After the challenge of deciding whether or not I will create another 52 WEEKS project and also flip-flopping about the subject matter and media, I have finally decided to do this for a 6th year and I'm actually beginning to look forward to it. Instead of working on stretched canvas, I will be working on 6x8 canvas panels for two reasons:
1. They don't require so much storage space.
2. They fit my Judon's plein air pochade perfectly which means I can travel and work anywhere much more easily.
My good friend gave me a copy of this lovely little book titled "50 Truths Worth Knowing" which is filled with positive inspiration to kick-start me and I think that I've decided to incorporate words from each week to use in the title of the works. I'll have to add two more truths of my own but I think I'll do that at the end of this project...maybe by then I will have gained more wisdom. I've also decided to use Winsor & Newton water miscible oils since I haven't worked in oils in such a long time, but with the option of being cleaned with water might make it easier on myself and my family. And, finally, I want to incorporate heavy impasto texture, which I have always adored but struggled with in my day-to-day work (even though I wrote an article on adding texture for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine a few years ago) so I think I'll focus on applying colour with palette knives.
This year's title "52 WEEKS::Wild Rose" was gifted to me by my daughter. First, I want to focus on the landscape around me, Wildrose Country, as it gives me such joy. Second, I feel like we are each a bit of a wild rose...which is where this lovely little book comes in. We often need to remind ourselves of the simple truths in life, including nuggets of wisdom such as "even small steps are important" and "work can be sacred". We are all perfectly beautiful in our imperfections but there are times we need to focus on the little things and remember that even our small contributions are beautiful.
So, if you have photos that you would like to share with me, I would love to see them and perhaps they can work their way into this little jewel of a series. And I have to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me on this journey these past five years and those who encourage me to continue.
One of my favorite features of Instagram is the annual Best 9 collage for the year. Not only does it make me happy to see such a colourful collage, but also reminds me of some of the things I have accomplished throughout the year. This year I was reminded of the Amazing Airdrie Women Awards and my project which all live in new homes; of the 21 SECRETS: Tell Your Story online workshop which I have been privileged to take part as an online workshop instructor with Dirty Footprints Studio again; of incredible friends I've made through commissioned artwork and exhibits, such as the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and Lineham House Galleries; and of trips to beautiful and inspiring places such as Whitefish, Montana and Banff, Alberta (my absolute favorite place on the planet!).
Last week my daughter and I spent a couple of days in Banff to take some photos and spend time together in our favorite place. I brought my most recent landscape painting titled "Lake Louise" and was extremely grateful for the beautiful winter weather we've been experiencing. We enjoyed our time in the Banff Springs Hotel, walking along main street in the town, and the wonderful cafes, stunning galleries and delicious food. I really need to make a point of spending more time there and don't know why I don't as we live so close.
Today I delivered new work, including this sweet hive of chubby little bees, to the Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond. I love visiting this gallery and can never leave without picking up little gifts for family and friends. It's filled with amazing books, weavings, cards, pottery, sculptures, and, of course, paintings. And the drive is so beautiful, especially on these gorgeous days we've been so fortunate to experience.
Listen: Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time." So begins Vonnegut's absurdist 1969 classic. Hawke rises to the occasion of performing this sliced-and-diced narrative, which is part sci-fi and partially based on Vonnegut's experience as a American prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany during the firebombing of 1945 that killed thousands of civilians. Billy travels in time and space, stopping here and there throughout his life, including his long visit to the planet Tralfamador, where he is mated with a porn star. Hawke adopts a confidential, whisper-like tone for his reading.
One of the ways I like to add the semblance of texture to my paintings is by using plastic wrap and on these pieces I have been loving the vibrant colours of acrylic inks. Whenever I begin pieces this way, the patterns inspire the direction that the work leads and creates a beautiful underpainting, some of which I like to keep visible at the end. These are such great beginnings...can't wait to see where they lead.
Years ago I had been accepted into fashion school in Toronto, and though I didn't pursue the education, I have been enjoying watching my youngest daughter follow that path now. Her interest is quite different than mine was, but I am really having fun sharing her joy in her endeavors. For quite some time I have been wanting to paint something for her sewing studio and several months ago I actually began a piece but it has been slow going as other projects and responsibilities keep cropping up. Now I'm finally getting back to it and am excited to see where this ends.
The past two weeks I have taught at a Daycare in Calgary, at the Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie, in my daughter's Grade 2 class in Lethbridge, and led a Wine & Paint Night...what a busy time it has been! We have painted inukshuks, northern lights, birch trees, and wildflowers and worked on printmaking and altered books. Each time I think, this is my favorite age group or I prefer this type of workshop and then I feel the same about the next one. It's a good thing, I think. I've been seeing so many happy faces which makes me happy, too. There really is nothing like art to fulfill the soul.
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!