ALTON THE HANDSOME by Alton Mill Art Centre


Parade logo NEW760x360





Alton the Handsome             

Artist:  Alton Mill Arts Centre

Purchaser:  Hidden Creek Farm

Location:  Alton Village Square
1401 Queen Street West, Alton
June 8-August 30 only


Meet Alton The Handsome

The CHALLENGE:  Create a canvas where 15 unique artists from the Alton Mill Arts Centre can express their individuality with freedom to paint within their own time schedule

THE SPIRIT OF THE BLACK STALLION…artists were inspired to lay hands embodying the spirit of individuality.

The Black Stallion…POWERFUL and COMPETITIVE extending hands to all nations.  Each wave or flash of a hand is as colourful and original as the athletes and their countries participating in the 2015 Pan American Games

The Black Stallion is a leader, demonstrating Strength, Form, Wisdom, Determination, Power and Excellence


Wendy McLeod * Bridget Wilson * Robert Chisholm * Lynda Clare Grant * Janet Simmons-Sweet * Anne Marie Warburton * Ann Randeraad * Randy McLeod * C.J. Shelton * Margi Taylor-Self * Bonnie Eskelson * Lynden Cowan* Charlene Nickels * Andrea Bird * Daniel Beirne

Alton the Handsome and his artists at the Caledon Equestrian Park










Alton the Handsome in his temporary home (June 8 – August 30)










About the Alton Mill Collaboration artists:

Wendy McLeod:

My art is me!  At first glance Bright, Bold, Immediate, yet…the more you see it, the more you see!

Whimsical, with the occasional commentary sparked by a current political or social debate, I paint what I want to see and approach each piece with humour, word play or symbolic choice of colour.

All of my images are formed on wood panels of birch, maple, fir or pine.  I use natural milkpaint, and my ideas are planned and formed quickly, while working on Several series simultaneously.

The “with the grain” series is literally and figuratively the inspiration of the wood grain itself.  With an intention for a particular panel, my work can immediately be re-directed just by looking at the grain.  Images appear to me and I follow what jumps out.                    

I forget to eat, drink, and all I want to do is paint.  My work often surprises even me!

Contact Information:



Bridget Wilson:

Since returning to the arts from a career in human resources close to fifteen years ago, Bridget has applied her knowledge and enthusiasm towards the design, fabrication and installation of essentially flat pieces of glass into artistically functional furniture and accent pieces. These creations can be seen in homes and businesses across North America.

Having originally attended York University’s Fine Arts Program, Bridget continued to expand her knowledge by participating in many workshops and self-study. Over the past five years she has embarked on a new journey into the world of Fused and Slumped glass. The fluidity of the molten glass is unpredictable thus creating something that is truly one of a kind. There is art in the science and science in the art!

“I have always been a practical person. I want my work to reflect that. As beautiful as ‘glass’ can be on its own, it can also be functional. From my panels, room-dividers and tables to jewellery, platters, bowls and garden art, there is no limit.”

In addition to her glass offering, Bridget has been studying Jewellery Design and Fabrication at George Brown College in Toronto and other jewellery workshops where she is now working with silver and Swarovski Crystals to enhance her glass jewellery.

Contact Information:


Phone:  416-505-1867

Robert Chisholm,  Lynden  Cowan and Charlene Nickels:

Southern Ontario Visual Artists , or SOVA is a small  collective of talented artists.  Robert Chisholm, Lynden  Cowan and Charlene Nickels have become friends over the years, so it was a natural progression to sharing a studio in the beautiful Alton Mill Arts Centre. 

All three artists are originally Maritimers, so have a common tie, but that is where the similarity ends.

Robert , working mainly in acrylics, is noted for his impressionistic, intuitive style that with a combination of natural colours, and freedom of brush strokes, allows the painting to evolve.

Charlene is drawn to the beautiful, sensitive medium of watercolours . Mainly a Realist , the subject matter of her paintings are varied, but many have a strong connection to Prince Edward Island.

Lynden paints mainly with oil on canvas in a Realism style. Her work is found in many private and corporate collections across North America and Europe.

You are always welcome to come into Studio 202 , and we hope you will stop by to discuss our artwork and the creative process.

Contact Information:


Lynda Clare Grant:

Painting is a dance that never seems to end; it only stops once in awhile to take another breath. I use a variety of mixed media in my work, usually layering with acrylic, and often ending with the juiciness of oil paint.

From an over 23-year career as a Massage Therapist, the human form is most familiar to me; therefore, figurative representation is typically found in my work. Lately, I have been working on a series using my fingers as brushes… I guess you could say I have a knead to massage the figures into the canvas… Is it a little toxic?….maybe. Is it fun?….you bet!

Contact Information:

Phone:  519-925-9819

Janet Simmons-Sweet:

Janet Simmons Sweet is an award winning, full time artist in her seventh year at the Alton Mill. Her oil artworks are noted for signature dramatic light, enhanced by atmospheric mood. She paints in collections, giving the individual canvas a framework within a larger concept. While her style is impressionistic, her palette is all Rembrandt.  “Light tranforms the mundane to the spectacular”.

Janet studied art formally under the Davis experimental educational program in the late 1960’s. Her study of art continues with oil workshops, plein air watercolour, and graphite/conte Life Drawing Class. She also serves in numerous capacities with regional art organizations, in addtion to both installing and adjudicating art exhibits.

Janet’s work continues to be accepted in juried and public exhibitions, winning mutiple awards including Jurors’ Award, People’s Choice Award and Artists’ Choice Award. Her artwork is shown extensively in Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Orangeville and Caledon, seasonally in Niagara on the Lake and the United States. She hangs in private collections in Canada, United States and the UK. Solo exhibits are her focus for 2015.

Contact Information:


Phone:  416-797-3954

Ann Randeraad:

Ann Randeraad: a stoneware and raku potter, is predominately self-taught. She has been responding to the draw of clay for many years now. Rich, deep colours, and carved or pressed textures evolve from her dance with clay. Her inspiration comes from her family and the endless nature on their farm and rural surroundings. Her current works include a main line of functional ware using cone 6 oxidation and a sideline of decorative raku pieces. Her pieces are influenced by the rich cultural diversity intermingled in her life and her love for the raw strength of nature itself.

Her works include simple pate bowls through to extra large salad bowls, chip ‘n dip platters, large altered platters and vessel sinks. Her raku pieces tend to include vases, planters and small plates and a newer line of sculptures.

Contact Information:


Phone:  519-938-2092

Anne-Marie Warburton:

Anne-Marie Warburton is the passionate owner of Gallery Gemma Jewellery.  She graduated from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is a member of the alumni association of GIA as well as the American Gem Trade Association, an international organization devoted to the ethical buying and selling of exceptional coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls.

Our beautiful studio is located in the award winning Alton Mill Arts Centre in the village of Alton, conveniently located next to the Millcroft Inn and Spa.  Drop in and you will enjoy one-of-a-kind pieces of fine jewellery created in our on-site studio as well as award-winning jewellery from designers around the world.  We offer an ever changing selection of jewellery as well as repairs, pearl re-stringing, jewellery restyling services and custom design.

Contact Information:


Phone:  519-938-8386

Randy McLeod:

A fourth generation farmer, Randy was born and raised on Villacroft Farm in Caledon East. Surrounded by space and nature Randy explored his environment eagerly as he developed a passion for photography.

Randy’s curiosity, appreciation for nature, and a desire to challenge himself took him to a local wood show. He observed that traditional woodworkers were often missing digits, whereas a woodturners hands were intact. From there, Randy built his own lathe. (Affectionately know as “the beast”). The “Beast” has since retired as Randy moved on to a finer lathe producing large wooden vessels.

The wood used is hand selected and harvested by Randy locally or from the woods on the farm, preferring to create from one large solid piece,  turned to best enhance the wood’s natural form and beauty.

Randy’s pieces have been available at The Headwaters Arts Festival, the Made of Wood Show, in the Caledon East Studio Tour, and Villacroft Farm.

Pieces may be commissioned  from Villacroft wood or a client may have an historic or sentimental piece of wood from which Randy will create an heirloom.

“can’t paint, can’t draw, but give me a gnarly piece of wood…”

Contact Information:


Phone:  905-584-1370

CJ Shelton:

Artist and Facilitator CJ Shelton has over 30 years of experience as an illustrator and graphic designer plus a dynamic combination of training in therapeutic art facilitation, counselling and alternative healing practices. Her focus is on using circular patterns known as mandalas as containers for the creation of ethereal and luminous designs that reveal ‘images from the soul’. CJ blends a lifelong passion for art and a deep interest in nature, psychology and indigenous earth-based wisdom into all her work. Along with creating her own original art pieces and mandala designs, CJ facilitates a variety of drawing and creativity courses, mandala workshops and 1-on-1 self-discovery sessions that are a unique way to discover more about ourselves and the world around us through artistic process. CJ Shelton’s beautiful and tranquil studio is located on the upper level of the historic Alton Mill Arts Centre.

Contact Information:


Phone:  519-942-2018

Margi Taylor-Self:

Margi Taylor Self graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design and her interest in design and communications has led her on a career involving promotion and marketing. She owns and operates a conference and event coordination company, Creative Events Management Ltd.

Her love for art and the creative process has motivated her to paint and to do print-making which has culminated in participation in numerous art shows in Canada and Europe.

Margi employs many multi-media methods, but favours the monotype technique which essentially is a printed painting. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike, although images can be similar. The beauty of this media is its spontaneity and that it combines printmaking, painting and drawing.

Her work can be found in private collections in Canada, Europe and throughout the United States.

Contact Information:


Bonnie Eskelson:

A painter of landscapes in the broadest sense, from the natural environment to the human body and even the dreamed, remembered or imagined landscape, Bonnie’s subjects can be vast as a desert or intimate as a single tree trunk or a pair of legs. They range from the giant trees of the west coast through the prairie “big sky” to local haunts north of the GTA. Working primarily in oils, acrylics and most recently, mixed media, she has been developing her art for fifteen years with an eclectic program of studies at schools in Montreal and the GTA, actively exhibiting for the last seven. Her works are in private and corporate collections across Canada and in the US.

Contact Information:


Phone:  905-460-0257

Andrea Bird:

I approach art-making intuitively, following my inclination into new territory. I fell in love with encaustic several years ago, after studying it at OCAD in Toronto, and R&F Encaustics in New York State. This method involves using beeswax hardened with damar resin mixed with oil paint. As a graduate of OCAD, and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists, I have an extensive exhibition history, and am an experienced and  enthusiastic teacher. Having given numerous encaustic workshops in other art centres, I am pleased to now have the opportunity to consolidate my teaching activity at ‘the hive’ encaustic school at the Alton Mill.  A few times a year I’ll be teaching ‘off-site’, in Southampton and Elora, ON.  See my website for more details.

Encaustic, by its nature, is made up of layers. I incorporate collage into the wax, sometimes revealed, sometimes not. I use a blow torch, heat gun and iron when fusing each piece, creating a richly textured depth. This vibrant, translucent surface pulls viewers in. People tell me that each time they look closely at a painting, there is something new to discover.

‘Holding loosely’ is a theme that inspires my work. It allows for a spontaneous response to what happens during the process – drips can be fused into the piece, or gouged off, ‘mistakes’ lead to new ways of pushing the medium. Series incorporate found objects, clothing/fabric, birds’ nests, prayer flags, roots (organic materials) and original photo transfers of trees.

The unfolding of mystery reveals the inherent beauty in the piece. This is what pulls me forward, leads me into the unknown, embracing and/or grappling with whatever comes up. The process of making art reflects what is going on in my life, with my personal journey leading me to the collective experience.

Contact Information:


Phone:  519-323-3437

Daniel Beirne:

For several decades, Daniel has explored various mediums and the natural world – culminating in a diverse body of work. Mapping, site exploration and working with beeswax are increasingly important elements of his process.

Daniel’s sculptural artwork is an exploration of natural processes using found materials, on-site and in gallery settings.  His installation work is a collaboration with nature: a dialogue between events and the materials.  This ephemeral work is a response to place and time, reflecting the season and geographic location.  A variety of materials are used in his sculptures, including branches, moss, rocks, forest floor debris – anything that lends itself to the piece being made.  Daniel has recently collaborated with Andrea Bird on encaustic wall pieces that embrace this sensibility.

Contact Information:


ALTONMILL_collaboration4 ALTONMILL_collaboration3 ALTONMILL_collaboration2 ALTONMILL_collaboration1