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The return of Studio5ive: ‘We’ll go anywhere to paint’

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

These floral portraits bursting from their frames are just a taste of what you may see at Studio 5ive’s art exhibit at Worsley Park next week. From left to right are Tessa Crosbie, Velma Boudroud, Shelly Blundon, Joanna Stone, and Glenda Bartlett. Submitted photo

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The painters in the Conception Bay South artist collective Studio 5ive all took up the brush relatively later in life, but have since found their true passion in watercolors, oils, acrylics and otherwise.
Next week, Velma Boudreau, Shelly Blundon, Tessa Crosbie, Joanne Stone, and Glenda Bartlett, all Art Association Newfoundland and Labrador board members, will hold their annual art show at Worsley Park, though it will be the first installation since the pandemic closed everything down in 2020.
Some 20 artists will each showcase six original works of various sizes and prices.
Several of the collective’s five women began taking art lessons from acclaimed painter George Jarvis in the mid to late 1990s, developing their own styles and affinities for landscape and a touch of the abstract in the years after.
Common to most of the group, Three Island Pond resident Shelly Blundon loves to paint landscapes and floral imagery with watercolors, often opting for a dramatic juxtaposition of light and dark. But like the rest of them, Blundon has a great variety of works in her studio.
“Our studios are filled with every medium imaginable, because we’ve got to have it all, and we’ll try everything,” she said. “But you always fall back to the one that you love.”
Topsail resident Tessa Crosbie began painting in 1999 after a colleague began taking lessons with Jarvis. Each medium gives her a different type of satisfaction, whether watercolors, acrylics, or even alcohol ink, though watercolors were her first love.

Crosbie has been “thinking abstractly” for a while now, but living in CBS has always inspired the flowers, sheds, boats, waves, and other scenery that populates her work.
“Artists mostly paint what they know,” said Crosbie. “And if we live on the water, what are you going to paint? The water. That’s where I am in my journey, my art journey.”
Although Velma Boudreau has been painting winter scenes for years, it was only recently she realized the sheer number of which are sitting in her studio.
Often inspiration will strike when she’s in the middle of an unrelated task, and will drop what she’s doing to make two hours pass in front of her canvas in the blink of an eye.
“Nothing exists when you get in that zone,” she said.
All those who will have their art displayed at Worsely Park on the 24th are residents of CBS whom Studio 5ive members have met over the years. They’re hoping the featured artwork will find their way into the homes of fellow art lovers.
“The best feeling of all is when you walk into somebody’s house and your painting is hanging in their house… What a fabulous feeling it is,” said Crosbie.
Blundon said a certain focus of this year’s exhibit was the invitation of new, younger artists to the show.
“Our big thing is promoting original art,” said Blundon. “We like the feeling of original art being out there.”
Crosbie said one of the great benefits of being part of a group is taking what can be a very insular hobby and extending it to the positive criticisms of peers. They learn from each other at each of their weekly meetings.
“By having it criticized it makes us a better painter… Everybody’s eye is different, and they see something different in your painting,” she said.
Blundon is amazed at the size of the art community in CBS and delights at the number of friends they’ve made over the years while doing what they love.
“The bottom line is we all love to paint,” said Blundon. “We love art. We love everything about art. We’ll go anywhere to paint.”

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