Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Art of Distraction

I was off to the store to buy some mushrooms. I had requested turkey tetrazzini for supper - a tasty way of using up some of our left-over turkey.

I decided to make a pit stop first, so I pulled off the road at Nile Creek.

The view was spectacular. When I saw the magnesium blue sky, the titanium white clouds with the mountains in the background, I wanted to drop down to the ground, bow to Mother Nature and, as artist Brian Buckrell would say. "Knock off a painting." But remember I was on my way to buy mushrooms, and I didn't have any paints or canvas with me. I did have my camera! (never leave home without it)

I walked around took many shots, sat down and breathed. Nobody was there. I had this amazing spot to myself for a time. "I am so blessed to have this kind of view in my backyard." I watched the birds for a long while as they splashed and squawked about who knows what.

I stopped and picked up a piece of drift wood. I took more photos, squished through the sand, turned over a sea shell...and then remembered "Mushrooms!" Oh ya, I was suppose to go to the store.

It's very easy for me to get diverted off my original course, especially when you live on beautiful Vancouver Island. The Art of Distraction is everywhere!

Yes, I did get the store, I did buy some mushrooms and the tettrazzina that night was delicious!!!

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hosting a Workshop

I absolutely love hosting and facilitating painting workshops.

A few years ago, as part of our Island Arts Magazine services, we decided to start hosting workshops. How hard could it be?

There actually is a lot of planning that goes into these events. Researching and tracking down instructors is the main issue, as some of them are booking two years in advance. We try to bring in instructors from outside our area (mid-island) on Vancouver Island. We have to confirm dates, making sure that the venue is available. Next intensive marketing comes into play. Once the registrations start coming in and the day arrives, the FUN begins.

Our March 2016 workshop was called "Flowering as an Artist" instructed by Sandy Terry, an artist from Victoria. How refreshing to paint flowers in the spring.

We limit our class size to 12 students (11 actually as the 12th spot is mine). We had a lovely group of ladies for this class.

Most of our classes run for two days on a weekend. On the morning of the first day the students are anxious to get some instruction and start putting colour to canvas. By the end of the first day, they began to tucker out. "More coffee ladies?"

I like to position myself at the back of the classroom, and watch the canvases blossom. I enjoy the chatter amongst the students, as they paint, converse, laugh and sometimes even swear – for the good of the painting of course.

After a hard day of painting, on Saturday we like to gather at the local restaurant for a bite to eat, a refreshment or two and a chance to get to know each other outside the classroom. The artists love this part of the weekend.

In this class I worked on a tiger lily and was happy to see it come to life. I was able to take it home after the weekend, and finish it off with a few more brush strokes. All signed it is now ready for my Saskatchewan exhibition this summer.

Prairie Gift, 28 x 22", acrylic on canvas

As the host of these events, I am usually exhausted on Monday. But, I love doing them, I love spending the weekend with my fellow artists and I look forward to the next workshop in a month.

Oh dear!

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

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why I Love Sundays

I've always loved Sundays.

In my younger days Sunday was usually a day off from school or work. It was a day when family and friends would gather for a nice meal. Sometimes an afternoon pick up game of baseball would be in order. Once the dishes were done, and the kitchen table cleared off, out came the cards for an evening of serious card playing. If you were lucky, you might win the pot of $2-3.

Now, all grown up, I still like tradition. Jeff enjoys cooking a nice meal on Sundays. Not that we don't have good meals throughout the week, but on Sundays he will often roast a chicken, or pot roast, complete with the fixings. We might have friends over to join us for good conversation, laughs and good food.

For me Sundays is a painting day. No matter where I am in my production schedule, I become a "Sunday Painter."

This is a commission painting that I am working on today; more Mexican sunhats.

And for some reason, a home-made latté, in a Mary Fox pottery mug, tastes much better on a Sunday.

What do you like to do to make your Sundays special?

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

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Underwater Adventures

I have always wanted to do a painting of my underwater adventures. On a rainy west coast day, I decided to do just that.

I pulled out an envelope of underwater photos that I had compiled over the years. Some were from Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and many from the Cayman Islands (one of my favourite dive spots)

Looking at the photos took me down memory lane. It seemed like another life time ago that I started scuba diving. I achieved my open-water certification in Tobermory Ontario. It was a cold and tough weekend. At the end of the weekend I was so darn proud of myself and a certified diver.

I continued with the advanced class two weeks later. I went through that course and onto becoming a PADI rescue diver.

At last count, I had 120+ dives, under my belt; in scuba diver's lingo. I haven't done a dive in many, many years and if I did, I would surely take a refresher course first.

Perhaps that part of my life is over and if so, at least I have incredible and colourful memories of those adventures.

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