Forgive my lack of an internet presence lately. I’ve booked myself busy with a host of classes in May, and it’s been delightful. I’m painting with a very pleasant class of ladies on Thursday nights. Below is a shot of their completed landscape paintings – they all did a wonderful job and it’s so fun to see their different styles emerge in each painting.
I also took a printmaking workshop on May 5th. What a neat process, and so full of possibilities! We kept running ahead of our instructor, Mary Parslow, with our “what if’s” as each demonstration sparked ideas for monoprinting creativity. I came home with forty prints that are mostly “misses” but I’m all fired up to pursue monoprinting as another artistic option for me. And I know the kids will love to try it!
I’m on version five of an Arizona landscape – thinking it’s time to take a break. When repeated restarts aren’t helping work out a painting, time might be what it needs instead. There are parts of this painting I really love, but it’s not quite “cooked.”
Spring is here, and the sun is shining, and there is so much to enjoy this time of year. I’m prepping for summer shows in some local galleries, and looking forward to painting with the Peace Watercolour Society on local at the Peace River in June. Art journalling with the kids is on my to-do list, and of course teaching them monoprinting! Life is good.
I’ve been a little scarce on the blog lately. I planned a busy month and in May I’ll be teaching fifteen classes here in my home studio. That’s a record for me and I’m hoping it doesn’t mean I neglect my other jobs. My children still need educating and my husband’s books don’t balance themselves!
The Dawson Creek Art Gallery’s annual art auction takes place tomorrow night. I always try to donate a painting to this organization that has supported me as an artist in so many ways. The painting I donated this year is an older piece I’ve always loved, but I forgot to photograph it before it was framed, so I’ve never really shown it online. Titled “Spring’s Aristocrats,” it’s a lovely delicate portrait of irises. I love irises but I’ve never remembered to plant any in my yard.
You can view all the auction items here. Don’t forget that my Mother’s Day flower painting sale runs until May 15th. Details here.
Consider yourself invited to the Peace Without Borders show & sale, opening April 28th from 2-4pm at the Beaverlodge Cultural Centre. This show features selected works by members of the Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and I have two paintings on exhibit there in Beaverlodge, Alberta.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the opening, as my daughters are performing in their first piano recital on Sunday. They have worked very hard this year and are excited and nervous about their first public performance. We have a wonderful full life and the result is sometimes these kind of scheduling conflicts in a week jam-packed with art, music, sports and good friends.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and in honour of the wonderful women who raised us, let’s shower them with flowers! I’ve put together a catalogue, ten pages of lovely floral paintings in a variety of sizes and styles, both framed and unframed, and all are discounted a little in honour of Mother’s Day.
View the catalogue PDF by clicking here and message me to arrange a studio visit or make a purchase.
Life has been so busy lately that I’ve made very little time to paint. Time instead to enjoy the art I have recently framed and plan for some exhibitions this spring, summer and fall.
I’ve also filled my plate by taking on two weekly watercolour classes. On Thursday nights my studio is dedicated to four very focused women, learning watercolour step by step. I love a small class size for the informal, comfortable atmosphere and the opportunity it gives me to provide very focused individual attention.
On Wednesday afternoons the same space hosts eight equally focused young ladies, between the ages of eight and thirteen. My two daughters are a part of this class, and since it’s the class length is just an hour, mothers enjoy tea downstairs in the kitchen, while my six-year-old son shares his Lego with any brothers who might have come along.
I consider myself very fortunate to have this large space in my home. The tables are always full of painting or crafting supplies, and being able to teach out of my home keeps my costs low so I can enjoy a smaller class size, and keep the cost of the classes at a fair price. And I always learn as much as my students, it seems, and their enthusiasm inspires me!
When I lived in Ontario, I loved the cedar forests. Such an amazing place for a child to play, carpeted with cedar needles and virtually no underbrush. We used to ride our bikes over the tangled roots, up and down along a lovely little lake.
Not so our forests in northeastern British Columbia. Tangled with underbrush, Devil’s Club and wild roses, you do not hike off the trail unless you are wearing thick pants to resist the thorns. Dark arching aspens and evergreens block out sunlight, and leaves rot under a maze of deadfall tree trunks.
But there are treasures in the forest if you know how to look. Stepping into a glade fawn-spotted with sunlight, one might see violet faces cupped by emerald leaves. The delicacy of forest blooms stands in contrast to the ruggedness of their habitat.
Twinflowers seem too fragile to pick. Pale pink, bell-shaped flowers, doubled on one stem (hence the name) they are best captured on film rather than trapped in a vase. And they are lovely to paint. I created these two paintings recently, and I would say I’m still in the “working out a painting” mode. You know my third painting is usually the one where everything comes together, so, two down, one to go!
Red and turquoise are a favourite colour combination, and very trendy these days. I’m not sure where I’d find it in nature, but I had fun imagining it in a floral painting last week.
This will be catalogued under “unfinished” unless I go with my instinct and crop the painting down to my favourite of the three blossoms, the one at the top left.
I started training for the Fort St. John triathlon this month. It’s a shorter length event, between sprint and Olympic length and while I’m only upping my exercise time a little, from 3-4 40 min sessions a week to a daily 40-60 minute, I’m feeling the effects on my time management. Amazing the difference an hour can make! The tri is in early June, so the demands on my time will be short-lived, and I’m sure it will get easier as I adjust to the new schedule. I’ve also signed up for a half-marathon in August, my first time competing in a long distance running event. I’ve come a long way since I started running 3 years ago and I’m proud to call myself an athlete now, enjoying so many different sports as a participant. Even if I am the oldest woman in my indoor soccer league!
Tonight is the opening for the Art of the Peace 10th anniversary exhibition in Grande Prairie, Alberta. It hardly seems like ten years since the Art of the Peace magazine first debuted. I was doubtful that a local publication like this would find a foothold in the industry as I know the publishing business can be precarious even for national magazines, but having a publication dedicated to the arts in our region has been wonderful, and I’m so happy for their success. There are so many talented artists in our region that I would never have known about where it not for Art of the Peace.
I entered their 10th anniversary cover contest and, while I was not chosen as the cover winner, I was asked to contribute my watercolor painting, Blue Beckoning to the exhibition, which runs through the end of June. I won’t be at the opening tonight since it conflicts with my watercolour classes (and it’s blizzarding outside), but I’m honoured to be a part of it.
Papua New Guinea seems very far away, and my life there very long ago. And then something will happen to bring it back; a photo of a Kandrian sunset on a friend’s Facebook page, or a display in the grocery store. I was surprised and delighted to find passionfruit in our grocery store last week, and immediately bought several at the exorbitant price of $3 each.
They don’t look especially appetizing, but they were my favourite fruit when I was living in PNG and those slippery little pulpy seeds pack a huge punch of flavour! I scoop them out with a spoon and slurp them down, enjoying every tropically citrusy tang.
Passionfruit are also fun to paint! The reddish-purple outer shell, the golden glow inside, the pinky white inner pulp. I just had to pull out my paints and see what I could do.
I tried out two new pigment colours on this sketch – Daniel Smith Potter’s Pink and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. The Potter’s Pink is a crazy dense clay-pink that granulates something terrible – I think it will be a fun addition to my palette but maybe more of a back-up colour than the star of the show. The turquoise is pretty – kind of a mid tone between the Cobalt Turquoise I love so much and Phthalo Blue.
It might be twenty years before I see passionfruit in the grocery store again, so I will treasure my reference photos and who knows, I might be painting this subject the next time I get a craving for exotic fruit!
Today I visited the Kin Gallery at Centre 2000 in Grande Prairie, Alberta, to drop off my painting “Blue Beckoning” for the Art of the Peace 10th Anniversary Show. I’m honoured to have been asked to be a part of the exhibit, which will showcase some of the best artists in the region.
The Art of the Peace 10th Anniversary Show & Sale will open on April 11th at 7pm. The show will run until June 27th, 2013.