Sunday, December 29, 2013

Things to be Thankful For

As 2013 comes to an end I look back at the year and count my blessings.

This past year was a super year for art sales, with 75% of my sales going to patrons in the prairies. Thank-you for your support.

February found us on the warm beaches of Mexico, re-energizing and making plans for the new year.

In April we hosted a Mike Svob workshop. Attending one of Mike's classes has been on my 'to do' list for many years. We also hosted workshops with Janice Robertson and Carey Anderson. I picked up a few tips from each, adding to my bag of tricks. Thank-you Mike, Janice and Carey.

In the spring I was honoured to be asked to do a commission piece of these furry family members. It was fun challenge and the owners loved it. "Puppy Love" now hangs in a loving home in Alberta.

In May I had the opportunity to go on an "Arts and Culture" tour to Santa Fe, New Mexico - a place that has been on my wish list for many years. It was a super trip and I met some fabulous folks. Back home I managed to do a painting or two. This one was delivered to a high-school chum in Saskatchewan.

The summer on Vancouver Island was absolutely gorgeous, with each day being nicer then the next. We had the best flowers and garden since moving here. In August a created a painting a day for two weeks, as a way to capture some of the bounty.

September brought a beautiful fall trip to the prairies. The days were warm, the colours brilliant as I spent a week in the Qu'Appelle Valley visiting family and friends, and sketching en plein air.

In October I completed my first YouTube video of my artwork. It was a great learning experience and was well received at our annual Island Arts Expo in November.

As the year comes to an end I am grateful for:
  • the new friendships I have made over the year
  • having the best clients ever
  • the workshops I have attended and the master artists I have learned from
  • my artwork that has been sold and has found new loving homes
  • the support from my patrons, family, friends and my partner Jeff
Wishing you a Happy New Year, filled with Artful Adventures and Colourful Choices.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Why do We Paint?

I've often questioned myself as to why I paint?
It's a ton of work; taking workshops, reading books and studying to improve my skills.

It is costs a lot of money; paints, canvas, books, mediums and brushes, not to mention the costs of framing your paintings.

It takes a lot of courage, especially if you are a serious artist having exhibitions and shows.

It is often frustrating as hell when ideas don't turn out the way you imagined them in your head.

So, why do I paint?
  • because it reminds me of when I was a kid and I got to muck around in the paint
  • because I love the feel of the paint flowing across the canvas 
  • because I love to capture a memory of a place where I have been - like keeping a visual diary
My mother says that I am blessed to have such a gift (but that's what mothers are suppose to say).

Bottom line for me is that painting makes me happy, keeps my mind busy and yes... it is a heck of a lot of FUN.

Why do you paint? 

"Not Forgotten", 10 x 12" acrylic

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Monday, December 9, 2013

The 5 Stages of a Painting

Have you ever noticed how we repeatedly go through the same emotional ups and downs while working on a painting? I have broken it down into 5 stages.

1) You are having trouble sleeping because you have such a GREAT idea for a new painting. You can't wait to get started.

2) You are excited about the first few brush strokes going on. You are feeling fantastic and can hardly get the paint down on the canvas fast enough.

3) Oh oh ... running into trouble. I call this the "Oh what was I thinking" or "it sounded like a good idea in my head" stage.

4) This is the tough stage where we are tempted to get out the white gesso, paint over it and start again. BUT at this stage you MUST push through. Some say it is about the journey, not the destination, that we learn something from every painting. Myself, I am usually just too darn stubborn to call it quits.

5) There is light on the other side and this is the "Oh my gosh, this is the best painting EVER" stage.
At this point your spouse just rolls his eyes, as he recognizes each stage and patiently waits for the outcome.

I would be much happier if only I could eliminate stages 3 and 4 ...

FYI: This painting is of the Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta, one of Canada's natural wonders. In the Blackfoot and Cree traditions the Hoodoos are believed to be petrified giants who come alive at night to hurl rocks at intruders.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...