Tett Rentals Interview: Artist Adele Webster of Glocca Morra Studios

Tett Rentals interview with Adele Webster of Glocca Morra Studios

Hello, Adele. Please tell us about yourself.

I am contemporary, abstract landscape painter and co-owner of Glocca Morra Studios, where I teach art-making workshops with my business partner, Rhonda Evans.

Were you born and raised in Kingston?

I was born in England but emigrated to Canada when I was little. I grew up here in Kingston. I love it here! It's just the right size and being close to Lake Ontario is important to me. I spent a fair bit of time at the Olympic Harbour, sailing with my dad on his catamaran. I think this is why the lake is so important to my artwork. Near the water in my peaceful place and that’s what I try to recreate in my paintings. Most of my artwork is based on big, open bodies of water and the giant skies above it.

Are there other artists in your family?

There is a lot of creativity in my family. My great grandfather was a glassblower, my mom and my brother are very talented artists.

What is your earliest memory of creating artwork?

My earliest memory of creating artwork is colouring on Saturday mornings as a child. I had a giant ice-cream tub full of markers and pencil crayons and kept myself busy for hours at the kitchen table. Losing myself in creativity has always been my happy place.

Are you a self-taught artist or did you study art in school, or by working with an artist?

In high school, I had a very strong interest in art, but also in drafting. That led me to study Graphic Arts. When I was in school for graphics, everything we created was by hand. It wasn't until our last year of a three-year program that computers were introduced. I adapted and ended up working in graphics for over twenty years, but my true love has always been working with my hands. It's taken me a long time to understand how important that is to me and I can say that I am finally making my dreams come true. Between teaching art at the studio and creating my own paintings, most days are full of hands-on creativity.

Please describe your personal artwork.

My paintings capture the peace and calm of looking out over distant horizons. I use vivid and vibrant colours and balance them with calm landscapes. I work in acrylics with a resin top.

Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?

My inspiration comes from a balance between understanding the medium, pure joy of colour use and nature.

How did you and Rhonda meet and when did you decide to pursue a creative artmaking business together?

Rhonda and I met while attending St. Lawrence College in Kingston for Graphic Design some 25 plus years ago. After we finished school, we both went on to different careers and taught art-making workshops through separate businesses. I taught old world skills like needle felting and cheese making and Rhonda taught twig furniture and planting workshops through her greenhouse.

When we reconnected six years ago, the dream of our art studio started forming and Glocca Morra Studios was born. We joined forces and started teaching at her greenhouse on evenings and weekends, all while maintaining full-time jobs. Then we had the opportunity to take over the farmhouse at Rhonda and her husband Pat’s farm. We continued teaching evenings and weekends and the business slowly but steadily grew.

In November of 2018, we applied for a studio at the Tett Centre. At the same time when we found out that our application was successful, the business hit its stride. In December 2018, we both quit our other full-time jobs and for the last year have focused solely on building and growing Glocca Morra Studios as well as continuing to grow as individual artists. We are both living our dreams.

Please describe your Glocca Morra Studios workshops at the Tett Centre.

We teach many different workshops. One of our most popular is anything to do with liquid glass acrylic pouring medium. We offer a Level 1 and 2, and many different projects from beaches to feathers. We also offer many varieties of alcohol ink paintings, fibre arts (from needle felting to needle punch), children’s monthly series art classes, and seasonal workshops from floral design to wreath making. We teach to individuals and groups, including corporate team-building workshops.

As an arts instructor, what is it like to teach art classes at the Tett Centre?

Teaching at the Tett Centre is fabulous! The building is beautiful and very inspiring. The staff at the Tett Center are also invaluable in helping us promote and supporting our workshops.

 Would you recommend other art instructors to rent the Activity Room or the Rehearsal Hall at the Tett Centre and if so, why?

Yes, I would. Both rooms are great. The Activity room is fabulous for workshops on the messier end and the Rehearsal Hall is just stunning with its limestone walls. 

How has COVID-19 impacted your art making practice?

During this pandemic I have been working from home in small studio in my basement. I certainly miss my studio at the Tett Centre and the community there. I have been able to spend more time promoting my own personal art and painting more during this time of self-isolation. My online sales have increased. 

But our studio business has been at a standstill. We put all our workshops on hold and we've very anxious to see everyone again once it's safe to do so. Rhonda and I have been planning new workshops and we're super excited to launch them. We've missed our customers dearly, as many of them have become friends.

Thank you, Adele!

Visit the Glocca Morra Studio at the Tett Centre. Learn more about Adele Webster and purchase a gift certificate for a Glocca Morra Studio workshop today! 

Facebook: Adele Webster Art

Instagram: @adelewebster_art


Facebook: Glocca Morra Farms & Studios

Instagram: @gloccamorrastudio

Black & white portrait of Adele Webster by Melissa Howlett of Dust & Breath Photography

Interested in teaching an art making workshop at the Tett Centre? If so, please visit our website at https://www.tettcentre.org/rentals or contact the Tett Rentals Coordinator, Susanna Gordon at rentals@tettcentre.org.

Interview by Susanna Gordon