Saturday, February 20, 2010

Prairie Wagon Wheels

When I think of the prairies, not only do I think about big sky and rolling wheat fields, I also think about sway back barns, and dilapidated buildings.

I love to stop and take photos to use as reference down the road in some creation.

There is an old chuck wagon on my dad's farm that still stands there. It is overgrown with wild grasses and it hasn't moved in years. I remember it in exactly the same spot when I was a kid ... and that was a few years ago, to say the least.

Last summer we attended a family reunion and I couldn't resist taking a few more photos.

These are both small 5 x 7" paintings on wrapped canvas. I started with many coats of acrylic burnt sienna as the base colour and worked up the detail from there.

The family homestead will be 100 years old in 2013. Perhaps a good reason for another reunion?

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Ready for a Show

Little did I know that when I was accepted for a gallery exhibition 6 months ago, that the time would come so quickly, and here it is only a few weeks away.

Getting ready for a show is, without a doubt is MUCHO WORK.

First is the task of selecting your artwork. What would you like to show? Are you showing a series, working on a theme, newer work, medium, etc. This usually involves taking everything off your walls, collecting your work from other locations, sorting through boxes of art that has been shoved under the bed and in the closets, and selecting the pieces. Selection usually takes me a full day. I find a rainy Sunday works well for this.

Now that the house and studio are totally ripped apart, the task of examining each piece comes next. Are the backs of each piece clearly marked? Are they framed property; no loose wires, no scratches etc. Have you signed the backs of each piece? I started doing this a couple of years ago and quite like this practice. I even put the title and a copyrite on the back as well for authenticity.

Once that is done, then the never ending paperwork begins. I start by making a list of the pieces for the show, the sizes and the price. Make sure all your records are the same. Does the price on your gallery/store coincide with your final price for the show?

Next comes the making of a press release which is to be emailed out to the newspapers. Some galleries will ask for this so they can send out a press release in their own area. Even though you SHOULD already have one on hand, there is always last minute updates to be made.

Now what about advertising? Are you running any ads in the local papers, making posters, etc. There are many free listings available on art related website. All this takes time and effort.

But don't despair, we are almost there!

Once that is done, then you should think about invitations. Are you mailing individual invitations, are you doing an email blast ... how are you letting your patrons and friends know that there even is a show?

Are you totally exhausted yet but still plan on finishing a couple of pieces for the show?

At some point you will have everything in place and under control and at this point you ... simply let it all go and stop worrying, as you know you have done your very best!

I actually LOVE having gallery exhibitions and try to have a couple a year. They are a Heck of a Lot of Fun! They are important to do as it gets your name out there and often into a whole different area then you are use to.

There is always some good things come from a show, whether it is new contacts, an opportunity down the road ... and possibly new sales or commissions.

That being said ... please join me with fellow artist Nanci Cook on March 20th at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox for our "Meet and Greet".

Hmmm ... that reminds me, was I suppose to bring the coffee?

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Mexican Painting

As some may know we basked in the glorious sun of Mazatlan Mexico for a month over
Christmas and New Years.
No working on a computer, no deadlines, just reading books by the pool, walking the beach and enjoying the company of our friends from Saskatchewan and family from Ontario.

When I first decided to go to Mexico for a whole month, I told myself "Oh you need to do a painting every day." Well that idea quickly went out of my head, as it seemed like way too much work and I was in real need of some "R & R" time, as having just finished the Winter Island Arts Magazine and having hosted a successful first Annual Island Arts Expo. Whew!

I packed a few watercolour paints and paper and painted when the mood 'moved me'. Quite honestly for the first week and a half, I was very busy - deciding whether to go to the pool, or the beach, which book to read and what to do for supper. Needless to say, there was no creative movement in sight.

Then somewhere around Christmas Eve, the 'spirit' moved me and I started sketching and painting. For about a week I could not stop. Paint a little, tan a little, paint a little, beach a little.

The results were some studies that can turn into paintings when once again the 'spirit' moves me.

Here is a quick tease of some of the colourful sketches that I produced.

I look forward to starting to work on a series of watercolour for a gallery in Mazatlan, once I get caught up on some of my other projects - like my upcoming show in March at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox. But that's a whole other blog!

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mr. Whiskers

This is the story of "Mr. Whiskers".

He is a cute, curious little fellow who became part of my life for only a few moments, but will now live on forever.

One day while walking my dog Cheyenne out by Deep Bay I noticed a slight ripple in the water. Suddenly amongst the ripples, up popped "Mr. Whiskers". He swam around for a minute or so, while I took several photos of him and then as if to say, "O.K. that's enough", he disappeared back under the water and he was gone.

Some time later I decided to paint him in acrylics on canvas. The original painting was shown for the first time at the Island Arts Expo in November. One lady was very interested in him, then disappeared. After walking through the show, she had decided that she would like to take him home with her as a birthday gift to herself. What a great gift!

Luckily I had some extra high resolution photos taken of him by Grant Kernan beforehand and now have some beautiful prints on canvas made. You can order prints of "Mr. Whiskers" from our online store and gallery.

Now like the Olympic Torch he makes his way across BC as I am the feature artist for the Feb / Mar edition of the Country Register and "Mr. Whiskers" is on the front cover.

Till Next Time ...

From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond ...