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Photographer adds depth of field to new Gallery Show

Sarnia’s Joan Elliott has had a fascination with photography for 42 years and is glad cell phone cameras have made picture-taking accessible to all.
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Joan Elliott with one of her framed photos at the Gifts of the Season show. Cathy Dobson

Sarnia’s Joan Elliott has had a fascination with photography for 42 years and is glad cell phone cameras have made picture-taking accessible to all.

But it takes skill and experience to take a photo that will be appreciated by others, says the retired registered nurse.

“It’s about the mood and the light,” she said.  “There’s so much to know technically and so much to learn. For me, it’s much more than a snapshot.”

Her husband Jim gave her an SLR camera when they married 42 years ago, jumpstarting a hobby that lasted.

“Jim taught me to use it, which I did all through my nursing years and while our boys grew up,” she said.  Once the kids were gone, Elliott joined the Sarnia Photographic Club and gained access to “so much knowledge.”

“Digital was just starting when I joined the club and the members have really helped me learn better technique,” she said.

After retiring from Sarnia General Hospital, Elliott travelled with her husband to 57 countries in 10 years, always with a camera in hand.

She also studied digital photography part-time at Lambton College for three years, learning more about composition and using Photoshop.

“So much changes with photography equipment all the time,” she said.  “It’s really different, of course, since we used film. New equipment comes out all the time.”

Along the way, Elliott also became a volunteer at the Gallery in the Grove, and says she was honored to be included in this year’s annual pre-Christmas show.

Elliott is one of 14 artists, mostly local, selling everything from jewelry to paintings, and fused glass art to wool mittens.

She has 10 framed photographs for sale – all priced at less than $100 each - numerous greeting cards ($4 each or 3 for $10), and $30 matted photos.

Most depict her travels or the natural environment in and around Sarnia. It’s the first time she’s participated in a show and sold her work.

“I prepared for several months and picked my favourites,” she said.

Normally, Gallery in the Grove shows start with a reception but that’s not possible due to the pandemic.

However, two rooms are full of art for sale until Dec. 12. The gallery is limited to six customers at a time, masks are mandatory, and signing-in is necessary.

All visitors are asked to use the front door to access the gallery on the second floor at 2618 Hamilton Rd., Bright’s Grove.

Gifts of the Season is a fundraiser for the community-based gallery, which supports school art programs and scholarships. The artists contribute 25% of each sale to the gallery.

Other featured artisans include Amanda Alcaide (painted stones), Karen Campbell (painted cards), Mary C. Dean (jewelry), Taylor Douglass (resin boards) Arlene Duckert (wool mittens), Christine MacDonald (paintings), Brandi McFadden (paintings), Jackie O’Hara (fused glass art), Jean Poole (watercolours), Pam Scroggie (stained glass), Stephanie Smalls (pottery), Robert Vance (woodcrafts) and Susan VanVeldhuisen (textile art).



WHAT: Gifts of the Season cash-and-carry sale of local art

WHEN: Runs until Saturday, Dec. 12.  Thursdays 3 – 6 p.m.;  Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: Gallery in the Grove, 2618 Hamilton Rd., Bright’s Grove, at Wildwood Park.

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