural Dignity of Canada. He became well known in the Castlegar area for his many public mural commissions and extensive portrait work. In 1996 he relocated to Saskatoon with fellow artist and partner Sandra Lee Groepler and in September 1997 had his first one-person show since returning to Saskatchewan: “Under Western Skies,” at the Meewasin Interpretive Centre. Also in 1997, Richard was commissioned by the Broadway Theatre to produce a colourful, nostalgic poster of that venue in celebration of its 50th anniversary. 1998 marked Richard’s 15th year as an artist. Among his awards, in 1989 Richard received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for his work as a promising young Canadian realist artist.

In Saskatoon Richard has exhibited at Meewasin Valley Authority Interpretive Centre and Saskatoon City Hospital’s Gallery on the Bridges. Richard’s work can be purchased at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery.


Beverley Wildeman

A Saskatchewan born artist, Bev has had a passion for drawing since early childhood.

Basically a self-taught artist working on her own, Bev enjoys working with mixed mediums: watercolour and pastel, watercolour and pen, pastel painting, pencil crayon and graphite pencil drawings. Her works vary from floral, landscapes, still life, cartoons and drawings of children.

Galleries on the Bridges, City Hospital and Jade Gallery, Centre East Galleries, in Saskatoon have been Bev’s most recent exhibitions.

Bev has designed cards, invitations and logos for a number of different organizations and businesses.

Shu Cheng Zheng

 Shu-Cheng Zheng is a famous Chinese artist.  His painting displays a special charming style infused with the rich heritage of traditional Chinese painting.  This is especially evident in the fine brush strokes and subtle colouring used in his painting of flower, birds, landscape and figures.  He is also an expert in traditional Chinese free hand painting.  He cherishes nature and expresses this affection and respect in his work.

   Mr. Zheng exhibited his art in the Fine Art's Gallery in Shanghai, the Fine Art's Gallery in Fujian and Art's Gallery in Fuzhou.  He also showed in Japan, Taiwan, the United States and Canada.  Many Chinese art journals featured his work in articles about talented Chinese artists.  Furthermore, both institutions and individuals acquired his work for their collections.

   Chinese painter and designer Shu-Cheng Zheng was born in south China in 1957.  He graduated from the Department of Industrial Design, University of Wu Xi with a bachelor degree in light industry design in 1983 and went on to teach fine arts in the Art Department of the Fujian Teacher's University.  In 1984, he completed a master course in traditional Chinese Painting  at Fujian Teacher's University.

    He was a member of the Chinese Artists Association and the Fujian Province Young People's Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Association.