contemporary art,  modern art

Chrissy Poitras + Kyle Topping

Kyle Topping: Chemistry, Etching, 18 x 18 inches, 2012
Chrissy Poitras: Bits and Pieces No. III, Watercolour, 2012

Kyle Topping is a printmaker working primarily in etching. In his most recent works, he begins by creating digital collages. He then transfers these collages onto copper etchings using a hard ground technique. For those unfamiliar with printmaking techniques, the path to achieving the desired result requires precision and skill throughout the process. With Kyle’s work one sees that he has developed his images with meticulous attention to detail at every step.

Chrissy Poitras is a mixed media artist working with a variety of materials. Her most recent works are watercolour monoprints combined with embroidery, and watercolour and ink. Monoprinting, as the name suggests, is unlike other printmaking techniques in that the result is a singular image rather than an edition, much like painting or drawing. Chrissy then adds embroidery work directly onto the monoprint.
installation view of Chrissy’s work at a recent show at Blizzmax Gallery

Kyle and Chrissy met while pursuing their Fine Arts and Art History degrees at Queen’s University. They are now the owners and operators of their own entrepreneurial enterprise, Spark Box Studio. Spark Box, located in Picton, Ontario, is a beautiful collection of studios and bedrooms that Chrissy and Kyle converted from a farmhouse and allot to artists of their choosing for residencies of varying lengths of time. In addition to offering artist residencies, Spark Box often holds printmaking workshops for schools and organizations in its printmaking studio adjacent to the main house.

I had the pleasure of staying with Kyle and Chrissy during a two-week residency at Spark Box Studio this April, during which I experienced firsthand their dedication both to create their own artwork and to help foster the creativity of other artists. They are inspirational artists and hard workers with vibrant, seemingly endless energy.

artist statement for Kyle Topping:

The Rational Discovery Series addresses my curiosity for understanding and comprehending the unknowns in our world. I have, from a young age, had an unyielding urge to understand the secret workings of the universe. In the past referencing science or mathematics has been my attempt to grasp a universal truth. These works use those references to call into question the curiosities I have had since youth. They investigate questions like “why does ‘this’ do ‘that’?” or “how does it do that?” or even “how did that become to be?”. I fear as I grow older my curiosity will be misplaced or replaced by the routines of everyday life and so my art has become more and more focused on holding onto these bits of myself. 

 Kyle Topping: Wind Drivers, Etching, 15 x 18 inches, 2012

artist statement for Chrissy Poitras:

My work is an investigation of the various accidental marks found in my surroundings. I use these found marks with their different qualities to inform my paintings and prints. Through processes of interpretation and layering I link these marks together to create my own “new accidents”. I work on impulse, accepting whatever it is I place on the canvas. These paintings are about experimenting with colour, shape and form. I enjoy the process of mark making and appreciating how different elements relate and interact with each other. 
Chrissy Poitras: Bits and Pieces No. II, Watercolour, 2012

please see more of Kyle and Chrissy’s artwork as well as Spark Box Studio here:

Chrissy’s website:

Spark Box Studio:

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